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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: January 21, 2003
Volume 38, Number 12

In Memoriam

Sabine Ulibarrí

Ulibarrí at a poetry recital for the U.S. Embassy in Guadalajara, Mexico, 1971.Sabine Ulibarrí, professor emeritus in the Spanish and Portuguese Department, died Saturday, Jan. 4, at age 83.

An institution in the Modern Languages Department, Ulibarrí was also poet, author, scholar and lecturer. As a writer in both Spanish and English, he made significant contributions to the body of Chicano and New Mexican Hispano literature.

Born and raised in Tierra Amarilla, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of New Mexico. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The consummate educator, his first publication, “Spanish for the First Grade,” was published in 1955. His most recent publication, “Mayhem was our business-memorias de un veterano,” was published in 1997 and dealt with his years in the U.S. Air Force where he flew in 35 combat missions over Europe. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

Among his other works is “Governor Glu Glu & other stories,” and “Tierra Amarilla: cuentos de Nuevo Mexico.”

“Many Hispanic professionals are writing their memoirs and the Chicano experience, but none come close to the caliber of Uli’s [Ulibarrí’s] writings,” said Tony Cárdenas, professor in Spanish and Portuguese.

“He had a great sense of humor, the quickest, most agile mind on a human being,” Cárdenas said.

His reputation as a speaker was such that people said that he could read the phone book and it would sound good and people would hang on every word, he said.

Among his many awards is the Regents Meritorious Service Medal and the UNM Distinguished Alumni Award.