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New Mexico Aggie (Newspaper) - January 1, 1970, Las Cruces, New Mexico Basketball Aggies win third place-seep.3 NEW MEXICO Volume Dr. Gerald W. Thomas Alumni Association New university president named The appointment of Dr. Gerald W. Thomas of Texas Tech University as the next president of New Mexico State Uni- versity was announced at a campus-wide convocation of NMSU faculty and stu- dents on the afternoon of March 9, 1970. Board of Regents Chairman D. W. Reeves said the appointment of Thomas to succeed President Roger B. Corbett will be effective August 1 this year. Dr. Corbett had requested retirement June 30, but will continue until August 1, Reeves announced. Thomas is an internationally known expert in ecology and resources manage- ment who is dean of the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and deputy director of the International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies. "We are pleased to have appointed a man who is deeply committed to the land-grant state university philosophy .of teaching, research, and Reeves told the campus meeting. "He is a scien- tist and administrator with outstanding credentials who is deeply involved in the international cultural programs New Mexico State University is developing." Appointment of Dr. Thomas by New Mexico State's regents comes slightly more than a year after President Corbett in February 1969 announced his plans to retire. Dr. Thomas said of his appointment: "I am highly honored to have been chosen president of New Mexico State. NMSU is one of the finest land-grant uni- versities with a strong tradition of quality teaching, basic and applied research, and public service, and 1 am pleased to be associated with it." Dr. Thomas has been dean of agricul- tural sciences at Texas Tech since 1958, and in 1968 was named deputy director of the international Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies He is primarily responsible for the concep- tion of an agreement between ICASALS and SONATRACH, the Algerian National Petroleum Company that provides for technical services involving agricultural development in Algeria. While at Texas Tech, Dr. Thomas served on a number of consortia, including the widely respected Organiza- tion for Tropical Studies and the Texas System of Natural Laboratories. He has also been president of the Southwest Alliance for Latin America and chairman of the West Texas Water Institute. He is a past president of the Texas Section, American Society of Range Management and has been a committee chairman of the Texas Partners of the Alliance for Progress. Dr. Thomas' professional affiliations Ranger, Bunker Hill, and Essex, and earned the distinguished Flying Cross with two gold stars, air medal with gold star, and three Presidential Unit Citations. Following his active military service he was employed by the U.S. Soil Conserva- tion Service, from 1946 to 1950. While engaged in graduate at Texas A M, he served as an assistant and associate profes- sor in the department of range and forestry. As the research coordinator for West Texas from 1956 to 1958, Dr. Thomas coordinated 14 field units of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and Subject Matter Department of Texas A M. Dr. Thomas will take over the direction of NMSU from President Roger B. Corbett, who became president in 1955 when the student population was Current enrollment is nearly including -e enrolled at four branch campuses. During Corbett's 15-year tenure percentage of faculty holding doctoral degrees went from 33% to payroll went from more than 3.6 million to more than million; the campus expanded from 692 to acres; and the book value of the campus increased from nearly million to more than million. include membership in Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Zeta, American Society of Range Management, Texas Academy of Science, Texas Professional Agricul- tural Workers Association. He is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Active in civic and church affairs, Dr. Thomas has been a past president of the Lubbock Rotary Club and past chairman of the joint committee on ecumenical campus ministries. Dr. Thomas and his wife, Jean, have three children: David, 23, a student at Texas Tech, Peggy, 20, who lives with her husband in Lubbock, and Marianne, 16, a high school student. Dr. Thomas was born in 1919 at Salmon, Idaho, and received much of his formal education in his native state. He earned his bachelor of science degree at the University of Idaho in 1941; his master of science degree at Texas A M in 1951, and a PhD in Range Ecology in 1954 also from Texas A M. As a Naval aviator, Dr. Thomas served during World War II aboard the USS Dr. Thomas'acceptance remarks-p. 2 Task completed Criteria-Search Committee was vital part of selection The process which led to the appoint- ment of Dr. Gerald W. Thomas of Texas Tech University as the 16th president of New Mexico State University was one which sought and received involvement from a variety of audiences. A broadly representative, nine-member Criteria and Search Committee, formed in the early part of 1969 by the NMSU Board of Regents, represented faculty, administration and staff, parents, alumni, community, and students in seeking and screening candidates. The committee's original duty was to help in developing criteria for the new president. The successful completion of that task led the regents to ask the same group to gather nominations and letters of recommendation for the nominees. NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY announces with pleasure a banquet honoring DR. ROGER B. CORBETT On his fifteen years of service to the University, Saturday, May second, nineteen hundred and seventy, at seven-thirty in the evening in Corbett Center Baliroom. Tickets are five dollars per person. Please order tickets by April 25, from the Corbett Banquet Committee, Box CC, New Mexico State University, Las Graces, New Mexico 88001 In addition to communicating with and receiving nominations from the publics which it represented, the commit- tee issued a statewide invitation for nominations through local chambers of commerce, and asked presidents of the leading land-grant universities for recommendations of possible nominees. About 120 nominations were received, and of those, 59 persons agreed to be considered for the NMSU presidency. Prof. George Lucky, engineering, was chairman of the committee. Other elected faculty members were Professors W, A. Dick-Peddie, arts and sciences; Leonard Douglas, education; Bobby Rankin, agri- culture and home economics, and C. W. Reilly, business administration and eco- nomics. K. R. Hafen, NMSU vice president for finance, represented the administration and staff; J. Paul Taylor of Old Mesilla was Ihe alumni representative; John H. Campbell, president of Mutual Building and Loan Association of Las Cruces, represented parents, and the students' spokesman was Stevan E. Pearce from Hobbs. Pearce was student body presi- dent in 1968-69. D. W. Reeves, chairman of the Board of Regents, commended the work of the committee: "It worked diligently to write criteria, seek nominations, and compile references. A great deal of staff work was done by this group on a volunteer basis. Their work is important to the future of the university, and we deeply appreciate the many hours involved."
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