Scholarship Luncheon Celebrates Donors and Students

Scholarship Luncheon
Celebrating the Donald D. Montoya Endowed Memorial Scholarship are, l-r: Betty Montoya, Christopher Lucero (`09), Mitchell Williams (`15), U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera. On the right are Kurt Gilbert (`99), Elicia Montoya (`99), and their children, Sienna and Don Mateo Gilbert.

From the time she was a little girl, Elicia Montoya (`99) remembered her father, Donald Montoya (`74), emphasizing the importance of helping others. “`The more you are given, the more you must give away,’ he told me,” Elicia said during a fall scholarship luncheon at the University of New Mexico School of Law. “His cases were causes.”

Elicia had been a lawyer less than a year when her father and mentor passed away after a struggle with heart disease. Shortly after his death, the family established the Donald D. Montoya Scholarship at the UNM School of Law, and the scholarship has been carrying on Donald’s generosity ever since.

Scholarship Luncheon
Dan Gonzales (`78) and Steve Aguilar (`78), donors to the Esteban A. Aguilar Scholarship, with recipient Alex Flores (`13).

Also speaking at the luncheon that honored donors and recipients were Christopher Lucero (`09), a former recipient of the Montoya scholarship, and Judge Judith Herrera of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Herrera was a cousin of Donald’s and learned much from him when she was starting out in law practice.

“This law school is a scarce resource,” said Lucero. “Scholarships are both a recognition of the hard work a student has put forth up to that point in their life and an expectation or belief that, with support, that person can accomplish so much more. With that support, I was able to spread my wings and pursue the legal career I had always dreamed of.”

In what is becoming a law-school tradition, the scholarship luncheon brought together donors and the recipients of their life-changing generosity in an elegantly relaxed setting on the school’s back patio.

October 30, 2012