Tuesday, January 11 marked the last of six Alumni-Legislator Receptions hosted by the UNM Alumni Association. More than 20 Legislators attended at least one of the receptions held in alumni homes throughout the Albuquerque metropolitan area and Rio Rancho. Between 30 and 60 people attended each reception and discussed issues that will affect UNM in the upcoming session.
Those involved, including UNM Alumni Association President Coleman Travelstead, said they were pleased with the participation of the legislators and the support of alumni and the UNM administration.
"These receptions provide a nice, relaxed and informal way to interact with the legislators," said Laurie Moye, president of the UNM Architecture/Planning Alumni Chapter said
ASUNM (Associated Students of UNM, the student government organization) Lobbying Chair Jon de Young said, "We appreciate the legislators' willingness to talk with the students and discuss student concerns and the acceptance we have felt from the alumni who opened doors for us."
The first post-election reception was held at Travelstead's home in the near-Northeast Heights. Senators Cisco McSorley and Diane Snyder and Representative Danice Picraux attended, along with UNM alumni, students, staff, faculty, regents and administrators. Discussion at this event focused on the value of UNM and the possible legislation resulting from the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education.
The second reception was in the North Valley home of Marty and Rod Wilson. Six legislators attended (Senators Dede Feldman and Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Representatives Rick Miera, Harriet Ruiz, Ed Sandoval and Teresa Zanetti). Discussion focused on the difficulties of balancing the needs for funding education and health care.
Jennifer and Mike Riordan hosted the reception in the Southeast Heights. Due to scheduling conflicts, legislators were unable to attend but participants discussed UNM's priorities and anticipated legislation during the coming session.
Alumna Carol Moye and her husband, Mike, hosted the South Valley reception. Representative Miguel Garcia attended and joined new UNM lobbyist (and former New Mexico Senator) Richard Romero in a discussion of the challenges facing UNM and the possible funding options.
Former Alumni Association President Steve Ciepiela and his wife, Marian. hosted the reception in the far-Northeast Heights. Nine legislators attended (Senators Mark Boitano, Kent Cravens, Bill Payne and Diane Snyder and Representatives Janice Arnold-Jones, Jimmie C. Hall, Larry Larranaga, Kathy McCoy and Greg Alan Payne) with over 60 alumni and UNM administrators. A very frank and open discussion with legislators revealed some issues of concern and challenges to be addressed during the coming session.
The final reception took place in Rio Rancho in the home of alumni Erin and Peter Doles. Senator Joe Carraro and Representatives Thomas Anderson and Jane Powdrell-Culbert attended. Hostess Erin Doles is the Nurse CEO of University Children's Hospital. Many people connected with UNM Health Sciences attended, along with alumni from Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Corrales. Much conversation focused on the needs of the Health Sciences Center and possible changes to the Bridge Scholarship program.
Contact: Sam Giammo, 272-3322