By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer
As Eastern New Mexico University hands out 355 college diplomas during its 110th annual commencement on Saturday, the largest number of degrees will be in business administration, elementary education and master’s in education.
Approximately 31 graduates will have completed bachelors degrees in business administration, followed by 26 in elementary education, 25 masters in education and 23 degrees in university studies, according to the Registrar’s Office at ENMU.
Jose Mike Jimenez of Roswell is amongst the 75 students who will receive master’s degrees. He is a nontraditional student who recently completed the requirements for a Master of Arts in English following a first career as an insurance adjuster and a 20-year hiatus from any kind of classroom.
“The Eastern experience here was incredible. I loved being here. The program was awesome. I learned everything I needed to learn to do what I want to do,” said Jimenez.
Following graduation, he will teach English on the college level for ENMU-Portales as well as on the ENMU-Roswell campus. He also plans to do some writing.
“I encourage anybody who is thinking about coming back to school to do it,” Jimenez added. “They shouldn’t let age stop them at all. They should realize that they are going to be a better student because they are older. They are more focused and more aware of what’s going on. It’s actually easier to come back.”
Eastern will welcome back one of its alumni graduates, who also happens to be from Roswell, during the Commencement Convocation on Saturday.
Judy Armstrong, the current president of the ENMU-Roswell campus, will be the featured graduation speaker.
“I can tell you, it was 40 years ago, almost to the day, that I graduated from Eastern with my bachelor’s degree. Forty years ago, I was in one of those chairs,” Armstrong said.
“I’ve been a part of ENMU for 40 years, five as a student and 35 as a faculty member and administrator,” she said.
Armstrong will be retiring July 1.
She said she will definitely bring this up when she addresses the graduates and audience and she will use this an opportunity to talk about the transition between the two stages.
She feels she has words of wisdom, as well as the experience to share with college graduates on learning to deal with time and cope with the unexpected things that life will undoubtedly throw at them.