Several Eastern New Mexico University graduates of the class of 1962 laughed Friday afternoon as they tried to get their bearings on the campus grounds.
For most of the dozen 50-year alumni in attendance at this weekend’s homecoming it’s been 50 years since they set foot on campus, yet the memories are fresh.
“It’s changed so much, like visiting a completely different university,” said alumni Bill Moore a retired data processing manager from Dallas,, who used to hang out at the Student Union Building all the time when he was a student.
He said the building is still there but it is now the Student Academic Services building at the front of campus. The Campus Union Building on the other side of the campus is the hang out for current ENMU students.
“It was some of the most enjoyable years,” Moore said of his time as a student. “I liked what I was doing and my studies. Classes were small and I loved that.”
Moore said he used to live in the Vetville Apartments on campus, which were replaced by the tennis courts about 40 years ago.
“He’s always talked about his time at Vetville and his classes and that it was just a good four years,” said Moore’s wife, Debra.
Moore said he and his wife would be attending the Friday night bonfire and the Saturday morning homecoming parade.
ENMU President Steven Gamble thanked ENMU alumni for returning to the campus during the 50th reunion luncheon Friday in the Campus Union Building.
“We just love having people who attended school and graduated from here come back to visit,” Gamble told the 50-year alumni. “With each class, for years, we’ve seen we’ve done a good job. It’s my pleasure to welcome you all back.”
Mike and Theresa Scallen of Oatmeal, Texas, near Austin, signed in at the ENMU alumni registration table Friday morning in the CUB.
Mike is now a retired electronic engineer and Theresa used her physical education degree from Eastern to become a teacher.
The Scallens have not been gone quite as long as Moore, but the couple had not returned to the campus since graduating in 1988.
Mike Scallen said the main reason he and his wife returned was to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, of which he had been a member.
“The size of the town and school was really beneficial, academically and socially,” Mike said of why he enjoyed his time as a student at ENMU.
“All the professors knew your names,” Theresa added.
The Scallens said they would be attending the ENMU women’s soccer game and the bonfire and possibly the Saturday afternoon football game.
“It’s nice to see all the changes they’ve made,” he said as he looked around the CUB Friday afternoon.