Grad numbers up this fall at ENMU

Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

Numbers at Eastern New Mexico University continue to be rosy. Friday the university’s board of regents learned that the total number of students graduating this fall is up 69 students over last fall.

There are 261 students eligible to receive their diploma at the ENMU graduation today. ENMU president Steven Gamble said the number of students receiving their diplomas increased from the 2004 fall semester when there were 192 students.

“Graduation is always a good occasion,” Gamble said during Friday’s ENMU Board of Regents meeting. “We’re sure glad to be graduating this amount of students.”

The graduation will start at 10 a.m. in the Greyhound Arena and Mary Ayala, professor of modern languages at ENMU, will be the keynote speaker for the ceremonies.

University officials have seen a steady increase in enrollment numbers over the previous years hitting a total of 4,052 students for this year’s fall enrollment. The fall enrollment is up 2.3 percent from the 2004 fall headcount, which was 3,959. It is the biggest increase since 1975 when there were 4,248 students.

University officials will also be seeing growth in facilities to accommodate the students. During the fall semester regents gave a Texas firm the go-ahead on plans for a privatized housing project east of Eddy Hall. The housing project would have 96 units with 270 beds in four apartment complexes located behind Eddy Hall and extending east to South Avenue I.

On Friday, Scott Smart, Vice President for Business Affairs at ENMU said the new communications building will be used by students by Jan. 16. Gamble said KENW staff would make a gradual move into the 34,000 square-foot building.

The science building was another building topic discussed Friday. School representatives have also been working with members from the Van Gilbert Architects firm in Albuquerque on designs of the science building renovation and addition. Smart said the goal is to break ground on the construction work by August and have it ready for science courses for the spring of 2008.

Smart said the new addition and renovations’ construction would be approximately a 15-month project. Patrice Caldwell, executive director of Planning and Analysis at ENMU, said the students would be taking science courses and labs in other building classrooms such as the College of Business and Roosevelt Hall during construction. Voters approved Bond Question B in 2004 which earmarked $7 million for the addition and renovations.

The 10,000 square-foot addition would be on the back side facing the natatorium. There will also be renovations to the front of the building which faces Avenue K.

Gamble complemented those who helped put together the Christmas concerts, steel concerts and theater productions during the fall semester.

“It (Christmas program) gets better and better every year,” Marshall Stinnett, ENMU regent, said. “It was well done. I see more people coming in from Clovis.”

Jay Gurley, ENMU regent, suggested there be a way of recognizing those who helped put on the concerts and productions.