On Monday, December 4, I hosted the Westhafer Reception, which honored this year’s recipient of the Westhafer Award, Professor Kenny Stevens. This reception was especially appropriate because Professor Stevens had not been available to receive his award at convocation this year, because he was with a group of students from NMSU building a bridge in Nicaragua. The 110 foot bridge across a deep canyon provided three villages with access to schools, markets, and transportation. Quite a guy, which was made all the more evident when he made his comments at the reception. He was humble, funny, irreverent, and moving. Thanks, Professor Stevens, for being the quintessential Aggie.
On Wednesday, December 6, I was honored to attend the NMSU Hispanic Faculty/Staff Caucus Stole Ceremony which honors Hispanic graduating seniors who have contributed to their community with their efforts in and out of the classroom. The one minute talks by the graduates were uplifting and moving. They brought home to me the wonderful accomplishments of our students and the great support they have received from faculty, staff, family, and friends. A marvelous, middle of the week lift to everyone who attended.
Saturday, December 9, was Fall Commencement, one of the happiest days of the year for me and for many other faculty and staff members. I am grateful to the large number of faculty members who joined us for breakfast, and later congratulated students from their colleges as the students exited the stage. The greater role that faculty now play in Commencement has made the ceremony more meaningful to our students, who appreciate one last opportunity to give a hug and thanks to someone who changed their lives.
Happy holidays, all!