In the largest single gift ever made to the University of New Mexico by living individuals, Sonnet and Ian McKinnon have committed $7.5 million to three University of New Mexico programs. 

Projects at the Anderson School of Management, University Arena ("The Pit") and the UNM Tennis Complex will benefit. Additionally, an endowment will be established in honor of former UNM Assistant Tennis Coach Loren Dils and current Tennis Coach Alan Dils.

Announcing the gift today, UNM President David J. Schmidly said, "I couldn't be happier for the Anderson School of Management and the Department of Athletics for securing such an impactful commitment. Sonnet and Ian included both academics and athletics in their gift as they realize that both, working together, make for a stronger institution. The McKinnons obviously know the power of giving back.  They are truly 'Changing Worlds.' With the receipt of this gift, the McKinnons have given more than $8 million to Changing Worlds: The Campaign for UNM,* which began in 2006 and will conclude in conjunction with the University's 125th anniversary in 2014.

Explaining their motivation to provide this gift, the McKinnons said, "Although we now live on the east coast, we will always think of New Mexico as our home.  Its natural beauty, food, culture, and, most importantly, its wonderful people, are forever part of us."

They went on to say, "As native New Mexicans, we feel thrilled to partner with UNM, an institution for which we have profound respect and admiration. We have immense confidence in President David Schmidly, Dean Douglas Brown, Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs and Senior Associate Athletic Director Tim Cass, as well as the many other outstanding members of the UNM administration, to lead UNM to its next phase of excellence."

Their attachment to UNM has grown stronger as they have witnessed its recent achievements, both academic and athletic.  

"For example, MBA graduates from UNM's Anderson School of Management achieve a 94 percent employment rate within 90 days of graduation; and last year, of 450 student-athletes, over 300 achieved a 3.0 or better GPA, and 20 student-athletes had a 4.0 or better cumulative GPA," say the McKinnons. " UNM is the first minority majority, very-high research flagship university in the U.S. We are inspired by UNM's outstanding students and innovative educators.

For example, the Morris & Stewart Udall Foundation has awarded a scholarship to Julian Benavidez , who is from Isleta Pueblo and a student in an innovative combined Bachelor and Medical Degree at UNM. He hopes to practice medicine as a pediatrician within the Indian Health Service. And, Dr. Joni Young of the Anderson School was recently awarded the American Accounting Association's 2011 AAA Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award, the top annual research award for the entire academic accounting community. **  We hope that we're able to play a role in advancing UNM's critical mission to provide outstanding educational opportunities for all New Mexicans, as well as for students from all over the world."

The Anderson School will receive a $5 million lead gift for future facility improvements. Sonnet McKinnon, formerly Sonnet Goodenough, is a 1993 alumna of the Anderson School of Management. Dean Douglas Brown observed, "Sonnet and Ian's gift will enable Anderson to provide New Mexico's students with the resources, technology and facilities they will need to succeed in the future. Their shining example will serve as a beacon to attract support for all facets of the University."

UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs stated, "I am thrilled with the incredibly generous gift Sonnet and Ian McKinnon have made to benefit both Athletics and the Anderson School of Management, as this symbolizes the important partnership at UNM between academics and athletics.  This generous gift from former Albuquerque residents in honor of their families will make a significant difference in the lives and experiences of our student-athletes for generations."

The University Arena will receive $1 million to provide financial support to its recently completed renovation. Coach Steve Alford noted, "We are extremely grateful for the generous and historic gift by the McKinnon Family.  The fact that this gift touches both the academic and athletic community sends a wonderful message about the values of the University of New Mexico." Tim Cass, Senior Associate Athletic Director, observed, "The McKinnons and Goodenoughs are two wonderful New Mexico families who care deeply about the state and UNM.  This is a proud moment for all of us here at the University, and I believe for Sonnet and Ian."

The UNM Tennis Facility will receive $1.2 million in support from the McKinnon's gift, and $300,000 to establish an endowment for scholarships or internships in honor of brothers Alan and Loren Dils. Loren is a former assistant Tennis Coach who retired as director of the Lobo Tennis Club earlier this year. Alan, currently a coach for the UNM Tennis program, said, "Our entire UNM Men's Tennis Team is so grateful and honored to receive this generous gift from Sonnet and Ian McKinnon. It is humbling to know that they have named an endowment after us."

