Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Carolyn Edwards
PORTALES – The Eastern New Mexico University Friends of Eastern Foundation will honor three former faculty emeritus members at the annual Friends of Eastern Homecoming breakfast, Saturday, Oct. 19 in the Campus Union Ballroom.
Paul Coggins graduated from high school in Hugo, Okla., and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. He earned his bachelor's degree in speech/radio and television in 1952.
His love of literature prompted him to stay at O.U., where he received his master's degree in English the following year. After his graduation, he taught English at the University of Idaho. Three years later he transferred to the University of Kentucky and began work toward a doctorate degree.
Coggins interrupted his studies to return to Oklahoma where he and his father were partners in Coggins' Men's Store for seven years. He wanted to return to the academic world and accepted a teaching position in the fall of 1963 at New Mexico Military Institute. Two years later, Coggins was asked to join the faculty at ENMU. He moved his family to Portales and transferred his doctoral work from Kentucky to the University of New Mexico, where he earned his doctorate degree in 1974.
At ENMU, Coggins taught courses in Browning and Shakespeare and also did extensive study and research at the Browning Library at Baylor University. He was known as a grammatical purist and students, especially those who were preparing to teach, flocked to take his course on traditional grammar.
While at ENMU, Coggins served as the faculty advisor to the Athletic Department and was inducted to the ENMU Athletic Hall of Honors for his service. He also served one year as assistant to the president and stepped in as interim chair for the English department when needed. Coggins received the President's Award in 1968.
He and his wife, Becky, also a retired teacher, have four children who are successful in their careers. Paul still enjoys studying and is an avid golfer.
David McClary has served in a variety of positions at ENMU during his 33-year career, including assistant professor of CIS, chair of the CIS department, graduate coordinator, and assistant dean of the College of Business. He served as director of Computing Services, in two, eight-year increments, and taught computer information courses in the College of Business from 1972 until 1985 and again from 1993 to 1997. McClary continued to teach CIS courses on a part-time basis after he retired. He was awarded the faculty "Spirit of Eastern" Award in 1996.
McClary joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956, where he was a Personnel Accounting Operator. After his tour of duty, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and computer information systems at ENMU in 1969. While serving as director of computing services at Eastern, he completed a master's degree, in 1972, with emphasis in personnel management.
Dr. George Mehaffy, former vice president of academic affairs, recommended McClary for Assistant Professor Emeritus status when he retired. Mehaffy noted that McClary's career was a living monument to the principles of integrity and excellence. He said, "David McClary is well-known for his commitment to his students and for his dedication to their education. He has built strong ties with industry which he used to assess and shape the CIS curriculum and his own teaching."
Dr. Mehaffy said, "As ENMU computer director, David was responsible for creating the network infrastructure for the campus as well as writing the grant which brought the Internet to Eastern."
Dr. Dale Davis, former dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing, said,
"David's contributions to Eastern are many, but his indelible impact is to be found upon the thousands of students whose lives he touched." Dr. Davis continued, "David McClary is the prototype of the committed, dedicated teacher who not only taught students, bus also played a major role in locating appropriate positions for them upon their graduation. In short, David was a Master Teacher in every sense of the word."
James H. Penrod will be honored, posthumously, at the Foundation Breakfast for his service to ENMU. He joined Eastern in 1959 where he taught English, American Studies, Folklore, and American Literature until he retired in 1982.
Penrod earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Vanderbilt in 1938 and 1940, respectively. He taught high school English for one year before he was drafted. He served in the Field Artillery of the Blue Ridge Division in Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, and the Battle of the Bulge.
When he returned from Europe, he enrolled at Peabody College, where he taught while earning his doctorate in English. He accepted a position in 1955 at Troy State College in Alabama, where he taught English until 1959 when he joined ENMU.
He and his wife, Dolores, have two adult sons. Penrod was an Elder at First Presbyterian, a volunteer for the Community Services Center, and delivered Meals on Wheels. He will be remembered as an ardent defender of civil liberties.
James H. Penrod