Faith helps grandmother earn degree

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Long hours, miles of paperwork and countless hours of class and study time will soon pay off Saturday for the 368 Eastern New Mexico University students scheduled to receive diplomas.

Commencement ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. at Greyhound Arena.

Sandra Turner of Clovis has spent 27 years juggling family and school work. She will be awarded bachelor degrees in psychology and sociology on Saturday.

A mother of five and grandmother of five, Turner said a strong faith in God and support from her family has helped her juggle home and school.

“It’s so hard being a mother and a wife and balancing everything,” Turner said. “God helped me through all of that and walking across the stage, I will give all the glory to God.”

Heath and Jaime Hacker of Portales have also juggled school work and family. The couple, who have two children, will both be graduating on Saturday. Jaime will graduate with a master’s degree in mass communications, while Heath will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture.

“We struggled with the usual stuff, with both of us being in college, how to pay the bills, worrying about class and if you’re going to graduate,” Jaime said.

Edward L. Chavez, chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court, will be the keynote speaker. A Santa Fe native, Chavez graduated from ENMU in 1978 with a degree in business administration.

Chavez received his doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1981. He has served on the New Mexico Supreme Court since 2003 and was appointed chief justice on Jan. 10, 2007, according to an ENMU press release.

Fast facts

What: Eastern New Mexico University Commencement Ceremony

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Greyhound Arena