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ENMU awards outstanding alumni

ENMU Communications

PORTALES — The 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award winners for Eastern New Mexico University are Retired General David Kee, Larry Patton, Ed Johnson, Berylene Blakeley Rogers and Loren Nancarrow.

They represent the fields of military, banking, public service, public relations/technical writing and broadcast journalism/conservation.

The awards will be presented at the ENMU Foundation Homecoming Breakfast on Saturday.

Major General David Kee, Retired

Kee graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in English in 1977. He participated on ENMU's swim and football teams and was a member of ROTC.

The United States Army commissioned Kee after graduation; he attended the Quartermaster and Petroleum basic courses along with Airborne school in Fort Lee, Virginia.

Kee's first overseas assignment was to Zweibruecken, Germany. Afterwards, he served with the Allied Central European Rapid Reaction Corps in Saraajevo, Bosnia from 1996 - 1997.

In 2005, Kee deployed to Kuwait as the Director of CENTCOM's Deployment and Distribution Operations Center.

Following this deployment, Kee worked as the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Deputy Director for Logistics until his retirement in October of 2013.

Larry Patton

Patton graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1971.

Upon graduation, Patton went to work for the Comptroller of the Currency as a commissioned national bank examiner and the Regional Director of Corporate Activities; shortly after, Patton began his banking career. In addition to serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of WestStar Bank, Patton has served as President and CEO of several other banks in El Paso.

WestStar Bank became and remains the only El Paso based bank to reach $1 billion in assets. SNL ranked WestStar Bank as the "Top Community Bank" in 2010 for banks with $500 million - $5 billion in assets. Patton will serve on the Finance Commission of Texas until 2020.

Ed Johnson

Johnson graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with bachelor's and master's degrees in social and political science in 1984 and 1986.

The student body of the early 80s elected Johnson to two consecutive terms as Student Body President. In his second term, the Governor of New Mexico appointed Ed to the New Mexico State Board of Educational Finance.

Johnson furthered his public service career, working on Capitol Hill and with New York City's youth afterwards. In 1998, Ed began his fifteen year tenure of public service for Asbury Park, N.J. Johnson served as city councilman, Chairman of the Urban Enterprise Zone and, most recently, as Asbury Park's Mayor.

Johnson transformed Asbury Park into a 21st century community where property values rose from $416 million to $1.2 billion. He is a member of the Zeta Sigma Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Berylene Blakeley Rogers

Berylene Blakely Rogers graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Political Science. She served as the Editor-in-Chief for the The Chase school newspaper and worked as a columnist for The Portales News-Tribune.

From 1987 - 2002, Rogers started a design firm that evolved into a results-oriented consulting firm focused on public relations and marketing strategies for small but high-end clients. Her clients included Apple Computers and NASA. Beginning in the early 90s, Rogers began working as a senior technical editor and documentation specialist for Los Alamos National Laboratory, a designation she holds to this day. Her publications include "Insights: NASA High-Performance Computing & Communication" and a Materials Handbook for Particle Accelerator Applications.

Established in her field, Rogers has received numerous awards for excellence in scientific publishing and publication relations.

Loren Nancarrow, Posthumously

Loren Nancarrow graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in communication.

After leaving ENMU, Nancarrow worked as an anchorman, reporter and weatherman in San Diego, Calif. He is the recipient of five Emmys, four Golden Mics and won the AP Investigative Reporting Award.

Recognized as Environmentalist of the Year, Nancarrow was a conservationist and environmentalist committed to planetary sustainability. He also co-authored four organic gardening books with Random House.

Doctors diagnosed Nancarrow with stage III terminal brain cancer (Anaplastic Astrocytoma) in early February of 2013. He courageously faced his diagnosis, as he created a blog where he wrote about his experience. During this time, he also reached out to Scripps Health to setup a healing garden for cancer patients.

Nancarow died Dec. 28 of last year.