By: Marissa Tijerina and Abigail Pino
There were 491 candidates for graduation at the fall commencement ceremony held Saturday, Dec. 16. The candidates included 387 undergraduates and 104 graduate students. Celebrating the graduating class of 2017, ENMU was also celebrating the inauguration of its tenth president during the ceremony.
According to Board of Regents President, Dan Patterson, 77 applications were reviewed for the presidency position before the board unanimously selected Dr. Jeff Elwell. The Board of Regents chose Elwell because of his leadership, communication, and listening skills.
During his inauguration speech, Elwell said that the 2017 fall graduates and he would be tied together in ENMU’s history. For the graduates, “it is the official ending of one segment of your life.” For President Elwell, it is “the beginning.”
Elwell also expressed what he believed ENMU would look like in 20 years when the graduates bring their children to Green and Silver Preview Day.
When you return to Portales and Eastern New Mexico University in 2037, here is what I think you will find: a beautiful new welcome center and one-stop shop for student services where Harding Hall now sits, a wonderful student recreation center in the heart of campus where students can work out, hangout and occasionally study, a renovated and enhanced campus union building with theater for movies and perhaps a bowling alley… an attractive new all-suites residents hall to handle our growing campus population, updated and modern athletic facilities and maybe even a new indoor rodeo facility for our world-class rodeo teams.
To conclude his speech, Elwell introduced the team that will help ENMU expand and flourish. Members of that team included deans, presidents and vice presidents, custodians and all remaining faculty and staff.