By Eamon Scarbrough
Staff Writer 

Momentous occasion

481 graduate at ENMU; Gamble speaks at event.


Last updated 5/15/2017 at 7:43am

Alisa Boswell

Sarah Kay Blake strikes a pose with Board of Regents member Terry Othick after getting her bachelor of occupational education degree.

PORTALES — The future appears bright for 481 Eastern New Mexico University graduates if the comments of the commencement speaker and the now-former students are any indication.

Outgoing ENMU President Steven Gamble delivered the commencement remarks Saturday morning at the graduation ceremony in Greyhound Arena, and though he expressed his pride at their accomplishments, he reminded them their journey had just begun.

"Paths are made for you for giving you the tools to go out there and start a really good career. I'm absolutely convinced. There's more to that than just preparing. You've got to follow through," he said. "Don't let the new degree you're getting here today be the final step."

Many graduates believed that foundation for success had been laid, like Ashley Owen, who was receiving her bachelor's degree in science from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"I think it's prepared me for just having perseverance and patience, and just pushing through. Not everything is easy, and you just have to keep going, even when you feel like giving up," she said.

Zachary Walling, also receiving his bachelor's degree in science (College of Business), developed a newfound confidence through the relationships he made at ENMU.

"In high school, I was not like the popular kid or whatever," Walling said. "But I think here, it's like you can be whoever you want to be, and I know a lot of people, so I feel like I'm that popular kid now."

Candice Herrera, receiving a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences with an emphasis in emergency management services, transferred to ENMU after two years at the University of New Mexico, and expanded her horizons more than she had ever expected.

"It opened the opportunity for employment in a field (emergency management) that I didn't even realize was as large as it is. I thought it was firefighter. I didn't realize the management aspect was so large, said Herrera.

A Bachelor of Science from the College of Fine Arts (where he studied broadcast production) was far from the only tangible reward Jacob Aranda will take away from ENMU.

"I've built strong bonds with some of the teachers, made a lot of good friends. I had the ability to work at KENW TV, which is hands down the best opportunity I've got. I got so much hands-on opportunity learning about television production," he said.


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