To say that Veronica McDermott is a Lobo fan would be an understatement. She grew up watching the University of New Mexico Lobos with her father, visiting the campus and enjoying the school spirit she encountered.

“I always wanted to be a UNM Lobo. When I married my high school sweetheart, and chose to follow him in his military career, it was never an ‘if’ I would return to my beloved UNM. It was a ‘when’.”

McDermott and her family left Albuquerque in 2000, but it’s safe to say that she carries a big piece of New Mexico in her heart wherever she goes.

“Albuquerque is home. When we drive back, the moment we see the lights of Albuquerque, all is right in the world. I miss the culture. We have been stationed East Coast to West. You really don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Albuquerque’s culture is so rich, it’s really one of a kind. I also miss the slow pace of Albuquerque. And the people of Albuquerque are very unique. They are warm, helpful, and friendly.”

Because her family was on the move from posting to posting, McDermott decided to finish her degree through UNM’s Online education department. Currently the McDermott family live in San Diego, while she finishes her communication degree. Despite living a short distance from a number of local colleges, the idea of transferring never entered her mind.

“I was in such a great place in my academic career at UNM. I had a great internship with (former Lt. Governor) Diane Denish, and was living the awesome UNM life! I have no regrets of going to UNM, and it was never easy leaving. I wondered how it would be to return as an older student, but UNM’s professors are so wonderful. I picked up right where I left off.

“I have had the best support. I remember many of the resource but the one that has helped the most, and I have to give so much credit to, was the Veterans Office. They helped me with my financial aid, enrollment, utilizing the GI Bill, helping me choose which classes to take, and breaking it all down for me. They are extremely friendly, and always eager to help.”

While her family enjoy their time in San Diego, McDermott also found out that living in Aztec country can be a different experience for a lifelong Lobo fan.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I get great pleasure out of representing our great school here in Aztec country! We wear our Lobo gear proud around town, and I drive through (SDSU) campus with Lobo stickers on my car. People yell stuff at us, make comments and remark on our school spirit. When you pass anyone wearing Lobo gear here, it’s instant friendship. Although it is rare, we always know there is a friendly smile ready to say hello and chat about our current Lobo teams.

“I am a proud UNM Lobo, and really want my degree to be a UNM degree! I know, that may sound silly to most. I am proud of my school, its success and its reputation. I can’t wait to graduate in that fine UNM Cherry color, and hang that UNM degree. The pride of calling myself a UNM Alumni, it’s an honor.

“Being a Lobo is home, it’s family, it’s pride. It is my past, my present, and my future.”