By Casey Peacock: PNT staff writer
Amid cheering friends and family, 250 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during commencement ceremonies at Eastern New Mexico University on Saturday.
Sprinkling his commencement address with humor, KENW Director of Broadcasting, Duane Ryan, sent the graduates off with bits of wisdom and advice, as they began the next chapter in their life journey.
“I hope you realize that we all have successes and failures. The trick is to learn from our failures and by doing so, increase our successes,” said Ryan.
The mother of six children, one who is a special needs child, Renee Hendrix has had her share of struggles along the path to education. Receiving her Masters degree in Arts and Counseling, Hendrix has worked and dealt with her child’s health problems, while caring for her other children who remain at home, she said.
“Thank GOD it’s over,” said Hendrix.
“I’m glad it’s over, we are very happy and we are very proud of her,” said husband R.C. Hendrix.
Though Hendrix is not sure whether she and her family will stay in the area, she has hopes to obtain a position in the counseling field.
Graduate Bob Seyller is also unsure of what path he will be taking. A Farmington native, Seyller obtained his degree in communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, he said. Citing the education he received at ENMU, Seyller’s has had a lot of opportunities presented to him. Presently he is exploring those opportunities and has plans to return to Farmington, unless a job arises in the area, he said.
“I am overjoyed, four years of hardwork are paying off,” said Seyllers of graduating.
Portales native Scarlet Dawn Smith, will be using her degrees in Bachelor of Science and Education and Bachelor of University Studies to pursue a job in the Dallas area, she said.
“I am just absolutely elated and looking forward to the future,” said Smith.
Currently Smith has not found a job, but has several prospects from a recent job fair. A non-traditional student, Smith felt that ENMU had been very accommodating and added to her success in graduating, and not making her feel like an outcast, due to her age, she said.
“I would recommend to any student, regardless of their age, to go to ENMU,” said Smith.
In closing, ENMU President Steven Gamble thanked the faculty and staff for the input and effect that they have had on the graduating students.
“Today is truly a cause for celebration,” said Gamble.