Eastern New Mexico University Remembers Director of Broadcasting Duane Ryan

Duane Ryan

Eastern New Mexico University Remembers Director of Broadcasting Duane Ryan

Portales, NM – April 7, 2023 – Duane Ryan, a champion of Public Broadcasting and a member of the Eastern New Mexico University community since 1967, passed away on Thursday, April 6, 2023.

Duane Ryan spent 55 years as the Director of Broadcasting at Eastern New Mexico University. He came to Eastern New Mexico University in 1967 as an Assistant Professor, it was his dream to bring PBS and NPR to Eastern New Mexico and West Texas to enrich the lives of citizens of this area.

Ryan helped to launch KENW public radio in 1968 and then started KENW-TV in 1974.

Throughout the decades of his leadership, Ryan created not just a Broadcast Center but a welcoming workplace that inspired faculty, staff, and students at Eastern New Mexico University. Countless ENMU students who passed through the broadcast center over the years have gone on to successful careers and cherish lifelong memories of Ryan’s guidance as they prepared for their professional lives.

"Duane Ryan's contributions to the University and KENW were legendary. His talent in broadcast production, his perfect radio voice, and his remarkable career are a small portion of his remarkable gifts," said Patrice Caldwell, President Emeritus, ENMU. "He was a talented, kind, generous, and unflappable director of KENW, always appreciating his listeners, donors and supporters, and staff, who were like family to him.  We are so fortunate that Mr. Ryan's family chose to share him with us, and we will miss him greatly."

Duane Ryan was elected to the New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2015. His vision for KENW on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University from 1974 to the present form an incredible legacy that reflects his life’s work. Ryan only recently retired last month after a 55-year distinguished career at Eastern New Mexico University.

"We all hope that in the later stages of our lives, we can reflect on a life well spent. Mr. Ryan certainly achieved that. Part of my introduction to ENMU was to the tremendous work and achievement of Mr. Ryan in KENW. His name is synonymous with KENW and rightly deserved," said James Johnston, Chancellor of Eastern New Mexico University. "Fifty-five years of service to the area and University is not only a significant part of one’s career but a significant part of one’s life! We are very fortunate that so much of his time and talent was given to ENMU. He will be greatly missed and our hearts are with his family."

Duane Ryan will be missed by everyone here at Eastern New Mexico University. Memorial arrangements will be announced at a later date.