Marshall Nason, who taught Spanish and Latin American literature at UNM for 35 years, died recently at 86 years of age. Nason helped establish, then served as first director of, the Latin American Center, which later became the Latin American and Iberian Institute.
In 1982, Nason was awarded the Regents Meritorious Service medal for “significant contributions to the university’s development into one of the nation’s leading centers for Latin American Studies.”
He established the Andean Study and Research Center in Quito, Ecuador, where more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students studied.
Nason participated in a White House session on the Panama Canal and served as overseas program evaluator for the Fulbright Commission.
In 1960, he was called upon to provide expertise in the early development of Peace Corps programs and operations for Latin America. He directed the Peace Corps in Chile and the Southern Cone while residing in Santiago and traveling in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Nason directed and provided oversight of the State Department’s
Seminars on Higher Education in the Americas.
Friend and colleague Raymond MacCurdy had known Nason since 1937. “Marshall had an incredible ear for language. Colleagues said he was the only American they met who could pass as a native speaker in any Spanish speaking country,” he said.
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