UNC Honored Alumni to be Recognized During Homecoming

The University of Northern Colorado will recognize 2012 Honored Alumni during a Homecoming celebration Friday Oct. 5.

The awards presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. will include a dessert reception in the ballrooms of the University Center, intersection of 10th Avenue and 20th Street. To register to attend the celebration open to the public free of charge, and for the Homecoming Weekend schedule of events, visit http://www.uncalumni.org/Homecoming.

This year's honorees are:

  • Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award: Fernie Baca Hayes (BA-1961) of Denver. She served as a Denver Public Schools teacher and as associate vice chancellor for Research/Creative Activities, executive director of the International Training Academy and tenured professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Denver. A published author, and prolific grant writer, she is the recipient of many awards for her work encouraging Hispanic youth to stay in school and attend college.
  • Distinguished Alumni Service Award: Theo Holland (BA-1961) of Colorado Springs. Holland has served as Alumni Association president, member of the UNC Foundation and is an inductee in UNC's Athletic Hall of Fame. An accomplished military veteran, he has dedicated numerous hours to mentoring at-risk high school and college students. Today, as a counselor at ComCor Inc., he mentors and encourages people to improve their lives.
  • Alumni Spirit Award: Autumn Hurlbert (BA-2002) of Astoria, NY. In a short period of time, Hurlbert has enjoyed a remarkable career on and off Broadway via national touring, regional theater, film and television. She achieved the first runner-up position on MTV's reality series: Legally Blonde: The Search for the New Elle Woods. Her career has included numerous performances on and off Broadway, with national touring companies, in regional theater, film and television.
  • Distinguished Service Award: Wayne Melanson (Educational Specialist degree -1975) of Littleton. Melanson is former UNC professor and chair of Journalism, founder of UNC's Association of Women in Communications, as well as champion and first faculty advisor of UNC's chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. A scholar, teacher and advisor, he has been instrumental in the development of the journalism program at UNC.
  • Distinguished Honorary Alumni of the Year Award: Bob and Betty Tointon of Greeley.?Founders of the Tointon Institute for Educational Change at UNC. Their institute has provided leadership training to countless K-12 administrators and teachers since 1995. Well-known at UNC and throughout northern Colorado, Bob is a past chairman of the UNC Board of Trustees and the recipient of an honorary doctorate from UNC. Betty has received the United Way Humanitarian award and was a co-founder of the Weld County Women's Fund endowment.

For a list of past recipients, and for nomination information, click on "Awards" at http://www.uncalumni.org

High-resolution images of the honorees:

Fernie Baca Hayes

Theo Holland

Autumn Hurlbert

Wayne Melanson

Bob and Betty Tointon

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