Wallace: An Endorsement For Pat Soren For UNM-LA Board



The University of New Mexico Los Alamos (UNM-LA) is a very special and unique institution in our community.  The branch campus in one form or another has been in Los Alamos for 63+ years, and has always been tuned to serving the needs of our community.  In addition to the traditional role of providing associate degrees and being a gateway to bachelor/graduate college degrees from the University of New Mexico, it has also served thousands of our citizens through High School Equivalency degrees, continuing education programs, business development programs, and providing specialized training that meets the needs for Los Alamos National Laboratory.  I am very thankful for such a fine institution being in our town.

UNM-LA has an elected Board which helps advise and oversee the campus.  The purpose of the board is to provide a strong connection to the community – a key ingredient to UNM-LA success, and most importantly, assuring that the university is part of the fabric of our community.  The board is only as effective as its membership; engaged, passionate board members make for a responsive UNM-LA.  My experience has been that great board members are a rare commodity.  It is easy to express a desire to serve on the board, but it quite another thing to dedicate time and effort.  In the upcoming election for the UNM-LA board there is one candidate that has the passion and has dedicated a huge amount to the campus and community – Patrick Soren.  I give Pat my strongest endorsement, and urge others in the community to look at Pat’s extraordinary record, and vote for his continued membership on the board.

Pat Soren first became involved with UNM-LA in 2012 when the campus sought a mil levy.  Although that first attempt at a mil levy failed, it was approved by a majority of Los Alamos voters in 2016, and has been essential in revitalizing the campus writ large.  Pat was not a member of the board during these elections, but he was one of the key volunteers that did the hard ground work that convinced the community that the time was right for an investment.  After the election, Pat became a member of the board when a vacancy occurred – and he has done a wonderful job.  In the spring of 2018, Pat and his wife Ann Hayes stated a UNM-LA endowment with the Los Alamos Community Foundation.  This endowment allows the UNM-LA Chancellor the flexibility to address needs and start new programs.  Pat Soren is truly invested in the success of the institution.

My view of Pat Soren as a passionate and dedicated community activist is not limited to just his efforts at UNM-LA.  He has a long track record of sweat equity in Los Alamos.  In the last 7 years Pat and Ann have served the United Way.  They have been chairpersons for the annual giving campaigns, on program reviews, and have twice been selected by the United Way as Philanthropists of the Year.  23 years ago Pat, along with Dena DiGanghi started the Lunch Buddy Program in the Los Alamos Elementary schools.  For 10 years Pat worked with the LA Parks Department to rebuild and refurbish the Tot Lots in Town.  Pat has long been an active participant in Kiwanis, and is always there for the annual 4th of July fireworks celebration.

My endorsement for Pat Soren is built on a foundation of respect for all he has done for both UNM-LA and for the community.  This is a man that was walked the walk, talked the talk, and served all of us in our town.  He is proved that he is passionate about serving.  Pat is a rare and wonderful treasure – I will vote Pat Soren for the UNM-LA board.

Terry C. Wallace, Jr.