Chapter Award Recipients

 Black Alumni Chapter Award Recipients

Trailblazer Award

Dr. Harold Bailey

Dr. Bailey earned a BS in education in 1968, an MA in 1971, and a PhD in 1975. He was an athlete at UNM and is currently the Executive Director of the State Office of African American Affairs, appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson. He was the first Black administrator to orchestrate an athletic boycott for the mistreatment of Black athletes.

Debra Johns

Debra Johns earned a BA in elementary education in 1973 and an MA in 1983. She was the first Black to bring a college enrichment program to UNM for students K-12. This program enhances students' math and science skills.

Dr. Charles Becknell, Sr.

Dr. Becknell earned an MA in 1968 and a PhD in American studies in 1975. He has held several high-profile positions throughout his career and was the first Director of African American Studies at UNM.

Rodney Bowe

Rodney Bowe attended UNM from 1990 to 2000 while studying jazz music. He earned a BBA from ENMU in 1982. In 1994 he took the lead on creating African American Student Day at UNM, a recruitment program that exposes students throughout the state to UNM. This important program still exists today.

Helen Hamilton

Helen Hamilton earned a BSN in 1970. She was the first Black counselor for the Minority Recruitment and Retention Program for the College of Nursing. She served on the Governor Appointed Board for Nursing and was one of the first Blacks to enter the College of Nursing.

Charles "Chuck" Roberts

Charles Roberts was a three-year letterman in football at UNM. He earned a BS in education in 1965 and a MS in education in 1969. He was the first Assistant and Associate Dean of Students at UNM.

2011 Honorees

Mary Sue Gaines DePass

Mary Sue Gaines DePass was honored with the Recognition Award. She was an educator, mentor, Homecoming Queen. She was crowned the First Black Homecoming Queen in the history of The University of New Mexico in 1968. She was also the first African American female to earn a position on the famous Chaparral Squad from 1969-1970.

Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson earned a BUS in political science and history in 1973 and received his law degree in 1976. He was one of the founding members of UNM's Black Studies Program, Black Student Union, and African American Alumni Association.

Barbara Simmons

Barbara Simmons earned a BA in political science in 1969 and a JD in 1974. She was one of the founding members of the Black Student Union, the Black Studies Program, and the African American Alumni Association at UNM.

For questions or more information:

Alumni Relations Office
O: 505-277-5808
800-ALUM-UNM (258-6866)