Two famed NMSU professors leave behind lasting legacies

Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff and Pulitzer Prize-nominated short story writer Lee K. Abbott ’70 ’73 both died in spring 2019.

Mark Medoff

Lee K. Abbott

A Stanford graduate, Medoff taught at NMSU for more than 50 years. He founded the Creative Media Institute and co-founded the American Southwest Theatre Company. He is internationally known for his Tony Award-winning play and Oscar-nominated screenplay “Children of a Lesser God.”

Abbott was a Las Cruces native who graduated from NMSU with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Abbott’s short stories and essays appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review and The New York Times Book Review, among others. He went on to teach at The Ohio State University until he retired in 2012 and returned to teaching at NMSU in 2015. Abbott was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Minerva Baumann ’13