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NMSU Distinguished Alumni to be honored during Homecoming week

New Mexico State University's Alumni Association will honor its 1998 Distinguished Alumni and the recipient of the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service at an Eye Opener Breakfast during NMSU's Homecoming weekend set for Oct. 29 - 31.


The Eye Opener Breakfast will be 8 - 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Corbett Center Student Union Ballrooms. Ticket reservations are required for the breakfast. Tickets, at $8 per person, can be purchased from the Alumni Relations office by calling (505) 646-3616.

The association also will honor Mariana Lara Lopez as the 1998 Conquistador of the Year at the Conquistadores Dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, at the Holiday Inn de Las Cruces. Tickets are $17.50 and can be purchased through the Alumni Relations office.

Lopez dedicated 24 years to teaching in Las Cruces public schools. She received her bachelor's degree in education in 1972 and her a master's degree in education in 1978, both from NMSU. Lopez was instrumental in developing the curriculum for Spanish courses in the Las Cruces middle schools.

Distinguished alumni also will be introduced at college receptions on Friday at various locations. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are given each year to individuals who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields and brought recognition to NMSU.

Holm Bursum III will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. He will be introduced at a reception in Room 330 of Gerald Thomas Hall from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Bursum, of Socorro, graduated from NMSU in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture. He is the president, CEO and chairman of the board of First State Bank of Socorro. Bursum is a member of the Rio Grande Historical Society Board, a member of the Advisory Council of Financial Institutions with the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, and the chairman of the New Mexico State Highway Commission.

Bruce Firkins will be recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences as its Distinguished Alumnus. He will be introduced at a reception from 2 - 3:30 p.m. in Corbett Center's Dona Ana Room.

Firkins, of Deming, received a bachelor's degree in music from NMSU in 1956. He was a high school band director for 16 years. He later became a full-time real estate broker. Firkins is a member and past president of the Deming Rotary Club and was commissioner of the Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo from 1994 to this year.

The College of Business Administration and Economics will honor Donald Beasley, a 1972 graduate of the accounting department. Beasley will be introduced at a reception from 3 - 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Business Complex.

Beasley, of Las Cruces, is a self-employed certified public accountant and a partner of Beasley, Mitchell & Co. accounting firm. Beasley is president of the NMSU Foundation. He also is a recipient of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Public Service Award for his commitment to charitable, civic and religious organizations.

Michael Davis, of Santa Fe, is the honoree from the College of Education. He will be recognized at a reception from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in the lobby of O'Donnell Hall.

Davis received his master's degree in education from NMSU in 1974. He is the New Mexico superintendent of public instruction. He also is a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers and an adviser to the Golden Apple Foundation.

Peggy Morse, of Seattle, will be recognized by the College of Engineering during a reception from 3 - 4:30 p.m. in Engineering Complex III.

Morse graduated from NMSU in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. She is the director of sales operations for Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. In 1997, Boeing named Morse the Corporate Focal for NMSU. As Corporate Focal, she is the key contact for NMSU on any interaction with Boeing. Morse is involved in Seattle's art community and has served as a Boeing representative for the Corporate Council of the Arts and the Seattle Museum.

The College of Health and Social Services will introduce Sharon Parra as its Distinguished Alumna during a reception in Corbett Center Room 315 from 10 - 11 a.m.

Parra, of Scottsdale, Ariz., received a bachelor's degree in nursing from NMSU in 1991. She is the supervisor of hematology and medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. Parra is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and the Phoenix Oncology Nursing Society. She also is the co-course director of the fall nursing program at the Mayo Clinic.

Ramon Ramirez Lopez, of Venezuela, has been chosen as the International Distinguished Alumnus. Ramirez is a 1978 graduate of NMSU's agricultural business program. He was recently appointed minister of agriculture for the Republic of Venezuela. During the past two years, Ramirez has been seeking ways to collaborate with NMSU to develop extension programs in Venezuela.

The James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service will be presented to William E. (Bill) Sauble of Maxwell, N.M. The Cole Award is presented each year to an NMSU graduate or an active member of the Alumni Association for support and involvement in NMSU and for professional, civic and humanitarian service.

Sauble graduated from NMSU in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in animal science. He is the president of Sauble Ranch Co., a family corporation. Sauble is the chairman of the New Mexico Livestock Board and a member of the Society for Range Management. Sauble was named the Outstanding Alumnus for the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics during NMSU's Centennial Celebration in 1988.

Both Ramirez and Sauble will be introduced at a luncheon at noon on Friday in the Corbett Center Senate Gallery.

Friday's receptions at each college are free and open to the public. For more information about the Eye Opener Breakfast or the Conquistadores Dinner, call Alumni Relations at (505) 646-3616.