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Albert T. Gonzales to receive honorary doctorate

Santa Fe attorney Albert T. Gonzales will receive an honorary doctorate at New Mexico State University's Fall Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14.



Albert T. Gonzales will receive an honorary doctorate at New Mexico State University's Fall Commencement ceremony Dec. 14. (courtesy photo)

Gonzales is being honored for his service to the disadvantaged, for his contributions in public office at the state and local levels, and for the inspiration he has provided through his accomplishments after losing his sight at a young age.

About 1,300 students are candidates for degrees at the end of the fall semester and about 800 of them are expected to participate in the commencement ceremony. The program will begin at 10 a.m. in the Pan American Center. Doors will open at 9 a.m. Tickets are not required.

Gonzales overcame the loss of his vision, in a diving accident at the age of 17, to become the first blind person to graduate from New Mexico State University, the first to earn a law degree from Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, D.C., and the first to be admitted to the New Mexico Bar.

Through more than 60 years as a practicing attorney in New Mexico, he was guided by a strong sense of social justice. Much of his work was done pro bono for clients who could not pay for legal representation.

He also has a long record of public service. He served as a state representative for Doņa Ana County from 1941 to 1942, and for Santa Fe County from 1943 to 1944, and was a judge in Los Alamos from 1943 to 1949. He served on the Santa Fe School Board from 1949 to 1953, on the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners from 1958 to 1962, on the New Mexico State University Board of Regents from 1950 to 1954, and on the Board of Regents for the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped from 1968 to 1971.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/gonzales_albert.jpg.
CUTLINE: Albert T. Gonzales will receive an honorary doctorate at New Mexico State University's Fall Commencement ceremony Dec. 14. (courtesy photo)

Karl Hill
Dec. 4, 2002