ENMU graduates take next step

Jennifer Lockwood is congratulated by Jim Constantopoulos Saturday after receiving her diploma at Eastern New Mexico University’s graduation ceremony at Greyhound Arena. (CNJ Staff Photo: Tony Bullocks)

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

Amid cheering friends and family, 250 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas Saturday during commencement ceremonies at Eastern New Mexico University.

Sprinkling his commencement address with humor, KENW Director of Broadcasting Duane Ryan sent the graduates off with bits of wisdom and advice.

“I hope you realize that we all have successes and failures. The trick is to learn from our failures and by doing so increase our successes,” said Ryan.

The mother of six children, one a special needs child, Renee Hendrix has had her share of struggles along the path to education. Receiving her master’s degree in arts and counseling, Hendrix has worked and dealt with her child’s health problems, while caring for her other children who remain at home, she said.

“Thank God it’s over,” said Hendrix, whose husband, R.C. Hendrix, echoed the sentiment.

“I’m glad it’s over,” he said. “We are very happy and we are very proud of her.”

Though she is not sure whether she and her family will stay in the area, she hopes to obtain a position in the counseling field.

Graduate Bob Seyller is also unsure of the path he will be taking. A Farmington native, Seyller obtained his bachelor’s degree in communication, with an emphasis in public relations, he said. Citing the education he received at ENMU, Seyller has had several opportunities presented, which he is exploring. He has plans to return to Farmington, unless a job arises in the area, he said.

“I am overjoyed. Four years of hard work are paying off,” said Seyllers of graduating.
Portales native Scarlet Dawn Smith will be using her bachelor’s degrees in education and university studies to pursue a job in the Dallas area, she said.

“I am just absolutely elated and looking forward to the future,” said Smith.

She has not found a job, but has several prospects from a recent job fair. A nontraditional student, she felt ENMU had been accommodating and added to her success in graduating, she said.

“I would recommend to any student, regardless of their age, to go to ENMU,” said Smith.

In closing, ENMU President Steven Gamble thanked the faculty and staff for the input and effect they have had on the graduating students.

“Today is truly a cause for celebration,” said Gamble.