President's Weekly Perspective – 10.29.12

Good morning.

Halloween is in the air and it is hard to believe that October is nearly over.

American Indian Heritage Month
With November comes American Indian Heritage Month, and here on campus we will be honoring our Native culture with a series of educational, social and cultural events, beginning with a kick off event on Friday, Nov. 2 in the SUB Atrium from 12 to 1 p.m. that will include dance performances by the Walatowa Headstart students. I invite you to join us, and encourage you to participate in the activities, which you will find listed at American Indian Student Services.

UNM is committed to honoring and supporting the many diverse cultures that are part of our community, through celebrations but also through our leadership opportunities. For that reason, I am delighted to let you know that Pam Agoyo, director of American Indian Student Services, has been named President-elect of the National Indian Education Association, which focuses on advancing excellence for our Native students. In that role she will not only be contributing to an important dialogue, but representing UNM's commitment to our Native students and community.

The Power of Giving
The importance of community has been very much in my thoughts this past week. November is also Philanthropy Month and we are preparing to launch our annual United Way campaign, in which we have an opportunity to financially support the nonprofit organizations that are part of the fabric of our lives. The campaign will formally begin next Monday, Nov. 5. UNM has a tradition of generosity that is extraordinary, and I hope you will join me in participating in campaign activities and supporting United Way of Central New Mexico.

Philanthropy is woven through our community, not only as an expression of who we are but also as an expression of our greatness. For the many philanthropic partners who support UNM, we are the place where generosity and excellence in education meet. Last week I had several opportunities to spend time with some of our major donors. Along with the Henry Nemcik, the president and CEO of the UNM Foundation, I visited donors in New York and Philadelphia to talk with them about our university. What I found is that, though across the continent from us, their commitment to UNM is sincere and passionate. Later in the week, Janet and I traveled to Farmington, where we were the guests of Regent Fortner at a reception for our many supporters in the northwest corner of the state. Then on Friday night, I attended the Lobo Champions event, which celebrates major donors to our athletic program. The support of so many people both here at home and across the country, is to my mind, a powerful vote of support for our university.

Honoring our Community
You have an opportunity to recognize a member of our community with the Alumni Association Awards. UNM presents a number of awards to alumni and friends of the University in recognition of their outstanding service to UNM and their accomplishments in their professions and the community. Do you know a special Lobo you'd like to nominate? The deadline for the following awards is Friday, Nov. 9: Faculty Teaching Award, Erna S. Fergusson Award, Bernard S. Rodey Award, and James F. Zimmerman Award. For more information on these awards and the nomination process, visit the Alumni Awards page.

UNM2020: Let Your Voice Be Heard
If you have not yet participated in the virtual UNM2020 future vision planning, please visit UNM 2020 through Wednesday, Oct. 31. We have received numerous ideas, comments and votes on how the UNM community envisions the University in 2020. Even if you have already contributed, please feel free to go back and review any new perspectives or add your own. Many thanks to all who have helped to shape UNM2020.

Have a safe and happy Halloween. Go Lobos!