University plans alumni awards banquet

Four alumni and the Mesa State College 1982 football team will be recognized tonight at the Colorado Mesa University Awards Banquet in the University Center Ballroom.

Michael Burke, class of 1990, and Greg Walcher, class of 1979, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award; Steve Kirkham, former Mesa women’s basketball coach, will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor; and John Redifer will receive the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Redifer teaches political science at the university and is executive director of the Redifer Institute, which researches natural-resource and land-policy issues.

Kirkham, who is the athletic director at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, coached the Mesa State women’s basketball team for 16 years and accumulated the most victories in the program’s history and in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference women’s basketball history. He will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor alongside the school’s football team from 1982, when the team became the school’s first to advance in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics postseason competition.

Walcher led Club 20 for 10 years, served as head of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and he ran for Congress in 2004. He founded consultant group Natural Resources Group, is a partner in a public-affairs company, the Stillwell Group, and is a fellow for the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Tradition Institute.

Burke was named Outstanding Young Alum in 1997 by the Mesa State College Alumni Association. He worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after college and is an attorney with law firm Kain & Burke in Grand Junction. He is involved in Rotary International and served on the boards for the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Junction Musical Arts Association, plus the Colorado Mesa alumni association and foundation boards.

The awards banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the alumni association and cost $50 per person.


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