Black Alumni Chapter Award Recipients
Charles P. Roberts Fellowship Award
Ashley M. Carter
Ashley M. Carter is currently a Sport Administration, PhD student at The University of New Mexico. She earned her Undergraduate degree in Kinesiology as well as her Masters degree in Sport Administration from Grambling State University, in Grambling, La. Ashley attended college on a softball scholarship where she was able to transfer her athletic skills into life skills. She has interned with the United States Olympic Committee, Major League Baseball and the Albuquerque Isotopes. Currently, Ashley is her fourth year as the Head Softball Coach at La Cueva High School. She is also the United States Specialty Sports Association Tournament Director for the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho Area and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporate. Ashley plans to start a nonprofit organization within the state of New Mexico for young female athletes who are interested in playing sports at the next level. The goal of the organization will not only be to build better athletes but better people. The organization will focus on academic tutoring and advancement, athletic skills training and exposure and community service.
Living Legend Award
Don Perkins played college football at The University of New Mexico. He was a three-time All-Skyline selection and the Skyline sophomore of the year. In 1958, he led the nation in kickoff returns. Perkins set 12 records as a three-year halfback starter. The school retired his number (43) when he completed his career, which was a first in The University of New Mexico's history. He was inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame and The University of New Mexico Hall of Honor. Perkins began playing with the Cowboys in 1961, earning NFL rookie of the year honors. On September 24, 1961, he became the first running back in Cowboys' history to run for 100 yards in a game. Perkins' best year was in 1962, when he rushed for 945 yards and seven touchdowns, becoming the first Cowboy to make the All-Pro team. He ranks third on the Cowboys' all-time rushing yards and rushing touchdowns lists behind Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and to one All-Pro team. in 1968, he helped end the Cowboys practice of segregating players when traveling to hotels. Perkins retired as the fifth leading rusher in NFL history. He was inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium alongside his quarterback Don Meredith in 1976. In 2006, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Ira L. Harge
According to head coach Bob King, the rise in basketball quality at UNM really began when Ira L. Harge came to UNM after two seasons at Burlington (Iown) Junior College. When the 6-9 Harge reported in 1962, he was the tallest player to ever wear a New Mexico Basketball uniform. Lobomania was front and center for the first time during Harge's senior season of 1963-64. UNM finished 23-6, tied for first in the WAC and made a sensational run in the NIT in Madison Square Garden. In the NIT, the Lobos beat Drake and NYU, but lost to Bradley in the final. Nonethelesss, thousands of UNM fans greeted the team upon its arrival at the Albuquerque airport and the program has flourished ever since. Harge scored 1,016 pointes in two seasons at UNM. He was drafted by the Philidelphia 76ers of the NBA, but signed with the newly founded American Basketball Association, where he eventually played on six leagure playoff teams, including the 1968 ABA champion Oakland Oaks.
Adolph Plummer arguably stands head and shoulders above every track and field athlete Albuquerque has ever watched perform on the prep or college level. On May 25, 1963, running for The University of New Mexico at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in Tempe, Arizona, Plummer shocked future Olympic champion Ulis Williams on his home track and beat Glenn Davis's five year old record by 8 tenths of a second, clocking a 44.9. Plummer's only memory of the race was hearing the started say "set" before the race began. Plummer's time was also fast enough to tie the existing world record in the shorter 400 meters, the last time the same record stood for both events simultaneously. Adolph Plummer is a retired American track and field athlete. He is best remembered as the world record holder in the 440-yard dash.
Rita Powdrell earned a Bachelors of Science degree from The University of New Mexico in Sociology. In 1983 she became a part of Mr. Powdrell's Barbeque House. Also around that same time she began doing histories on the founders of black businesses within New Mexico. She also worked on chronicling African American History of New Mexico. In 1995 she did an exhibit entitled New Mexico's African American Legacy: Visible, Vital and Valuable, at the South Broadway Cultural Center. In 2002 the African American Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico was established. Partnered with Mr. Clarence Fielder in Las Cruces and the African American History of Las Cruces, their exhibit was added to the New Mexico's African American Legacy Visibly Vital and Valuable. The Museum has now researched: New Mexico Educators (Segregation to Reservation to Integration), The History of Barbers and Beauticians in the State, Outstanding Athletes and Their Journeys.
