Western New Mexico University will graduate 315 of its students this spring. Of those, 236 graduates will walk across the Old James Stadium stage during the spring commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10, at 2 p.m. They will receive their diplomas then shake hands with WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Barbara J. Vigil, WNMU’s spring commencement speaker.
Native New Mexican Justice Vigil was born and raised in Santa Fe and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from New Mexico State University, her law degree from the University of New Mexico and has been a licensed attorney for more than 28 years.
During her 19 years on the bench, Justice Vigil has served on both the First Judicial District Court, comprised of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties, and the New Mexico Supreme Court benches. As a district court judge, Justice Vigil presided over the Children’s and Family Court, as well as the civil docket, presiding over more than 16,000 cases.
Justice Vigil joined the state Supreme Court in 2012 and was unanimously chosen by her colleagues to preside as Chief Justice from 2014-’16 and is the longest-serving current member of the state Supreme Court.
Diplomas being granted at WNMU’s spring 2019 commencement ceremony include those for 68 associate degrees, 124 bachelor’s degrees, 97 master’s degrees, 30 graduate certificates and 48 fast-track certificates. Graduation takes place in Old James Stadium starting at 2 p.m. It will also be live-streamed online. For guests who have limited mobility, a wheelchair-accessible area will be reserved at the top of the stairs in Old James Stadium.