A Legacy of Love
Endowed Scholarship Honors an Esteemed Alumnus
Posted December 13, 2013
Jackie Ferreri met Ray Berube on her first day at the University of New Mexico. She was a Highland High graduate; he was a dashing upperclassman and track star. But what truly impressed her was the resolve that motivated this boy from northern New York State to hitchhike to Albuquerque, with a dream of attending UNM.
“My husband always said he fell in love with a place and a girl,” recalled Jackie. Those two great loves inspired many achievements, and a passion for giving back to the school that gave him a chance when he had nothing but determination and speed to offer.
A high school cross-country champion, Ray watched UNM play football against West Point in the mid-1950s. Realizing that the southwestern climate favored his ambition, he headed west after graduation with 30 dollars in his pocket, spending nights in unlocked cars outside gas station garages.
Impressed by the young man’s courage, the UNM Dean of Men offered Ray a room and an audition with track coach Roy Johnson. With his prowess confirmed, Ray eagerly accepted a track scholarship. He worked extra jobs and joined the Navy ROTC to cover other expenses. Then he and Jackie fell in love.
In 1960, Ray graduated and shipped out; he and Jackie wed when he returned. “He loved the Navy, and we lived all over the U.S.,” said Jackie, “but we always dreamed of returning to New Mexico.”
A job as a management consultant allowed Ray to bring his family home. A position as president and legislative liaison for the NM Automotive Dealers Association enabled them to remain here.
Actively involved with UNM, Ray was a tireless volunteer, serving as president of the Lettermen Association, NROTC Alumni and the Alumni Association. He was instrumental in placing the iconic clock at the Duck Pond, and helped set up Lobos for Legislation to assist with the university’s priorities. The family hardly missed a Lobo game, and sons Craig and Wayne are alumni.
“We started with nothing,” Jackie stated, “just our wedding presents and Ray’s education. He was a self made man, and a real New Mexican. He loved UNM and always wanted to give back.”
After her soul mate passed away in 2005, Jackie endowed the Raymond E. Berube, Jr. Memorial Track Scholarship to honor Ray’s powerful legacy – helping others in the same way UNM once helped him.
Click here to make a gift to the Raymond E. Berube, Jr. Memorial Track Scholarship at the University of New Mexico.
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