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New Mexico State University to honor Hispano alumni at banquet

Clara Apodaca, former first lady of New Mexico, will be the keynote speaker for New Mexico State University's first Hispano Alumni Association Banquet at 6 p.m. Friday, April 26, in the Corbett Center Ballrooms on campus.



Clara Apodaca will speak at New Mexico State University's first Hispano Alumni Association Banquet April 26.

Awards will be presented to the Outstanding Hispano Alumnus of the Year and to eight outstanding Hispano students who are graduating from New Mexico State and the Dona Ana Branch Community College in May.

Apodaca, a native of Las Cruces and an alumna of New Mexico State, became the state's first lady in 1975 when her then-husband, Jerry Apodaca, became governor. She is currently the director of corporate development for Cornet Technology in Washington, D.C.

She served in the Clinton Administration as a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and later served as director of protocol and White House liaison for the Overseas Private Investment Corp.

Apodaca is on the board of directors of the Hitatchi Foundation and the Spanish Colonial Arts Museum of New Mexico. She chairs the Jeff Apodaca Celebration of Life Foundation, is a member of the White House Millennium Commission to Save America's Treasures and was recently appointed to the board of directors of the NMSU Foundation. She was honored in January for the establishment of the Governor's Art Gallery in the State Capitol Building.

"We are honored to have Clara Apodaca speak at the first banquet of the Hispano Alumni Association," said Christina Chavez Kelley, assistant to the university president. "She represents the spectacular achievements of so many of our Hispano alumni."

The Outstanding Hispano Alumnus of the Year award will be given to a person who has a life-long pursuit of knowledge and achievement, a distinguished record of public service and a commitment to the continuing success of New Mexico State. The student awards will be given to those with academic achievements, university service and community service. The awards will be presented by University President Jay Gogue and Provost William Flores.

Chicano Programs Director Laura Gutierrez Spencer said the banquet will be a tradition to keep Hispano alumni in touch with the campus, academic programs and student organizations.

"The large numbers and great qualities of our Hispano students and alumni are one of the things that make New Mexico State so unique among research universities in this country," she said.

The Hispano Alumni Association, a division of New Mexico State's Alumni Association, will honor the Hispano alumni of the university and 17 Hispanic student organizations that have been a part of the university's history. These organizations include Asociacion de Mariachis de la Frontera, Ballet Folklorico, El Club de Espanol, Estudiantes Unidos, Hispanic Educator's Association, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, La Raza Habla, Los Chicanos, Los Conquistadores, Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, Mujeres Unidas Para Justicia y Educacion de la Raza, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Sociedad Estudiantil de Chicanos en Ciencias Avanzadas, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Teatro ATM.

The public is invited to attend the banquet. The social hour will begin at 6 p.m. with a no-host bar and the banquet will begin at 7 p.m. Entertainment will include a presentation by the Ballet Folklorico Tierra Del Encanto. Dress for the event is business attire.

Tickets for the banquet are $25 and may be purchased at Atlas Travel on the Downtown Mall, Si Senor Restaurant on Amador Avenue and at Chicano Programs, Room 138 in the Garcia Annex on campus. In Santa Fe, tickets may be purchased at New Mexico State's Office of Governmental Affairs at 538 Old Santa Fe Trail.

Reservations must be made by April 22. For more information call the Chicano Programs at (505) 646-4206.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/apodaca_clara.jpg.
CUTLINE: Clara Apodaca will speak at New Mexico State University's first Hispano Alumni Association Banquet April 26.

Sarah Wheeler
April 10, 2002