Commencement is often thought of as a “new beginning,” a time to conclude one facet of life and a time to start anew. On Saturday, May 11 at 9 a.m. at Dreamstyle Arena, about 3,800 students from The University of New Mexico will graduate as part of the institution’s 2019 Spring Commencement, a ceremony that honors all doctoral, master’s, bachelor's and associate's degree candidates from all schools, colleges, and degree-granting programs.
Approximately 3,800 students are projected to receive degrees from UNM’s Albuquerque and Extended University campuses, as follows: 2,260 bachelor’s degrees, 590 master’s degrees, 108 doctorates, 99 juris doctorates, 80 medical doctorates, 76 pharmacy doctorates, 42 graduate certificates, and 19 education specialists.
At UNM-Gallup, 165 associate degrees and 61 certificates are projected to be awarded; at Los Alamos, 64 associate degrees and 38 certificates; at Taos, 56 associate degrees and 47 certificates; and at Valencia, 69 associate degrees and 72 certificates.
The master of ceremonies for this year’s commencement exercises is UNM Board of Regents President Doug Brown, who will preside over the ceremonies. The National Anthem will be performed by Vocalist Michaela P. Bateman, candidate for Bachelor of Music and Music Education. The keynote address will be presented by Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham.
One of the special honors awarded during the commencement ceremony is the Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize, presented this spring to Dr. William Taylor, who earned his Ph.D. with distinction from UNM in 2017.
Taylor, a National Geographic Young Explorer, is an archaeologist and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. Born and raised in Montana, his research explores the ways that horses and other domestic animals have impacted human societies and human history around the globe.
His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, the U.S. Fulbright Student Research program, and a number of other national and international granting agencies.
Taylor’s work on early horse culture in Mongolia and Central Asia has been featured by CNN and Science Magazine and published in leading international journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and PLoS One.
UNM will also present three individuals with Honorary Degrees including Mack Chase, Sam Donaldson and Margaret Randall. Chase and Donaldson will receive Doctor of Humane Letters, while Randall will receive Doctor of Letters.
One of the long-time traditions that will be celebrated during commencement involves UNM's Golden Graduates. The UNM Alumni Association is celebrating the Class of 1969 to the Golden Graduates and Heritage Club Weekend—with activities on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11.
Alums will join fellow Lobos, friends and classmates in celebrating the Golden Graduates of 1969 and Heritage Club members, alumni who have graduated 50 or more years ago, for two days of fun events, including participating in UNM’s Spring 2019 commencement.
This year's Golden Graduates include:
Jerry Beeman, Dale Berg, Louella Buchanan, Alan Chodorow, C. Hugh Formhals, Ken Gattas, Rod Geer, Evelyn Hahn, Judith Ann Hampton, Harold Lavender, Rene Matison, Glenn E. Namura, Patrick Gorka Olaechea, David Parks, Walter Peyton Jr., Marilyn K. Price, June (Arnold) Romero, Thomas Stribling III, Coleman Travelstead, Claude Valles, Arthur Verardo and Suzanne (Jones) Verardo.
Lujan Grisham is a 12th generation New Mexican, who was elected as New Mexico’s 32nd governor in November 2018 after serving in the United States House of Representatives representing New Mexico's 1st congressional district from 2013-18.
She is the first Democratic woman to be elected as governor of New Mexico, as well as the first Democratic Latina, nationally, to be elected to the State’s highest office. Additionally, Lujan Grisham is a two-time UNM alumna, having earned both her undergraduate and law degrees at UNM.
An Albuquerque native, Bateman is in her sixth and final year of studies at The University of New Mexico as both a Vocal Performance and Music Education major. She recently completed her student teaching at Rio Rancho High School and is currently teaching at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary.
For a complete schedule of ceremonies, department or school/college convocations, as well as additional commencement information and inspiring graduate videos, visit Lobo Grad.
* An official degree count is determined following commencement.