Dan Chavez

5 entries
  • "Adeline and family, I have been our of town and returned..."
    - Justice Patricio Serna, Ret.
  • "Dearest Aunt Adeline, Jennifer, Daniel and family, I am..."
    - Angela Torres-Garcia
  • "Sending our thoughts and prayers to Jenn and the Chavez..."
    - Kitty and Mark Seyffer
  • "I am so sorry for your loss. I found comfort at John..."
  • "Uncle Dan was a good one. My heart goes out to his family!"
    - Andres Chavez Dietz
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Chavez, Dan D., Ph.D.

Dan D. Chavez, age 83, UNM professor and administrator, died at home on Thursday, February 16, 2017. He was born on the family farm in Pajarito, Bernalillo County, NM to Nicodemus Chavez and Petrita Pena. He is preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Manuel, Eloy, and Paul. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Adeline Sanchez Chavez; son, Daniel and long-time friend, Khara Hindi; daughter, Jennifer von Klein and husband, Max; brothers, Nick, Ben, Frank, Richard, and Alex; and sister, Avelina Battaglia.

After attending Pajarito Elementary School, Dan enrolled in and graduated from the Northern NM Normal School in El Rito in 1951 as salutatorian, after serving as class president and lettering in football, baseball, and boxing. After high school graduation, he enrolled at UNM, where he was active in the marching band, student government, and the Aquinas Newman Center. After graduating in 1955 with a B.S. in Science Education, he volunteered in the U.S. Navy, completed officer candidate school, and was commissioned a naval officer.

After serving in the military, he taught science in the Albuquerque Public Schools, and enrolled in the Master's Program in Educational Administration at UNM. After receiving his M.S. in 1960, he was appointed principal of the Bernalillo Junior High School. Subsequently, he worked for the NM State Department of Education as director of the NM Small Schools Project, a program to improve instruction in the small rural schools of NM. Among the many achievements of this project, he and the principals and teachers developed a new educational position - namely, the educational assistant, which was officially established by the NM State Board of Education.

Later, Dan received a University of Michigan Mott doctoral fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1968, he was appointed the associate director of the Division of Continuing Education at UNM. In 1970, he became director of the UNM College Enrichment Program (CEP). As the first full-time director, he further developed and expanded the program, which recruited from all the high schools in the state, provided a summer orientation program, and provided academic advisement, counseling, tutoring, and placement services upon graduation. When he retired in 1990, CEP had recruited over 3000 students.

CEP was recognized as an "exemplary program for college-bound minority students" by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) in 1988. CEP was also recognized as "one of the better recruitment and retention systems of its kind in the country" by the National Center for Student Recruitment/Retention in 1990.

Also, in 2016, Dan was personally recognized by the NM State Legislature for his "vision, foresight and dedication as Founder and Director of the College Enrichment Program at the University of New Mexico." Moreover, UNM planted a tree in Dan's honor in 2016.

After retiring from UNM, Dan devoted his time to researching and writing about the political history of NM. His research included New Mexico Women Legislators: 1923-1999 (New Mexico Legislative Council Service, 1999) and Soledad Chavez Chacon: A New Mexico Political Pioneer: 1890-1936 (UNM Printing Services, 1996). He also researched the historical chronology of the following New Mexico elected federal and state officials â€" namely, the NM Territorial Delegates to Congress, the Supreme Court justices, the U.S. senators and U.S. representatives, the governors and the other six state executive officials, the Presidents Pro Tempore of the State Senate, and the Speakers of the State House of Representatives (New Mexico Blue Book, Office of the New Mexico Secretary of State). In addition, under the sponsorship of the NM Humanities Council, he portrayed Octaviano Larrazolo, a Mexican-born New Mexican who served as a NM governor and U.S. senator. Finally, in 2012, he delivered the keynote presentation for the NM Supreme Court's 100th anniversary celebration.

A Mass will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 619 Copper Ave. NW in Albuquerque. Interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, 1900 Edith Blvd. NE. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the UNM College Enrichment Program at cep.unm.edu. We would like to thank Hospice of New Mexico for their wonderful care and support. Please visit our online guestbook for Dan at


Published in Albuquerque Journal on Feb. 26, 2017
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