Letters to the Editor
Do you know the feeling when you run into a friend you haven’t seen in a while and think, Wow, you’re looking great!
Maybe you’ve had the same feeling returning to UNM after months and months of COVID coop-up.
The campus is looking fabulous, with some stunning new buildings, some spectacular renovated spaces and meticulously groomed grounds.
If you can’t come to campus, we hope you enjoy the photos in these pages of some of the recent additions and renovations and a discussion of how a campus with an architectural identity so steeped in Pueblo Revival style is making its way into the 21st century.
Also inside we catch up with alumna Rachel Balkovec, who played catcher on the Lobos softball team in the 2000s and has made her way up the ladder of Major League Baseball. Since signing on with the New York Yankees, Balkovec’s career has resembled a hard-hit homer. She already had a number of “first woman” accolades before the most recent Big. League promotion: First female manager. Balkovec has been determined, patient and relentlessly upbeat, and we couldn’t be more proud to call her a Lobo.
At least two astute readers of Mirage readers caught an error in my letter in the Fall 2021 issue. In introducing the Q&A with alumna Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, I pointed to the historic nature of her appointment. And while it’s true that she is the first Native American to serve in the post, she is the third, not the second, New Mexican to do so.
The late Manuel Lujan, Jr., a New Mexico native, served from 1989 to 1993. But the secretary who slipped my mind was the quite unforgettable Albert B. Fall. Since we’re correcting the record here, how about a nice history lesson?
Fall, born in Kentucky and raised in Tennessee, settled in Las Cruces and became a teacher and lawyer and eventually a U.S. senator representing New Mexico. President Warren G. Harding putt Fall in charge of Interior in 1921 and just a year later Fall was charged with giving two of his friends valuable oil leases in land under his department’s control in exchange for bribes. The leases were in the Teapot Dome oil field in, Wyoming, which is why the scandal that drove Fall from government and into prison was called the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Stay safe and thanks for reading!