It would be hard to find a Lobo letterman who repaid his alma mater and Albuquerque more handsomely than Finlay MacGillivray. From UNM Board of Regent member and president to manager of the New Mexico State Fair, MacGillivray played a major role in the development of the city, state and UNM.
Born in Socorro, N.M., but a Santa Fe High grad, MacGillivray took his football and baseball talents to UNM in 1938. MacGillivray played in the 1939 Sun Bowl and was team captain in '39. He graduated in 1940 and entered the Air Force in 1941, serving until 1945 with action in the Pacific, attaining the rank of major.
MacGillivray was appointed to the UNM Board of Regents in 1954, serving until 1962. His many accomplishments during that time included: Reversed the prevailing de-emphasis of intercollegiate athletics; approved a lease for what would become Winrock Center; approved trade with Albuquerque Public Schools for land that now houses all athletics facilities on South Campus; approved a plan for building Johnson Gym on the condition that a new arena - The Pit - would be built on South Campus within 10 years; approved construction of University Stadium; and agreed to proceed with original plans for the UNM Medical School.
Perhaps MacGillivray's greatest contribution to local economic development came in his 17-year tenure as manager of the New Mexico State Fair. His vision lifted the fair from that of county level to one of the nation's top-ranked expositions.
The first three Albuquerque International Balloon fiestas were staged at the Fairgrounds, thanks to Sid Cutter, Tom Rutherford and MacGillivray.