James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service

Since 1966, the New Mexico State University Alumni Association has honored numerous alumni with the James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service.

This award instills the tradition of excellence NMSU has upheld throughout the years, and each recipient (one per year) is selected based on support to NMSU, involvement with NMSU, civic and humanitarian service and professional success.

A committee of the NMSU Alumni Association Executive Council selects the award recipient according to that person's support of NMSU, involvement with the university and their civic and professional service, after graduating from NMSU. Nominations for this award remain active for three years following the date of nomination unless the nominee is selected for the award. The recipient must have attended NMSU or be an active member of the Alumni Association before the date of selection. Alumni who are members of the NMSU faculty or staff are also eligible.

This award is presented during the annual Homecoming festivities at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner. Homecoming 2020 is scheduled for October 22 - 24.

Nominations for the 2020 James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service will be open from January 22 - May 15, 2020.

2019 James F. Cole Memorial Award for Service Honoree

Van A. Bullock, Class of 1972 and 1974

Van A. Bullock came to NMSU from Artesia, New Mexico, and graduated with a BS in Engineering in ‘72 and a MA in Economics in ‘74. Donating time, financial support, expertise, his sense of humor and voice as an auctioneer for NMSU fundraisers, Van is the picture of a dedicated, lifelong Aggie.

Deeply involved in NMSU during his student days, Bullock is one the founding members of the NMSU chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity and played on the golf team, for which he was inducted into the Aggie men’s golf team Hall of Fame. His love of Aggie athletics continues today: he founded the Aggie Men’s Golf Support Group and, along with his twin brother, Joe Bullock, sponsors an academic award for student athletes.

Professionally, Bullock developed a successful career in the real estate industry and at NMSU as an instructor. He was president of Mather’s Realty until the company merged with Steinborn and Associates Real Estate, where he is now an associate broker. Bullock started teaching at the university in 1978 and continues to teach on a part-time basis as the instructor for the introductory Agricultural Economics course and a graduate class on Real Estate Appraisal.

Much like his career, his service and philanthropy has extended to both NMSU and the Las Cruces community. At NMSU, he served on Foundation Board Committees, advised student organizations and assisted the performing arts. His service to the community ranges from volunteering at St. Paul’s Methodist church and Mesilla Valley Hospice, to leadership roles on the Memorial Medical Center Board, the Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation, the Jardin de los Niños Board and First Step Clinic, among others.

Bullock is married to Colette Bullock, and they have one daughter, Courtney, and a two-year old granddaughter, Alexandra Rose.

“I probably don’t deserve this recognition, but then again, I never thought I deserved to be bald, so maybe it evens out. I owe so much to NMSU, it would be unconscionable not to do what I can to help. Most of the good things in my life can be traced back to being at NMSU.” – Van Bullock

YearRecipient(s) NameYearRecipient(s) Name
2019Dr. Van Bullock '72 '742018Dr. Patty Lopez '80, '82, '89
2017Frank A. Seidel '812016Dino Camunez '81
2015Morgan Nelson '412014Lou Henson '55, '56
Mary Henson
Carol Smallwood '83
2013J. Paul Taylor '42, '54, '632012Don Beasley '72
2011Michael Rogers '73
Dan Perry '62
2010Jerean Camunez Hutchinson '79
2009Shari Jones '80, '812008Dave Cooley '78
Betsey Cooley '78
2007E. Larry Lujan '762006Frank Dubois '73, '78
2005Jim T. Dunlap '54, '672004Gary Cataldo '70
2003Tomas Chavez '542002Julie Hall
2001Jack Ward2000John Jack Oestreicher '71
1999Walter Gerald Hines '66, '671998William "Bill" Sauble '70
1997William "Bill" Cantrell '671996Rosco Vaugn '65, '69, '84
1995Laura Coniff '741994W.K. Bill Shriver '58
1993Betty Sims Solt '591992Gertrude Kretek '52
Geraldine Kretek '52
1991Kent McIntosh '411990Blance Lear Hubbard
1989Marshall Scott '62, '641988Martin D. Alexander '60
1987B.J. Bob Porter '51, '561986Lombre Sue Hepburn '48
1985Edward Gregg '331984Larry Ramirez '74
1983George Dawson '501982Angie Stroup '66
1981Horace Hubert1980Archie Beckett '51
1979Leon Wagley '47
Anthony Romo '52, '54
1978Helen Strickland Hampton '40, '54
1977J. Henry Gustafson '401976George Ray Smith '52
1975Carolyn Henry '631974Albert Burleson '44
1973Kathleen Kit Elliot '621972Melton Shelton '57, '60
1971Dick Reeves '251970Edward Oliver '52
1969Albert Vallin '33
Fred P. Geibel '32
1968No Recipient
1967Edward Wallace '521966Dorothy Cole '70, '78