Western New Mexico University will graduate nearly 300 of its students this fall. Of those, 200 graduates will walk across the Fine Arts Center Theatre stage during the fall commencement ceremony on Friday, December 14, 2018, at 2 p.m. They will receive their diplomas then shake hands with WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard and with newly elected Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico Howie Morales, who is an alum and WNMU’s fall commencement speaker.
Overflow seating will be provided in the Global Resource Center auditorium, where the program will be streamed live in the event that all the families and friends of WNMU’s fall 2018 graduates do not fit into the Fine Arts Center Theatre.
Diplomas being granted at WNMU’s fall 2018 commencement ceremony include those for 48 associate degrees, 124 bachelor’s degrees, 109 master’s degrees, eight certificates, seven fast-track certificates and 26 graduate certificates.
Leading up to the graduation, WNMU will hold pinning ceremonies and honors inductions. The public is invited to join the 16 nursing graduates for a pinning ceremony on Thursday, December 13, at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Theatre. Forty of the 77 fall social work graduates will also be pinned on Thursday in the Global Resource Center auditorium at 7 p.m.
Chosen to give the fall commencement address due to his ties to WNMU and his upcoming Lieutenant Governorship, Morales’ story is one many in southwest New Mexico share. His father was a veteran who worked in the copper mine and his mother worked in the schools. Morales himself was employed at a number of local businesses before and while attending WNMU, when he became the first in his family to attend college. Like many first-generation college grads have done and like this fall’s WNMU graduates will do, he used his education to achieve a successful career.