Almost 370 to graduate from ENMU today

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents members were glad to see that almost 370 will be graduating from ENMU today and are expecting many construction projects on campus over the next couple of years.

They talked about both of these topics during a regents’ meeting Friday morning.

“This time of the year is an exciting time for faculty, staff and students,” ENMU Board of Regent president Jay Gurley said.

Gary Musgrave, vice president for student affairs, reported higher numbers of students receiving their diplomas than Spring 2006. There were 330 applicants for the spring of 2005 compared to 367 for spring 2006.

New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is the commencement speaker for today’s graduation which will start at 10 a.m. in Greyhound Arena.

There are many construction projects scheduled to take place over the next couple of years that will change the landscape of the campus.

Scott Smart, vice president of business affairs, said in all there are about $42 million in construction projects that have started or will get under way over the next couple of years. Smart said funding for the projects came from a variety of sources including auxiliary bonds, general obligation bonds, university and state funding.

The largest project is the new student housing which will be located just east of Eddy Hall. There would be four apartment complexes with 270 beds with a resort-style pool and a volleyball court in the center. The $12.7 million project is scheduled to start in August and be completed in one year.

The other projects are: The $9.7 million renovation and addition to the Science Building that is scheduled to start in August and end in January of 2008; the $5.2 million Communication Building; a $3.6 million Campus Union Building renovation and $2 million for heating and cooling renovations in various buildings.

Patrice Caldwell, executive director of planning and analysis at ENMU, with the help of faculty members will reorganize classes and meetings to take place in different buildings while the science building and campus union building are under construction.

If New Mexico voters pass a general obligation bond in November, ENMU students will also have to deal with construction for the music building. That measure would make $4.5 million available to equip and renovate the music building if the GO bond is passed. There is another $1 million for this project provided from an auxiliary bond.

The ENMU Regents showed their appreciation to five faculty members who will be lost to retirement. The regents thanked them for more than 120 years of combined service to the university. They were granted emeritus status Friday.

Dale Davis, professor of marketing, taught at ENMU for more than 20 years and the New Mexico Teacher of the Year in 2004.

Thurman Elder, professor in mathematics and computer sciences, taught at ENMU since 1966 and served as the chair of the department of mathematical sciences for 16 years and dean of liberal arts and sciences for nine years.

Janet Frost’s career at ENMU has lasted more than 30 years. She is a professor of anthropology. Frost was involved in developing the Women’s Studies program at ENMU.

Bill Gaedke, instructor of educational studies, said as a retired member of the military he took a job as an instructor, thinking it would only be temporary. Instead he taught for more than 14 years at ENMU.

Kathleen Salter, professor of mathematics, started out at ENMU in 1972 as an assistant professor. Salter was appointed as chair of the mathematics department in 1997.