You know the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree?” Well, in the case of Greg Golden, the cub doesn’t stray too far from the Lobo. “I believe that serendipity is a part of it,” says Greg Golden, UNM Assistant Dean of Students.
It all started with Gary Golden, the New York native who decided to move across the county to take a job here at The University of New Mexico, in the Alumni Services Office. Over time, Gary moved on over to the Office of Student Activities, where he worked directly with UNM’s fraternities and sororities. That is where our story begins.
Gary’s son, Greg, grew up “bleeding cherry & silver.” That tends to happen when your dad takes you to Lobo football and basketball games all throughout your childhood. So, it’s safe to say he always knew he was going to be a Lobo himself. When he eventually started his undergraduate career here, he originally came to school to study business. But after getting involved on campus, he quickly learned that he was made to help others just like his dad did. “After being an orientation leader and doing the resident advisor thing, both of those experiences sealed the deal for me,” says Greg. “I wanted to work with college students.”
Sometimes when you’re a young boy, you grow up wanting to be just like your father, but throughout Greg’s childhood he always dismissed the student affairs profession. “It’s no secret that my father was also in this profession. I remember I never really understood it until I saw how Cheo Torrez and Dr. Walt Miller were interacting with students, and then I got it,” recalls Greg.
Greg and his father were what we call “people persons.” During the time of Gary, no one had a bad thing to say about him, and those good words and feelings transferred right over to Greg after he came back to start his professional career here at UNM. Coincidentally enough, Greg’s first position here after his graduate studies was as an advisor for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. It’s the same position his father had held for many years. “It’s wild because Debbie Morris, previous director of the Student Activities Center, worked with my father and she was who hired me for my first position at UNM.”
Greg worked with the UNM Greek community for a few years, and then he eventually moved to his current position as the Assistant Dean of Students, another similar position to one held by his father. Gary Golden’s last title here as an employee of UNM was as the Dean of Men. Greg doesn’t share that same title with his father, as it no longer exists, but this is now the second University Office both Goldens have worked in during their careers here at the university.
“We’re very similar. We have similar interests, similar characteristics and similar strengths but we are also very different,” says Greg.
Gary eventually moved to Farmington, N.M. where he became the Vice President of San Juan College. When asked if he would ever move back up North again, Greg simply chuckled and indicated that he and his wife, Nicole, are staying in Albuquerque with no immediate plans of leaving just yet.