Home News Local News ENMU-Roswell graduates ‘overcome obstacles,’ build on past, look to future

ENMU-Roswell graduates ‘overcome obstacles,’ build on past, look to future

Lisa Dunlap Photo Dr. Jeff Elwell, president of the Eastern New Mexico University system, stands beside commencement speaker Mariah Dutchover, an associate’s degree recipient and ENMU-R graduate.

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The traditions of generations and the hopes for the future took center stage Friday night at the Roswell Wool Bowl as more than 100 people participated in the 69th commencement convocation for the college programs of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and Eastern New Mexico University of Portales.

“Being here today has already proven that we’re more than capable of overcoming any obstacle life throws at us,” said Mariah Dutchover, the commencement speaker and the recipient of an associate of arts degree in business administration. “With that being said, as this chapter of our lives draws to an end, we open a brighter, new chapter, full of blank pages waiting to be written in.”

Dutchover, 19, a 2016 Dexter High School graduate, represents the third member of her family to graduate from ENMU-R. She follows her mother, Irma, who completed an occupational therapy assistant program in 2011, and her sister, Miranda, who earned a degree in emergency medical services in 2015 and also was the commencement speaker for her class. Miranda Dutchover also was taking part in the commencement ceremony as a bachelor’s degree recipient from ENMU.

This year, 484 certificates and degrees were conferred to more than 200 individuals. These included 305 certificates and 179 associate’s degrees to ENMU-R students and 13 bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees to ENMU students. Among the ENMU-R graduates were 12 students graduating from Early College High School with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

Dutchover thanked her faculty mentors and her family and told her fellow students that they should continue to work for their goals no matter the odds.

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“Some of us perceive obstacles as a barrier that is impossible to overcome, while others see obstacles as an opportunity to learn and improve themselves,” she said. “Obstacles are put in our way to not only strengthen us as individuals, but to prove that we are willing to go the extra mile to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. As Michael Jordan once said, ‘Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Go through it or work around it.’”

Dutchover plans to continue her studies by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program.

“Whatever the next steps are,” said ENMU-R Interim President Steven Gamble about the graduates, “they will be better prepared because of their time here.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.


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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.