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Lori Paulson, far left, appears with her family including her parents, husband and son, second from right, at a special dedication event in January at the Hall of Legends, where the team’s meeting room has been named for Paulson.

her own key to Aggie Memorial Stadium – a place where she liked to reflect and enjoy quiet moments. Through tears, Moccia recalled seeing Paulson on the football field still wearing her hospital bracelet. “Even in the most serious of health issues,” he says, “she’s remained the most positive person I know.” Young turns his praise to the team and Aggie family for the impact that their friendship has had on Paulson and their family. “It gives us something to look forward to,” Young says. “It’s enlarged our family.” Senior Aggie wide receiver Josh Bowen says he spoke on behalf of the entire football team when he told Paulson what a difference her presence made in their lives. “Miss Lori, you’ve meant so much to everyone here over the years that you can’t even begin to imagine,” Bowen says. “You just epitomize what strength and courage is all about. You set an example and a standard for everyone in this room to follow.” Full of jokes and laughter at January’s event, Paulson told a standing-room-only crowd of gathered friends, players and Aggie family that she had three pieces of advice for her son about being the team captain. “No. 1: Give more high-fives and more hugs than criticism,” she said. “No. 2: When you think the team doesn’t need you – when they’ve just won, 18 Panorama | New Mexico State University | Spring 2016

or it’s a bye week – that’s when they need you the most. And No. 3: Remember that when times are tough, that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Paulson used her blog, The Big C in LC, to share her journey from her diagnosis in early 2014 to her decision in December to forgo further treatment and enter hospice care. That same openness and candor was always there for the players she counseled through difficult times. In a video message, former Aggies center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke shared his reflections with the team members who filled the meeting room. “Never has there been a greater fan with her kind of love for you: never based on wins, losses or stats, but based on love and faith in you – and who you are, and who you’ll become,” he says. “Just every so often, God allows us to cross paths with a truly exceptional person who’ll forever change the way we love, think, give and live our lives. You and I have the honor and blessing of calling Lori Paulson that exceptional person.” Paulson passed away in March at the age of 35, but her Aggie love and courageous spirit is a lasting inspiration. To make a gift to the Lori J. Paulson Football Excellence Fund, visit

Panorama - Spring 2016  

Panorama is NMSU's Alumni and Friends magazine. To read the current issue, visit To view the Fall 2016 issue as a...