As Eastern New Mexico University's school year comes to an end, graduates aren't the only group of the ENMU family to start a new chapter in their lives.
ENMU recognized 17 retirees earlier this week at a reception, honoring the employees for their years of dedication and service to the school.
Ginger Creighton, a native of Artesia, is among the list of retired ENMU employees and was the person who loved to get up and go to work each day. She served as the school's safety officer.
"It was an excellent job, I loved it," Creighton said. "And I loved the people I worked with which was everyone on campus."
Creighton is an avid supporter of ENMU, attending most athletic games and campus events. Her dedication was honored with the Spirit of Eastern award in 2005.
Creighton gave 22 years of her life to ensuring the safety of ENMU and its students but that wasn't always exactly how she planned to live her life.
Creighton originally went to school for nursing but after meeting her husband; love moved her in another direction.
"My husband and I moved to Las Cruces when he got a job," Creighton said.
She got a job at New Mexico State University as a secretary in the environmental safety and health office and then moved up to an assistant safety officer, working there for a total of eight years.
But once her husband moved to Portales for work, she decided to create a position at ENMU.
"I went to ENMU and told them you need a safety position, every university
Creighton was in charge of safety regulations for the school. She conducted Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) trainings for the school and was in charge of loss prevention and risk management.
She taught CPR, first aid, but what she despised the most was teaching defensive driving.
"I did fire inspections and kept us in compliance with the city fire department and the state (fire) marshal office," Creighton said. "I also inspected the buildings in case of floods."
Creighton said she would show up to everything she felt required her presence as safety officer, from false fire alarms to large sporting events.
Her favorite part about working at ENMU was watching the students grow.
"I loved going to graduation," Creighton said.
Now Creighton wants to see a small group of people grow up, particularly her grandchild and future grandchildren.
"I have a 1-year-old grandbaby in Las Cruces and she's fixing to have a little brother in June," said Creighton.
Creighton's daughter is also having a grandbaby in the fall, so retirement means spoiling the ones she loves.
"I'll be grandbaby happy," Creighton said. "I get to be a grandma in other words."
When she retired in January, Creighton said she watched TV for about a month and is now enjoying cooking and taking pride in her home.
But the whole retirement thing, she just wants to make sure she's isn't getting old. Creighton said one day she tried to straighten the wrinkles out in her socks only to find that she wasn't wearing any.
Here's a list of the other 16 ENMU retirees:
- Rosemary Bahr, professor of sociology. Started at ENMU in 1987.
- Jane Blakeley, director of purchasing. Started at ENMU in 1984.
- Steve Blakeley, director of printing services. Started at ENMU 1989.
- Minnie Bresler, supervisor of accounts payable. Started at ENMU in 1986.
- Rick Bresler, manager of telecommunications and network services. Started at ENMU in 1989.
- Linda Hamrick, Telecommunications Department. Started at ENMU in 2000.
- Sharon Johnson, payroll clerk. Started at ENMU in 1981.
- Kathy Knoll, comptroller. Started at ENMU in 1994.
- Jordan Kobritz, associate professor of sports administration. Started at ENMU in 2006.
- Georgia Jo Laney, grants director. Started at ENMU in 2005.
- Jim Lee, KENW-FM news and public affairs director. Started at ENMU in 1999.
- William Mitchell, painter in the paint shop. Started at ENMU in 1989.
- Debbra Morgan, systems and operations specialist in the Computer Center. Started at ENMU in 1985.
- Cheri Quinn, professor of education foundations. Started at ENMU in 2001.
- Darrel Rasco, night custodian. Started at ENMU in 1987.
- Bessy Tipton, housing custodian. Started at ENMU in 1988.