Louis Moya, Director of Development

UNM-Taos celebrates 10 years as the branch campus in Taos

By Bill Knief

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Friday, October 4 is a special day for UNM-Taos. We have two events going on, both hosted by our neighbor, the Taos Country Club, just across from Klauer campus on County Road 110.

In the morning there will be a gathering of more than 80 students from UNM-Taos, Northern, Santa Fe Community College, Luna, Highlands and UNM-Las Vegas attending a workshop titled “Unleashing Your Superpowers”. These non-traditional students enrolled in technical certificate and two year degree programs will be working on identifying their unique strengths, discussing job placement, honing their networking abilities and building professional readiness skills. It’s part of the Accelerate Technical Training and Job Placement program, one of the new generation of programs, such as Accelerate, STEM, CAMP, Upward Bound for Veterans and Upward Bound for Math and Science, proliferating at UNM-Taos. They are designed to assist targeted groups of students in succeeding academically and honing their skills in order to be more competitive in the workforce of tomorrow.

Then from 4:30 to 7:30 the Development Office is hosting a free, open to the public reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary of UNM-Taos becoming a branch of the University of New Mexico. Dr. Louis Moya, Development Office Director, says it’s going to be “a great opportunity for folks to come out and have some fun. It’s a community celebration—a chance for people to celebrate the ten years our branch has served this community both in hard times and good times. It’s also a nice way for us to let the community know that we appreciate their support over the years. There will be music by the Arroyo Kings from 5:30 to 7:30, and really delicious food served in an informal setting.

“And if you are so inclined, you can make a donation to our scholarship fund, but it’s not required by any means. Any gift of any amount is appreciated, and every gift is memorialized with a small token of our appreciation. We will have available lovely tin stars of different sizes depending on the level of gift or donation with the donor’s name displayed at Klauer campus. You can find out more about the many giving opportunities by going to our website, unmtaosgiving.org, by giving me a call at 737-3737, or emailing me at moya@unm.edu. Just don’t forget to join us at the country club on Friday October 3 for our ten year celebration.”

A lot of things have changed at the community college over the past decade, but we have always been able to count on the institutional memory and steady judgment of the long-time faculty and staff to keep us going. Rudy Baca, Physical Plant Director, has been with us the longest, and last week when I saw him out at Klauer, I said it must feel like he’s practically a part of the furniture after more than two decades at the college.

“We’re not part of the furniture, we are the furniture,” he laughed. “I’ve been here from the beginning, since we first opened the doors. In fact, I was the one that opened the door!

“When we first started the Taos Education Center it was at 115 Civic Plaza Drive. We only had the front of what’s now the Administration Building, and had been the old Carson National Forest supervisor’s office. We started with maybe 130 students. We had one computer lab and a couple of classrooms that we shared with the high school. But it was a good start. A very good start.

“By 2003 when we became a branch, all we had was Fred Peralta Hall and Padre Martinez Hall. Back then they didn’t have names, they were just buildings. Dr. Augustine Martinez was our Executive Director. He was a real go-getter. He was determined to build this campus. One time one of the directors, I believe it was Iggy (Ignacio Peralta) called Dr. Martinez the Energizer Bunny, because he was always on the go, trying to make this thing work. It was a lot of fun back then.”

It’s also going to be a lot of fun at the ten year celebration at the country club on Friday afternoon. Try not to miss it.

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