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ENMU anniversary to continue into Dawg Days events

Senior writer

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Eastern New Mexico University’s administration said the school’s yearly celebrations will get a blast from the past as it celebrates 80 years starting this week.

The school will kick off festivities starting with Friday’s summer celebration, which will be sponsored and broadcast by an Amarillo television station. The party will feature live music, food vendors, games and giveaways.

ENMU President Steven Gamble said Friday is when the fun begins. He plans to continue the celebration into the Dawg Days events, the school’s annual freshman orientation.

“We will tie the celebration of our 80th into Dawg Days so they can be familiar with the history and heritage from the start,” Gamble said.

ENMU’s Vice President of University Relations Ronnie Birdsong said the fun will spread to this year’s homecoming events in the fall, which will reflect they 80 years ENMU has been around.

Birdsong said faculty and the students in the Fine Arts Department will have a selection of music that covers the eight decades the school has been open and the university’s food service, Sodexo, will serve food that’s reminiscent of the eras.

“We’re trying to tie the 80th year activities into what we already have,” Birdsong said. “I think it will be for the whole year. There’s really some neat things in what they’re thinking about doing that will highlight the history and celebrate it.”

Gamble is in his 13th year as president and was instrumental in his support to secure a new stadium for the university, projected to be built in 2015. He is happy to celebrate 80 years and is excited to see the university forward.

“We are very proud of the heritage and the history that Eastern has achieved over the past 80 years,” Gamble said. “The main reason ENMU is a strong university today is because of the students, faculty, and staff that have worked for eight decades to make this a highly respected institution. I also truly believe that Eastern’s best years are still ahead.”

Facts about ENMU and its history as it celebrates 80 years:

• ENMU opened its doors in 1934.

• ENMU has two live dog mascots, greyhounds Vic and Tory.

• The Wagon Wheel game is the annual rival football game between ENMU and West Texas A&M University. ENMU currently possess the Wagon Wheel.

• ENMU’s new stadium will make it the university’s fourth.

• Two of ENMU’s most prominent grads include the late ENMU professor and science fiction pioneer Jack Williamson and actor Ronny Cox who starred in “Deliverance” and “Beverly Hills Cop.”

• ENMU has a tunnel on campus that runs between the Campus Union Building and Lea Hall.

• Before they were Zias, ENMU’s women’s teams were called Greyhoundettes.