facebook-24x24

You are here: HomeNewsFront Page News ArticlesWNMU 121st Birthday celebrated

WNMU 121st Birthday celebrated

At right, Isabelle "Belle" Eckles, better known around Silver City as Liz Mikols, spoke about being the first graduate of the Normal School in 1895.

Below, the Western New Mexico University Pep Band, led by Bryant Chaffino, played for the audience.

Article and photos by Mary Alice Murphy

On Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 11, Western New Mexico University celebrated Founders Day, the university's 121st birthday.

Abe Villarreal, public relations, served as the moderator.

Isabelle "Belle" Eckles AKA Liz Mikols spoke as the first graduate of the Normal School in 1895.



"I graduated in one year," Eckles said. "My girlfriends and I started together as students, and we all became teachers."

She said in 1911, she was elected Grant County superintendent She also served as acting president of the board, because "there was no man to do it."

In 1922, she became the New Mexico education superintendent and brought education to small towns in the state. She also worked with the Works Progress Administration and dedicated her life as an educator.

"Western, WNMU or Teachers' College, whatever you want to call it, it is a wonderful institution," Eckles said.

Villarreal said because February is also Black History Month, Danielle Greene would read a poem by Anita Scott Coleman. Coleman and Maggie Banks, Johnny Banks' mother, were the first black students to graduate from the Normal School in 1904.

Greene read "The Shining Parlor" by Coleman.

A black-and-white video created by Western students featured snippets of people around Silver City wishing WNMU a Happy Birthday.

To end the celebration, the WNMU Pep Band played several short numbers and invited the audience to participate in singing Happy Birthday, followed by a jazz rendition of the same song.

Cake and punch were served in the Miller Library lobby.

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
captcha 
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

I seem to have spoken too soon about things being back to normal. We are having intermittent outages, for several minutes at a time.

And just now discovered by this editor: Front Page featured articles are showing up ONLY if you click the menu item News> Front Page articles.

We are constantly troubleshooting to discover the cause of these problems. Ah, technology!

Thank you for your patience, and thanks for being a Beat reader!

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Comics are now available. As the editor, I chose my favorites first--B.C. and Wizard of Id. The Beat is seeking sponsors for these comics and for your favorites, too. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for rates. 

Check Out Classifieds.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat.

Post YOURS for quick results!

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com.

Go to top