ENMU graduation set for Saturday

Courtesy photo Former Eastern New Mexico University President Robert Matheny is scheduled to give the commencement address for the 2010 graduating class 10 a.m. Saturday at Greyhound Arena.

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

More than 360 Eastern New Mexico University students are expected to step across a stage Saturday to the beginning of a new life as a college graduates.

The 75th anniversary of the founding of ENMU is also part of the ceremony for students, faculty and staff.

Graduation ceremonies start at 10 a.m. at Greyhound Arena.

The commencement speaker is Robert Matheny, the university’s sixth president, who served from 1983 to 1989.

Matheny said his topic will be “It Only Takes a Generation.”

“I’m a historian so it is a privilege to speak on the 75th anniversary graduation,” Matheny said. “I came to Eastern in 1950 as a student and been here since 1968 as a faculty member or administrator. It is certainly an honor to look back on Eastern’s history since I have lived it since 1950.”

Matheny received a bachelor’s degree from ENMU in 1960 and a master’s degree a year later.

Steven Gamble, ENMU president, said Matheny was a history professor with the university before becoming president.

“The university advanced while under his leadership those six years he was president,” Gamble said. “The quality of students entering the university went up. There was a considerable effort for campus beautification and he was able to secure money for the university to help with faculty salaries and help repair buildings.”

The largest segments of graduates this year are students in biology, business administration and education programs, Gamble said.

“All graduations are special,” Gamble said. “This is the 75th anniversary graduation of the institution so it gives us a chance to commemorate 75 years providing quality education to the people in our state.”