henson lou and mary rsLou and Mary Henson will be honored with New Mexico State University’s Presidential Medallion Jan. 16. (Courtesy photo)WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, jmoorman@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University will award the 2018 Presidential Medallion to Lou and Mary Henson during the spring convocation ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Atkinson Recital Hall.

The award recognizes outstanding service given to the university beyond an individual's time as an employee.

"Lou and Mary Henson have done so much for our university and so much for our community," NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said. "In addition to his outstanding career, Coach Henson has helped with the Boys and Girls Club and has always been willing to help with other community efforts. Mary Henson played a key role in the NMSU Aggies are Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign. These two are outstanding members of our community and two of the most prominent individuals to ever walk our campus."

Lou Henson, an NMSU alumni, is noted for his 779 career basketball victories, making him one of the most successful coaches in Division I history. During his career, which spanned more than four decades, he led two programs to the NCAA Final Four – NMSU in 1970 and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. His teams have made 19 NCAA appearances and four NIT appearances.

He is also one of only four NCAA coaches to have amassed at least 200 total wins at two institutions. Both NMSU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have honored the coach by naming their basketball arena hardwood floors "Lou Henson Court."

Henson was selected as a member of the National College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2005, Lou and Mary were awarded honorary doctorates from NMSU.

Mary Henson first met her husband during his student days at New Mexico State in the 1950s. Throughout their more than 60-year marriage, she has been his strongest supporter and cheerleader, experiencing the NCAA tournaments and Final Four appearances with him, often cheering from the sidelines with their children or grandchildren in tow.

Mary always involved herself in her husband's career, including hosting pre-game receptions for alumni, boosters or new recruits, while engaging in various community activities.

While in Las Cruces, she served as an active board member for the NMSU President's Associates, helping to raise money for student scholarships. One of her philanthropic efforts was to help complete projects for NMSU's Children's Village.

The Hensons, as a team, have been among NMSU's most active supporters on and off the court. Their commitment to excellence in academics and athletics was demonstrated with the establishment of the Lou and Mary Henson Endowed Scholarship in honor of their late son, Lou Jr. The fund is designed to support deserving student-athletes at NMSU.

Coach Henson earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education and his master's in education administration, both from NMSU. He lettered in basketball for the New Mexico A&M Aggies from 1953-1955.

Prior to coaching at the college level, Henson coached at Las Cruces High School where he led his varsity teams to state championships in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

After four years at Hardin-Simmons University, Henson returned to his alma mater in 1966 to coach the Aggies for nine seasons. In 1975 he left New Mexico for the Illinois position, which he held until 1996.

In 1997, Henson returned to NMSU as interim head coach. He wanted to donate his time, but was told that state law didn't allow him to coach for free. He finally accepted a nominal salary of $1 per month. After a successful season, he became the permanent coach until the 2004-2005 season when he retired.

The couple will be unable to attend the convocation ceremony due to Lou's medical appointments out of state.

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.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

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!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

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