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Longtime ENMU-R board member resigns

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Board expects to move soon to fill vacancy

A woman with decades of ties to Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell has resigned her position on the school’s Community College Board.

The board plans to seek someone to fill her unexpired term.

Eloise Blake announced that she was retiring after the board’s Wednesday meeting.

“I have thought about this for a long time,” she said. “I’ve been here for a long, long time. I love this place and I have no reason to resign or whatever, except that it is just time. It is just time to go. I love ENMU-R. I love its employees. I love its students. It has been a part of life since I moved here in, what, 1972, I think. You’re not going to get rid of me. I will still be back to bug you.”

Blake held the District 3 seat on the five-member board. She ran unopposed for a four-year term in February 2017. She first began serving on the board in 2006, when board members served as “at large” representatives for the entire college district, rather than as representatives of a specific district.

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She told faculty and administrators at the Wednesday meeting that she considers it a pleasure to pass along her duties to someone else, saying it was a “joy” to participate in leading the school and praising its administration.

Blake is a former U.S. Army Reserve colonel with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degrees in psychology and nursing. According to a written history about ENMU-R, Blake first joined ENMU-R in about 1972 as an adjunct faculty member. She became a full-time nursing instructor in 1974 and chair of the Health Sciences Division and nursing program director in 1988. She retired in 1999 as professor emerita. She received numerous professional awards over the years, including selection as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Roswell Rotary Club.

“Eloise has established a big presence for us,” said Board President Mireya Trujillo. “We are just so honored to continue that work and be a part of that group.”

Current board members Patricia Parsons, Carleton Avery and Ralph Fresquez also praised Blake and said she played a big role in encouraging them to join the group.

According to Trujillo, the board soon will begin to solicit applications for the vacancy.

The person who serves must live within the District 3 boundaries. The remaining members of the board will vote on the new member after applications are reviewed. Blake’s term was due to expire in February 2021, but changes in when local elections occur might mean some adjustment in the term ending.

As of press time, it was unknown whether an appointment will be made by the board’s next scheduled meeting on April 15.