Contact: Vivian Valencia, (505) 277-4664 or
Frank D. Martinez, (505), 277-1811

May 3, 2001


An author and an architect-both of whom have earned international distinction-will receive honorary degrees at the University of New Mexico's 2001 Spring Commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 12, at 9 a.m. in the University Arena ("The Pit").

A total of 2,491 degrees are projected to be conferred upon UNM main campus graduates at the ceremony. Of the total, the projected breakdown is as follows: 2 associate degrees; 1,832 bachelor's degrees; 334 master's degrees; 71 doctorate degrees; 105 juris doctorate degrees; 2 post-master's degrees; 67 medical doctorate degrees; 77 pharmacy doctorate degrees; and 1 education specialists degree.


New Mexico resident, author and artist N. Scott Momaday will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree and Architect Antoine Predock will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree.

N. Scott MomadayMomaday, who attended Bernalillo High School and earned his bachelor's degree from UNM in 1958, is the author of 13 books. These include novels, short stories, poems, plays, memoirs, essays, children's tales and reproductions of his own original art work. His first novel, "House Made of Dawn," won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969. That book, along with "The Way to Rainy Mountain," a memoir of Momaday's quest for his Kiowa Indian heritage, inspired a new wave of contemporary Native American writing. UNM Press is the exclusive U.S. publisher of "The Way to Rainy Mountain," considered to be Momaday's most popular book.

Momaday, who moved to New Mexico with his family when he was two years old and, as a child, lived in Gallup, Shiprock, Hobbs and Jemez Pueblo. After graduation from UNM in 1958 with a major in Political Science and minors in English and Speech, he taught for a year in Dulce on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation. Momaday's career then took him to Stanford University and later to the University of Arizona, where is now Regents' Professor of English. Throughout this time, he has maintained a residence in Jemez Springs, NM.

Antoine PredockPredock, who is the founder and principal of Antoine Predock Architect, based in Albuquerque, was an architecture student at UNM from 1957 to 1961. In 1981, he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and, in 1991, he was named a Nissan International Fellow at the Aspen Design Conference. He has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time and Vanity Fair. He is the recipient of more than 50 national and international awards, including the prestigious Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. He also received the distinguished award of honor at the 2000 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Summit Awards.

In addition, his buildings have received numerous national, state and regional awards from the AIA. Among his award-winning projects in New Mexico is La Luz community on Albuquerque's West Mesa. Last year, the New Mexico Society of Architects presented him with an Honor Award for Design Excellence for the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts in Ruidoso.

In 1981, Predock was named the Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland. Since then, he has been invited to teach as a distinguished professor and critic at numerous universities. His firm has been invited to participate in competitions throughout the United States and Europe. He has designed academic buildings for several campuses, including Stanford, Rice and Ohio State universities, as well as new arts centers at Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming and Colorado College, the University of Minnesota and others and a ballpark for the San Diego Padres.

As his schedule allows, Predock lectures and provides student critiques at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning. He has underwritten the School's Don Schlegel Annual Lecture and has also created the annual Antoine Predock Graduate Scholarship for a UNM student. Recently, his design was the one selected for a new UNM School of Architecture and Planning building.


Master of Ceremony for Commencement will be Dr. Richard Holder, UNM Deputy Provost and Professor of Chemistry. Selections for the Prelude and the Processional will be performed by University Band under the baton of Eric Rombach-Kendal, Conductor. The National Anthem will be sung by Voice Performance Graduate Heather Alvarez.

Greetings will then be offered by UNM President William C. Gordon and UNM Board of Regents President Larry D. Willard.

The Commencement Address will be delivered by Irvin D. Harrison, who is graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in English/Professional Writing. Harrison has an extensive record of service to the University and to the Associated Students of UNM.

He has been inducted into a number of honorary organizations. Most recently, he was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. He is also a member of the UNM Trailblazers, UNM Golden Key International Honor Society, UNM Mortarboard National Senior Honor Society and UNM Blue Key Honor Fraternity. He is the recipient of a Clauve Outstanding Senior Award, a UNM General Scholarship, a Myrtle Okey American Indian Scholarship and Hartley B. Dean American Indian Scholarship and a Ballut Abyad Scholarship as well as a participant in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.

Following the Commencement Address, additional greetings will be conveyed by UNM Faculty Senate President John Geissman and UNM Alumni Association President-Elect Connie Beimer.

UNM Provost Brian Foster will then recognize UNM Honors graduates and then Gordon will award the Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize to Dr. Erik Wibbels of the UNM Department of Political Science for his dissertation on "Federalism and the Comparative Politics of Market Reform."

Following the awarding of the honorary degrees and the conferring of degrees in course, Alvarez will lead the singing of the Alma Mater.

This year, 60 members of UNM's 50-year-class, the Class of 1951, will participate in the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, all degree candidates and their guests are invited to a reception hosted by President and Mrs. William C. Gordon from 1- 4 p.m. at University House on main campus at 1901 Roma NE.

For more information, call the Office of the UNM Secretary, 277-4664.

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