The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU Foundation to give honors


Last updated 9/28/2021 at 4:40pm

PORTALES — Four Eastern New Mexico University graduates, a Clovis bank and a group supporting ENMU music students will be honored Saturday during the ENMU Foundation Homecoming Breakfast Saturday at the Campus Union Building.

The breakfast is part of this week’s homecoming festivities leading up to the 6 p.m. Saturday game against Lincoln University.

Award recipients are The Bank of Clovis for Business of the Year, John W. Templer for Philanthropist of the Year, and University Friends of Music for Volunteers of the Year. For the Alumni Association Award recipients, Joseph Gallegos and Gregory Sawyer are receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award, while Rose Robbins has been named the Distinguished Service Award.

More about the honorees, according to a university release:

• Bank of Clovis, Business of the Year: The bank and chairman/CEO Randy Harris have supported the university in various ways over the last quarter century, including more than $100,000 in sponsorships for alumni golf tournaments and other university events, lobbying for state support of the new football stadium and a four-year term of service by Harris on the board of regents. While Harris is not an alumnus, he reports that a quarter of his employees are.

• John W. Templer, Philanthropist of the Year: Templer has held ownership in eight banks in Texas and has served as owner and president of the three-branch Western Dakota Bank in South Dakota for 17 years. He also owns the Bar L Cattle Company ranch in Union and Colfax counties. His philanthropy specific to ENMU includes support of the new 250-foot metal building at Lewis Cooper Arena, which features a commercial kitchen, public restrooms, concession areas and plenty of space for not only the ENMU rodeo team but multiple other events.

• University Friends of Music, Volunteers of the Year: The community-based group began in 1967 to support music students at the school, and its various functions run the spectrum from raising money for scholarships to providing performance clothing for the ENMU symphony. The Friends have also aided area public schools through the school of music’s preparatory department and provided money to bring guest artists on campus.

• Rose Robbins, Distinguished Service: Robbins, a 1981 graduate of ENMU, returned to Portales after a 25-year career of corporate communications and marketing for Texas Instruments and Radio Shack. Her volunteer efforts include Greyhound Club, MainStreet Portales, the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, the Military Affairs Committee and the Catholic Daughters.

• Joseph Gallegos, Outstanding Alumni: Gallegos, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 and a master’s degree in 1998 from the college, has been involved in researching digital education since 1999 and founded the online Orion High School in 2006. The school has graduated more than 12,000 students internationally, and Orion Online Learning has added All Gifted School in Singapore and New Mexico Trinity Prep for students throughout the state. He also served as superintendent in the Sierra Blanca Independent School District in Texas and as an assistant superintendent for two years in Portales.

• Gregory Sawyer, Outstanding Alumni: Sawyer, a 1978 master’s graduate of ENMU, has served for the last four years as Vice President for student affairs at Sonoma State University. He was also a founding Vice President for student affairs at California State University Channel Islands. His career in university administration includes the University of North Texas and Florida Gulf Coast University. Other notable recognitions include the President’s Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Notable African-American award from the Black American Political Association of California, a Barrier Breaker Award for being the first African-American Dean of Students at UNT, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Tutoring Association.


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