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ENMU celebrating 85-year anniversary

Pictured, left to right, past Eastern New Mexico University presidents Dr. Steven Gamble and Dr. Everett Frost, and current ENMU President Dr. Jeff Elwell. (Submitted Photo)

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Eastern New Mexico University kicked-off its 85th anniversary year at the ENMU Foundation’s 42nd Annual Summer Barbecue at the university president’s home earlier this month.

ENMU employees, community members and ENMU Foundation contributors were in attendance.

As a special commemoration for the 85-year anniversary of the founding of ENMU, event attendees were presented with a cake made in the same style as the cake from ENMU’s 25th Anniversary celebration in 1959.

“I’m extremely proud to be leading Eastern New Mexico University as it turns 85,” said Dr. Jeff Elwell, chancellor of the ENMU System. “While the 85th birthday is not one that’s usually celebrated widely, it’s important to recognize the progress that we have made while on our way to the centennial celebration in 2034.

“I, like the nine Presidents before me and the ones that will follow, share a great responsibility to keep the university fiscally strong and academically sound so that it can be here to serve future generations of New Mexicans.”

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Dr. Steven Gamble, who served as president of ENMU for 16 years before retiring in 2017, said, “For 85 years, Eastern New Mexico University has provided an excellent education that has changed its graduates lives. I am happy to say that this tradition continues today.

“For over eight decades, the faculty and staff have committed themselves to the success of the students, and the best is yet to come. Go Greyhounds!”

Golden Library Director Melveta Walker, who has worked at ENMU since 1990, shared, “ENMU’s students, alumni, faculty and staff are proud to show off the latest and greatest renovation on campus: the Golden Student Success Center, which houses the Golden Library, tutoring and auxiliary services and distance learning. …”

ENMU officially opened its doors in 1934 as a two-year college to 145 students for a six-week summer session with Dr. Donald MacKay, who served as the first president. In 1935, the inaugural graduating class consisted of 14 women and three men.

The institution began offering four-year degrees in 1940 and awarded 41 bachelor of arts degrees in 1941. Soon after, in 1947, ENMU was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as a four-year liberal arts college.

Graduate work leading to the master’s degree was added in 1949, and the institution was officially designated Eastern New Mexico University in 1955.

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