The NMSU Alumni Association recognized the achievements of several Aggies during the 2012 Homecoming Week. The Alumni Association also presented the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service, which is awarded to NMSU alumni who have demonstrated outstanding involvement in NMSU, civic, humanitarian and professional service.
Don Beasley 72, a graduate of the College of Business, was the James F. Cole Memorial Award winner. Beasley graduated with a degree in accounting, and is part owner of an accounting firm. Always looking for a way to give back to NMSU, Beasley hires interns each year from the school and personally mentors them. Also, Beasley tries to encourage the next generation of alumni to understand the importance of giving back to the school.
Chris R. Biad 93 was the distinguished alumnus from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Biad graduated with a degree in agronomy and went to work for his familys business, Biad Chili. He and other leaders in the chile industry have raised more than $400,000 to establish a permanent endowed chair in chile pepper research at the university.
J. Paul Taylor 42 graduated from NMSUs College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelors degree in history. He had a 34-year career in the Las Cruces Public School District, working as a teacher, principal and administrator. Taylor later became a representative in the New Mexico state legislature. He was re-elected eight times and retired from public office in 2004.
Sandra Whaley 80, also from the College of Arts and Sciences, graduated with a bachelors degree in biology. She is a veterinarian specializing in small animal medicine and joined Manzano Animal Clinic in 1986 where she is a partner in the business. Whaley has been a large contributor to her college. Her donation to the renovation of Foster Hall is most notable.
George A. Willis 83 graduated with a degree in journalism from the College of Arts and Sciences. Willis is a general sports columnist for the New York Post. He has brought his expertise to many different multimedia platforms, including HBO, ESPN Radio and various Internet outlets. When visiting Las Cruces, he always takes time to visit NMSU journalism students.
Jackie K. Moore 82 was the distinguished alumna from the College of Business. Moore received bachelors degrees in marketing and management while on an athletic scholarship. She is the executive director of the Sandia Science and Technology Park in Albuquerque. Moore has always credited the education she received at NMSU for the success in her professional career.
Louis Kelley 61 was the distinguished alumnus from the College of Education and graduated with a degree in physical education. A football player in college, he went on to be one of the winningest high school coaches in Texas with Lubbock Estacado. In 1999, the Lubbock Avalanche Journal named Kelley the All-City Coach of the Century.
Dan E. Arvizu 73 was the distinguished alumnus from the College of Engineering. Arvizu graduated with a bachelors in mechanical engineering. Arvizu is the director and chief executive of the U.S. Department of Energys National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., where he has helped secure more than $400 million for new infrastructure.
Kyle James 07 was the distinguished alumnus from the College of Extended Learning. James graduated with a degree in health education and is the Rocky Mountain Region sales director for KP Sports, a sports marketing company. He oversees two university corporate accounts. In 2011, he was the sales executive of the year for KP Sports.
Diana Fancher 93 was the distinguished alumna from the College of Health and Social Services. She received her associates degree in nursing from NMSU. She is the chief nursing officer at University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. She is involved with the El Paso Childrens Hospital, which provides a health service that would otherwise force many in Doña Ana County to travel to Albuquerque to receive health care.
Mario Allegri Conde 73 was the international distinguished Alumnus. Allegri graduated with a masters degree in range ecology. Allegri works for the National Agricultural Research Institute in Uruguay. He has kept in close contact with NMSU as a researcher in pastures and rangelands since his graduation. Also, he has encouraged many researchers in Uruguay to enroll at NMSU.