History of Menaul School

On Sunday, September 15, 2019, there was a presentation by University of New Mexico Political Science Department Professor Emeritus Dr. Christine Sierra and staff from the Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest. Dr. Sierra presented a brief history, including historic photos, of the private Presbyterian Church-related Menaul School, founded in 1896. The campus was originally intended as a boarding elementary grade school for Spanish speaking boys. Currently it is a co-ed middle school and high school.

Three members from the volunteer staff, Nona Browne, Rudy Laumbach, and Francis Chang, from the Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest described their mission which is to preserve and protect the documents and artifacts that describe the history and roles played by all of the Presbyterian mission schools and medical clinics located throughout the Southwest. They also reminisced about their own personal history with Menaul School.

The program was held at the Albuquerque Museum at 2000 Mountain Rd. NW in Old Town.

Photo of Harper Donaldson standing in front of Donaldson Hall
Harper Donaldson standing in front of Donaldson Hall, Superintendent from 1916 to 1953 of Menaul School


Photo of Christine SierraDr. Christine Marie Sierra is Professor Emerita in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. On the faculty for 28 years, Dr. Sierra taught and researched in the field of American politics with an emphasis on the study of race, ethnicity, and gender. She has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest since 2015.


1949 photo of Menaul School graduate Rudy LaumbachR. E. (Rudy) Laumbach was born in Doyleville, Colorado and reared on a ranch in northeastern New Mexico. He attended Menaul School, graduating with the Class of 1949. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering from New Mexico State University. He worked for the California Department of Water Resource, retiring in 1993. He has served on the Menaul Historical Library Board for almost twenty years. He lives on the family ranch south of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

1963 photo of Menaul School Graduate Francis ChangFrancis Chang came to the U.S. from China. His destination was Menaul School, where he graduated with the class of 1963. He attended Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee, earning a degree in biology and geography. He taught high school at Boggs Academy in Georgia and subsequently was recruited by Menaul Superintendent Izar Martinez to teach at Menaul. He joined the Advisory Board of the Menaul Historical Library in 2018.


Photo of Nona BrowneNona Browne grew up in southeastern Idaho and attended college in Utah, where she met her husband. She accompanied him to theological school and pastorates in Idaho, Utah, and New Mexico. Following his death, she settled in Albuquerque in 1987. Nona has invested her time, talents, and expertise to the Menaul Historical Library for some 30 years. She served as the Library’s Director from 1992-2017, leaving a legacy of accomplishment and dedication as one of its most successful directors.


Photo of Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest
Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest Located at Bennett Hall at Menaul School Campus