Athalia McDonald was born on October 31, 1915 to Pearl Eubank McDonald and Walter A. McDonald. Pearl Eubank, Athalia's mother married Walter A. McDonald who owned a Super Service in Roswell, N.M. and later a Savenger business in Albuquerque. The family moved to Albuquerque in 1920 when Athalia was still a young girl. Mrs. McDonald was a member of Home Circle Club which is the oldest African American Women's Club in the state. Athalia graduated from UNM in 1941. Her sister Thelma graduated 3 years earlier and she knew Romeo Lewis whom Barbara Richardson states was the first graduate of UNM in 1930. Romeo Lewis was the son of Dr. James Lewis who came to Albuquerque in 1918 and was the second African-American doctor in the city. Romeo Lewis also became a doctor. Athalia married James Jones in 1941. He worked on the train and would become a Tuskegee Airman. Athalia came back to Albuquerque while her husband was in WWII and after his return they moved to Los Angeles, California in 1945. Athalia would become a clerk with the city of Los Angeles. She would return to Albuquerque in 2000 to be with her sister Myrtle Phillips. Athalia's husband had passed in 1985. Athalia will be 99 on October 31. She now has one surviving sister, Bernice Slaughter who married Edgar Slaughter.
Marsha K. Hardeman
Marsha K. Hardeman has a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from The University of New Mexico and a Juris Doctorate from The University of New Mexico School of Law. Hardeman's love for community and sharing the messages of the strengths and achievements throughout the Black community are what propelled her to launch her newspaper publication, The Cornish Russwurm Chronicles. The Cornish Russwurm Chronicles circulated throughout New Mexico from 1898-1995. The message in the newspaper's masthead, "...We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us," which reflected the historic words of Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm. Hardeman sought to create a voice that would reflect and showcase the wealth of accomplishment, positivity and marvel of the Black community. Hardeman used her own funds, often making payment for the publication a priority over hew own household expenses. Seeking to cultivate supporting revenue from advertisements and subscriptions proved to be a full-time challenge in and of itself. Determined to succeed on a shoestring budget, daughters, Kenna and Jessica, often were the bulk main 'crew', organizing and sorting nearly 2,000 newspapers into destination piles for mailings around the State of New Mexico and across the United States. Hardeman was able, almost miraculously, to produce publication after publication for nearly six years.
Geraldine M. Harge
Geraldine M. Harge earned her Ed.S. and MA from UNM. Gerry worked as a teacher for the Albuquerque Public School system from 1965-1969, a principal from 1977-1990 and as the Regional Superintendent from 1990-1994. As the first and only African-American to accomplish the task of becoming the Regional Superintendent for the state of New Mexico, she has won many awards. In 1990 she won the Award of Honor from the National School Public Relations. In 1991 she won the Footprint ward from the NAACP, and in 1992 she won the Rising Star Award.
Captain Charlie A. Jones, Jr.
In 1969, after an early promotion to E-5, Captain Charlie A. Jones, Jr. was selected to be a member of the first Broadened Opportunities for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) Program class at Bainbridge, Maryland. BOOST was a U.S. Navy initiative to increase the number of minority officers in the Navy by injecting potential officers into existing commissioning programs. Upon completion of a year of BOOST preparation, Captain Jones entered the Navy Enlisted Science and Engineering Program (NESEP) at The University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1970. Captain Jones graduated UNM and was commissioned in December 1973 as a Surface Warfare Officer. He served as Executive Officer on board USS FANNING (FF1076), then served as Chief Staff Officer for COMDESRON 21 before relieving as Commanding Officer of USS Brewton (FF1086) during Operation Desert Shield in the Arabian Gulf. Captain Jones also served tours ashore as Company Officer and BAttalion Officer at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis) where he taught LEadership and Ethics courses and was a member of the Admissions Board. While there, Captain Jones became the first BOOST student to reach the Senior Officer rank of Captain (0-6). He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2002. Captain Jones' personal awards include: The Legion of Merit, The Meritorious Service Medal, The Navy Commendation Medal, and the Good Conduct Award.
Ronnie E. Wallace
Ronnie E. Wallace is an alumnus of The University of New Mexico, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Master of Arts in Public Administration. A former Director of the John Marshall Community Center, with the City's Department of Human Services, Wallace served as the Gang Intervention Project Specialist for the City of Albuquerque and was responsible for the implementation of strategies for reducing youth violence in the City of Albuquerque. He served as the staff person for former Mayor Martin Chavez's implementation of the Mayor's Council on Gangs. Wallace is also the publisher of The Perspective, The Perspective 2, and The Statewide Focus magazines, currently the only African-American publications in the State of New Mexico. The Perspective is in its 13th year of publication, serving as an important networking tool for the African American community in New Mexico and provides financial assistance for youth in the State.
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