Approximately 155 Converse College students will receive their degrees this Saturday, May 21, during commencement exercises. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Twichell Auditorium.
Several awards will be presented during the ceremony, including two Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards to a graduating senior and a Converse alumna who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through their positive influence and special achievements within the community.
Delivering the commencement address will be Converse alumna and former New Mexico State Senator Ramsay Lea Gorham. A 1973 graduate of Converse, Gorham served as state senator in New Mexico from 1996-2004. During her tenure, she successfully sponsored a tougher sex offender law, pushed for teacher merit pay and passed the Open Enrollment Bill for Schools. During the 2003 session, she initiated the Strengthening Quality in Schools Bill (SB-306), which provided $500 thousand for improved student achievement and accountability, and initiated a bill (SB-407) that removed the statute of limitations for prosecution of felony rape using a DNA profile. She has long championed domestic abuse victims and successfully added crimes against household members to the Victim of Crimes Act (SB-339).
Gorham was named Home Healthcare Legislator of the Year by the Home Healthcare Association, Legislator of the Year by the New Mexico District Attorney, and received the Star Focus Award from New Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce for eight consecutive years. In 2003, she was elected to serve as Chairman of the New Mexico Republican State Party.