The McKinnons both grew up in Albuquerque. Ian is a graduate of the Albuquerque Academy and serves on their Board of Trustees.  He earned a BA from Occidental College, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was a finalist for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships. A managing partner of Ziff Brothers Investments (ZBI) in New York City, Ian is the son of Karen McKinnon Stibolt who earned her BA and MA at UNM, and the late Daniel A. McKinnon III, a former New Mexico Supreme Court Justice who received his BS from UNM.

Sonnet, who is the daughter of Kaysie and Don Goodenough, formed a manufacturing company with her father building wine and beer tanks and brewing systems for commercial beer producers worldwide after graduating from UNM Anderson. She and Ian had their first child in 2000, and Sonnet became a stay-at-home mom. She has mentored children who need support to be the first in their families to attend college and was elected to the UNM Foundation Board of Directors in 2006, where she served as National Vice-Chair through the completion of her term in 2010.

The McKinnons' past gifts in support of the University of New Mexico include generous contributions to Lobo Athletics and the McKinnon Fund for Men's Tennis; the Honor Students Travel Fund; the New Mexico Dental Hygiene Education Fund;  Presidential Scholarship endowment; and endowment of the Sonnet & Ian McKinnon Distinguished CEO Lecture Series at the Anderson School of Management. In April 2010, Ian delivered the inaugural lecture for the Distinguished CEO series, "Investment Applications of Behavioral Finance: Where Psychology and Economics Meet." The McKinnons and their two children live in Connecticut and are part-time residents of Santa Fe.

Susan McKinsey, UNM, 277-1807
Leslie Venzuela, Anderson School of Management, 277-7117
Frank Mercogliano, Lobo Athletics, 925-5521
Wendy Antonio, UNM Foundation, 277-9520

The University of New Mexico is the state's largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state's only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico's only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation. 

The UNM Foundation's mission is to promote excellence at the University of New Mexico by raising, investing and managing private gifts through the cultivation of long-term partnerships with donors and matching their interests to the University's priorities.  

*Changing Worlds: The Campaign for UNM has set a goal to raise $675 million over eight years (2006-2014).  for Student Success and Opportunity; Faculty Support and Research; Campus Programs; and Capital Projects and Facilities.

**For additional information on the recent achievements of UNM, Anderson School of Management and UNM Athletics, see the listing "Additional Points of Pride," below.


 Among the University of New Mexico's recent accomplishments:

  • UNM is one of only two Hispanic serving Very High Research University-designated institutions in the country.

  • The UNM School of Law's clinical law program is ranked 7th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

  • Over the past four years, UNM has built or renovated more than half a billion dollars of academic, student service and athletic facilities to strengthen the university's mission, national reputation for excellence and ability to serve students, faculty and staff.


Among Anderson School of Management's recent accomplishments:


  • The School was ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News in terms of percentage of MBA's employed within 90 days of graduation.

  • This year our BBA graduation rate has increased from 87% to 91%.

  • Hispanic Business Magazine named Anderson as one of the top ten Graduate Business Schools for Hispanics.

  • Undergraduate marketing students took top honors in a national marketing case study competition that included 27 teams from universities across the country. 

  • Anderson and the Accounting Department were recently reaccredited by AACSB for a full five years, and

  • Professor Joni Young was named outstanding researcher in the nation in her accounting field.


Among UNM Athletics' recent accomplishments Among UNM's 21 athletic programs and 450 student athletes:



  • Fourteen teams qualified for post season play;

  • Launch of the new Academic Success Center,

  • Student athletes recorded more than 4000 hours of community service projects within the State of  New Mexico.

  • Seven Academic All-Americans in the last two years,

  • Eight Mountain West titles,

  • Numerous NCAA tournament appearances,

  • Top five NCAA finishes by women's cross country and skiing. 

  • Record number of Mountain West scholar-athletes in 2010,

  • Every  team above the NCAA score of 925 for APR for the first time in school history as well.