Video recording of the 2017 Awards Ceremony:
Black Alumni Chapter Award Recipients
Hakim Bellamy (‘14 MA)
Hakim Bellamy is Albuquerque’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2012-2014) and an award-winning author, actor, musician public speaker, television host and educator. During his two year tenure as Poet Laureate he delivered over 200 performances, workshops and presentations. First Black Inaugural Poet Laureate for Albuquerque. He is also a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion. He holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at UNM.
Rev. Donald Walton (‘73 BSPE)
First Black UNM athlete to organize UNM Black athletes in an ongoing protest against Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and the Mormon Church for its racist practices against Black athletes and Black people. He and other Black UNM athletes experience racial slurs personally when participating in sports event in Provo and in Albuquerque. He also spoke against the unfair treatment of Black Athletes at UNM.
Living Legends Awardees
C. Danny Spriggs (‘74 BUS)
A secret service agent that is recognized for his heroic efforts during the attempt to assassinate the President of the United States Ronald Reagan. He was a member of the Presidential detail. He was the second in command of the entire United States Secret Service. He is currently Vice President of Global Security over 81 countries for Associated Press.
Van Tate (‘88 BA)
Van Tate has been covering New Mexico sports for the last 20 years. The Hobbs High School and University of New Mexico graduate says he was destined for a journalism career at an early age. While still a child, Van would tape record his own version of the news. He called it, “the creepy scary news.” “I really forgot all about that,” said Van, “my mother played a recording for me after I got my first job in the business.” Van was a business major when he first arrived at UNM. He said he doesn’t know why he switched to journalism. He said it was just a natural move. That move has given him a chance to cover the Indy 500, NFL games, Bowl games, NCAA Tournaments and a long list of other exciting events.
You can catch Van doing sports Monday through Friday on KRQE News 13 and 2 KASA Fox. He also has an online sports discussion called, “The Sports Office”. His guest list includes a variety of people from the world of sports from NFL stars, College players, coaches, and even an occasional movie star. Some of Vans achievements include, National Sportswriter and Sportscaster of the Year New Mexico (11 time winner), Albuquerque the Magazine Best of the City Sports Reporter (5 times winner), Associated Press Best Sports (5 time winner), and NMBA Best Sports (3 time winner).
Van loves music. He has experience playing 4 instruments but, is mostly known for his singing voice. Van also loves to bake during his spare time. It is always a sweet treat. He says baking is his therapy.
Honors College Chapter Award Recipient
2017 Distinguished Alumni
A fourth generation New Mexican, Gary has crafted two careers as both a distinguished courtroom lawyer and as an expert in the governance and financial management of nonprofit organizations. Following his graduation from Albuquerque Academy, Gordon attended the University of New Mexico and graduated summa cum laude in general honors, earning his bachelor’s degree with distinction from the Anderson School of Management. He was in the first group of scholarship recipients to be recognized as a Distinguished Presidential Scholar, and received the Clauve Award as the University’s outstanding senior. Elected to membership in both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, Gary continued his education at the school of law.
Mr. Gordon then practiced with the firm of Miller Stratvert P.A. in Albuquerque for 23 years. His practice focused on courtroom work, principally in the defense of various tort and contract disputes, with an emphasis on medical malpractice defense. He was recognized by the New Mexico board of legal specialization as a trial specialist in civil law. He was chosen by his peers for listing in Best Lawyers in America.
In 2004, Mr. Gordon concluded fifteen years of service as a trustee of Albuquerque Academy, including three years as chair of the board. Also in 2004, he began service as a trustee of the University of New Mexico Foundation, serving as chair of its endowment investment committee for seven years. He concluded two years as board chair of that foundation in 2013 and served for a total 12 years having been in the core group of trustees that moved the Foundation to a new interdependent status at UNM. Committed to improving the economic condition for everyone in Albuquerque, he currently serves as chair of the board of directors of Albuquerque Economic Development, the state’s premier business recruitment and job expansion organization. He also serves on the investment committee of the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
The board of trustees of Albuquerque Academy appointed him the school’s chief legal and financial officer in 2009, and he elected to retire from the private practice of law to serve the Academy and further its mission of accessibility. He has been married for over 30 years to Terri Giron, and alumna of the UNM schools of management and public administration, and they have two adult children. They are active in many philanthropic and charitable causes throughout Albuquerque.
For questions or more information:
Alumni Relations Office