By Mike Linn
Working at the same place for 30 years may be experienced two different ways: a long, drawn-out affair, or a stint that seemingly cuts through time with expedience.
Jim Zupancic chooses the latter to describe his three decades as an employee at Eastern New Mexico University’s broadcast center. The Miami-native and three other ENMU faculty have either recently retired or are set to retire in the near future.
“The most amazing thing about all of this is how fast it went by – 30 years has gone by in a flash,” said Zupancic, who will officially retire this summer.
“It’s been enjoyable. I’ve met a lot of good people and I think we’ve done some good work. And I don’t regret a second of it.”
Following his discharge from the Air Force in 1973, Zupancic became a broadcast engineer at the ENMU television station. He will retire as the broadcast center’s associate director.
Zupancic said he has no plans to return his birthplace. “I wouldn’t go back to Miami on a bet.”
Too crowded, too much traffic, he said.
Also retiring after seven years at ENMU is Danny Earp, vice president of business affairs.
Earp said ENMU and Portales compared favorably to New Mexico State University, where he previously worked for two years.
“It’s a smaller school, and by virtue of that fact it’s friendlier here,” Earp said. “It’s a situation where you get to know people on campus and in the community pretty easy, which is difficult at a bigger school.”
Projects Earp spearheaded, including renovations of the Education Building, Lea Hall, and the construction of the Zia softball field, are among his proudest contributions as an employee.
Earp added that he will take some vacation time with his wife after retirement, and that he’s “in no hurry to leave Portales.”
Two others have already retired:
–Linda Cluster, who retired in January, began at ENMU in 1978 as a clerk in Business Affairs. She won the Spirit of Eastern Award in 2002.
–Karyl Lyne, who has worked as a communications instructor, recruiter and vice president of student affairs retired this year and now lives in Northern New Mexico.