UNM graduates making the "lobo" hand sign

Showing Pride

Jun 4, 2023 | Letters, Spring 2023

Late last fall, my daughter and her friend joined me at a UNM Alumni event at Hodgin Hall.  Both are 25 years old and recent master’s level graduates from UNM.  This was her first UNM Alumni event and I was pleased to have her meet the great Alumni Relations staff and many of the Alumni Relations board members and volunteers.

It was a nice surprise when she called me the next day (not even via text) and told me that she had a wonderful evening.  She then said, “I was amazed that all the people in the room went to UNM and have ended up being very successful.” Her comment made me think once again about how New Mexicans view and speak about their state.

As Alumni Association Board president, I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the last six months being the best ambassador for the University of New Mexico that I can and have had the pleasure of meeting alums and students who have shared stories about how UNM has changed their lives and the lives of their families.

Too often, I hear about high school students and their families feeling pressure to attend out-of-state colleges and universities for a variety of reasons.  And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with this decision, one of the unintended consequences is that students often end up with burdensome levels of debt before they even consider graduate school or start their career.

With tools like the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship and the new Opportunity Scholarship, New Mexico students can receive a first-rate education from a major research university with little to no debt right here at UNM.  And they get to attend college in a state with rich, diverse cultures and beautiful scenery.

Though we live in a state with plenty of challenges, one thing we New Mexicans aren’t the best at is recognizing the positive attributes of our state and its institutions. Our universities and colleges are part of what makes New Mexico a great state and UNM alums can play a major part in sharing this positive narrative.

As I reminded my daughter, be proud of your journey and be proud to be a graduate of The University of New Mexico. 

Amy Miller (’85 BA, ’93 MPA)
Alumni Association President

Spring 2023 Mirage Magazine Features


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