The UNM Retiree Association held a memorial on Saturday to honor the services of late UNM professor Lee Zink, who co-founded the association and served as its first president. He passed away in 2014
As a tribute to the services of Zink, the UNMRA inscribed a tile with a picture of Zink on the ceremonial wall. Members of the association also installed a bench with a memorial plaque in Terrace Mall near Hogdin Hall.
Carol Scott Alley, a retired UNM publicist, said the event was in dedication of the legacy Zink left at UNM.
“It is something that the UNMRA has been working on for the last two to three years. We raised money for the event. Members of the UNMRA, alumni association and individuals donated money to the cause,” she said.
UNMRA raised $3,000 for the event, she said.
The event was attended by family members of Zink, his friends, colleagues and former students.
Patty Zink, Lee Zink's widow, thanked the organizers of the event as well as attendees for remembering and honoring her husband.
She said her husband loved UNM, his students and economics.
Lee Zink, who was born in Salem, Indiana, died at the age of 83, his family members said. He served as lieutenant colonel in the Army and also served in the Army Reserve. He was a professor in the Economics Department during his time at UNM, and was also the director of the Bureau of Business Research and an adviser to New Mexico governors on economic matters, UNM officials said. He was also one of the founders of the New Mexico Credit Union.
Patty Zink said he loved music, especially the pipe organ.
Alley said she knew Lee Zink when he was interested in starting a retiree association for staff and faculty who worked at UNM.
“He wanted them to be in touch after their retirement. (The association) took about two years to get started. Lee was one of the co-founders of the retiree association and he and I worked together a lot on that,” she said.
Lee Zink remained president of the association for the first two terms, she said.
“Without Zink there would be no UNM retiree association. It’s been going for the last 10 to 12 years now. Probably about 700 retired staff and faculty are members of the association now. About 70 percent of them live in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and others live across the country,” she said.
Before the formation of the association, UNM administration used to arrange coffee events for the retired staff and faculty.
“The idea of the retiree’s association came because they used to have a coffee for retired faculty and retired staff. Then we thought, it would not be nice if we get together. We worked really hard to get that going,” she said.
Sayyed Shah is the assistant news editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@mianfawadshah.