Donor Story

A Steadfast Friend

Donor’s Cumulative Giving Means a Lot to Students

By Michelle G. McRuiz

How do you change the world? If you do it Sue Daulton style, quietly and respectfully.

For more than 40 years, Sue—first with her husband, Paul Daulton (BA ’47), who passed away in 2007—has given generously to three important areas at UNM: The College of Nursing (CON), the Presidential Scholarship Program (PSP) and the Lobo Club. Rosemary Gregory, director of development at the CON, calls Sue “an angel.”

“The College of Nursing has been lucky to have her as a special friend,” Rosemary said. “She has made a great impact on the lives of nursing students and faculty, and the total academic program.”

Honorary Nurse

For all her generosity, however, Sue has always shunned the limelight and remained down-to-earth. She admits she was “dumbfounded” upon hearing that she had won the 2011 Zia Award, which the UNM Alumni Association bestows annually on alumni who have distinguished themselves through philanthropy and other activities. And at the CON convocation ceremony this spring, Sue was taken completely by surprise when CON Dean Nancy Ridenour presented her with a personalized, honorary lab coat. Dean Ridenour praised Sue’s important contributions to undergraduate and graduate nursing scholarships, as well as her support of faculty development and academic programs. Then Sue, the College’s first honorary nurse, spoke to the faculty and graduates assembled, “but I had no idea what I said,” she recalled with a laugh.

Sue’s concern over New Mexico’s shortage of nurses and nursing faculty moved her to begin contributing to CON scholarships. In addition, her husband was in a nursing home during the last two years of his life, and the quality of the nursing care he received there impressed her.

“It’s just great over there [at the CON],” Sue enthused. “Nancy and Rosemary are so straightforward and friendly. And what wonderful training [the nurses receive].”

Scholar Sponsors

Sue and Paul were among the initial contributors to the PSP when it launched in 1976. This program offers contributors a chance to help provide scholarships based on students’ grades, college entrance exam scores, personal essays, leadership, and community involvement. Contributors are matched to scholars, whom they then sponsor. One appealing feature of the PSP is that sponsors and students have opportunities to connect and become acquainted. Sue and Paul have given to the PSP every year since, and Sue continues to support it.

“Without an education, they’re just not going to get anyplace,” Sue said of high school graduates. She receives letters of gratitude from the Presidential Scholars she has sponsored, and in those letters they describe their programs of study and future plans. “What they’re studying is over my head by about nine feet,” she said.

A Big Lobos Fan

Supporting the Lobo Club, which raises funds for athletic scholarships, is another philanthropic activity that Sue and Paul embarked on together. “I continued that after his death because it was important to him,” she said. “We had football and basketball season tickets.” Sue still does, too—only now she attends games with a dear friend.

It isn’t solely Lobo athletic prowess that impresses Sue; she admires the academic resources available to student athletes to help them balance the demands of school and sport successfully. Without the help of the Lobo Club, many athletes would not be able to attend UNM.

“They’re trying to get those kids through college,” Sue said. “That is impressive to me.”

Past and Present

Sue’s UNM connection goes back to the days when her father owned the 7UP Bottling Company in Albuquerque. He eventually sold that building to UNM in 1960, and it became the first site of the School of Medicine. The Daultons, Sue’s brother, John Marshall, and his wife, Marie, owned and operated the bottling company from the early 1950s to 1980.

While Sue’s husband, brother, and son, Tom, all graduated from UNM, Sue herself did not, although she came very close. “I’ve always regretted that,” she said. Now she helps other UNM students graduate.

Sue enjoys a very active retirement. She deals a mean hand at bridge, a game she has been playing twice a month for the past 56 years. And for nearly as long, Sue has been a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), a society formed in 1869 that promotes educational opportunities for women and that owns Cottey College, a two-year, independent college for women in Nevada, Mo.

“It gives me a great deal of pleasure to be able to do this,” Sue said of the continuous contributions she’s made to UNM programs. “I think Paul would be pleased.”