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Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Orcilia Zu?iga Forbes

Photo: Orcilia ForbesClass of 1960

Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes received the 1990 UNM College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a member of the second graduating class from the College. In 1960 she earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She went on to receive her Master of Science Degree in Nursing and PhD in Educational Policy and Management from the University of Oregon. She also has a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley in Health Administration and Planning.

Her career is a collaboration of her two interests, nursing and education. Orcilia was a public school nurse for a number of years in Fridley, Minnesota. She eventually returned to her home state of New Mexico to serve as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at UNM. She broadened her career horizons working at Oregon State University as the Vice President for University Advancement before retiring in 2004.

This accomplished alumna has written numerous works for several publications, served on countless committees to advance higher education and provided her expertise on several community boards both in New Mexico and in Oregon State. From 1990 to 1991, Orcilia received two honors in addition to the College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award. She was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the NAACP of Albuquerque and the “Brindis a la Mujer Hispana” from MANA de Albuquerque.

Orcilia now spends her time volunteering for various boards. She is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Meyer Memorial Trust. This trust was created by the late Fred G. Meyer who built the Fred Meyer stores. It supports the arts, humanities, education, health, social welfare, and several special initiatives in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Just a year ago, she was named a member of the UNM Foundation Board of Trustees which is responsible for the fund raising efforts of the University.

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