October 22, 2004
UNM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO HONOR SIX WITH ZIA AWARD
The UNM Alumni Association will honor six alumni with its Zia Award on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004 at the All-University Breakfast. A part of the University’s homecoming traditions, the breakfast begins at 9 a.m. at the Albuquerque Petroleum Club.
This year’s recipients include: UNM ski coach
George Brooks; New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica Garcia; Los
Alamos Laboratory computer scientist Thomas Kelley; community volunteer
Karen Pharris; educator Jacki Pieracci Riggs; and retired USWEST executive
and UNM philanthropist Duffy Swan.
Brooks began his involvement with Lobo ski program as a student-athlete when he spent time not only on the slopes, but also on campus, petitioning signatures for the ski club to take on varsity status. More than 5,000 signatures later, it did; then UNM Athletics Director Pete McDavid appointed Brooks the first coach.
The year before her appointment as secretary, Garcia served as executive director of the New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators. In 2003, Garcia was named Educator of the Year by the New Mexico Research and Study Council. She was nominated for National Superintendent of the Year in 2002 by the American Association of School Administrators; named the 2002 Superintendent of the Year by the New Mexico School Superintendents Association; and honored as a Top Ten Hispanic Woman in New Mexico by the New Mexico Legislature in 2000.
Tom Kelley (‘66 BS, ‘68 MA, ‘73
Ph.D., ‘84 MA)
Kelley retired this year, but continues to teach at UNM-Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Graduate Center. He has enrolled at St. John’s University in Santa Fe, working toward a master’s degree in liberal arts and has begun writing poetry.
Karen Pharris (‘68 BA)
Pharris has also chaired the Junior League of Albuquerque as it supported the Ronald McDonald House expansion, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History opening and Explora’s evolution. Pharris is still a sustaining member of the Junior League. When her children were in high school, Pharris initiated the Albuquerque High All-Night Prom that recurred for years afterwards. Pharris operates her own desktop publishing business, designing newsletters for non-profit organizations.
Jacki Pieracci Riggs (‘84 MA, ‘92
She was the first woman in New Mexico to lead a correctional cabinet department and one of only a handful of women in the nation at that time with those responsibilities. Riggs served as a Commissioner to the Education Commission of the States for six years. Currently, she is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education and serves on the Lieutenant Governor’s Steering Committee on Early Childhood Education.
Duffy Swan (‘68 BA)
An active community player, Swan chaired the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico for five years; served as a member of the Albuquerque Economic Forum since 1998, chairing its education forum three times; chaired the Hosanna Ministries Foundation Board since last year; co-founded Leadership Albuquerque and Leadership Farmington; chaired the Greater Albuquerque United Way Campaign; chaired the Albuquerque Business/Education Compact (ABEC); chaired the Governor’s Drug Awareness Program; served on the board of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce; and was a member of the UNM Anderson Schools Foundation board.
During the same breakfast, the UNM Mortar Board Honorary
will present its Lobo Award to Fannye Irving-Gibbs, who earned her
BA in 1988, at the age of 74, and her master’s two years later.
Irving-Gibbs has been a tireless community volunteer.