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Theatre Professor Retiring to Mississippi
photos and story by Spencer O'Keefe
“Retirement is sort of jumping off a ledge, so I’ll see what’s below once I’m airborne.” – Felipe Macias
|Felipe Macias helped at this year's High School Drama Festival|
ENMU employees and students are savoring the last few months of a familiar face at the university – Felipe Macias, professor of theatre. Completing his 25-year career at Eastern, he will officially retire on July 1.
“Fel,” as he is affectionately known, has been at Eastern since 1987 and has helped guide his students’ education by teaching theatre, design, theatre appreciation, scene shop and helping with “bunches” of Eastern productions.
He stayed motivated by enjoying the interactions with his students and watching his students learn. “Watching careers grow is cool, and knowing that you’re a piece of that tapestry is a good feeling,” says Fel.
As an El Paso-born, southern New Mexican resident, Fel recalls lots of fun and freedom growing up on a dairy farm. With many opportunities to almost get himself killed, and many lessons learned, he became enchanted with New Mexico and the many kinships he developed.
Fel says, “There’s something incredibly unique about some places, and New Mexico is one.”
His education includes Cathedral High School, a Christian Brother school in El Paso, Texas, St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, for undergraduate studies (Bachelor of Arts), and the University of Mississippi for graduate school (Master of Fine Arts). Before coming to ENMU, Fel was designer/technical director and interim department chair at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala.
Of retirement, Fel says, “It’s sort of jumping off a ledge, so I’ll see what’s below once I’m airborne.”
While not sure of the exact details, Fel knows he’ll be venturing to Mississippi to be with his wife. There he plans to partake in the theatrical and design opportunities of the Oxford Shakespeare Festival, a prestigious theatre festival held during the summer, for which Fel has designed in years past.
When asked if he has any ambitions of teaching theatre during retirement, he said, “I’d like to be associated with a university one way or another.” He added that an adjunct position at the University of Mississippi might be in his future.
Reflecting on his time at Eastern, Fel says students and colleagues will be missed the most when he leaves. “It’s funny. I may not see my friends for weeks at a time when I’m here, but the fact that I know I’m not going to be running into them in the hallway makes a difference.”
Even with his retirement in sight, Fel dutifully takes time to educate the young minds of the area.
The ENMU Department of Theatre hosted its 57th Annual Drama Festival from Feb. 15-17. Fel, and his students and colleagues, worked together to share their wealth of knowledge with approximately 400 high school students from New Mexico and Texas.
Students attending had the opportunity to tour the campus, attend workshops and assess performances of the students. Fel recalls when fashion trends and crazy hairstyles were not the most extreme thing to witness during Drama Festival. In the past, excited students had to be asked not to hang off the walking bridge over the highway.
With a load of good memories and an equal amount of friends at ENMU, Fel looks forward to living life as it rolls his way. When asked what else he looks forward to, Fel warmly answered “Marriage,” adding with a chuckle, “and good green chili!”
|Felipe Macias Interview||Video Alert|
Watch an interview with retiring theatre professor Felipe Macias. – [video]
(video by Spencer O'Keefe)
|KVII-TV at ENMU|
KVII-TV reporter Emily Griffin recently came to campus from Amarillo to interview ENMU students Kaylee Peterson, Kyle Sundheimer and Sarah Sutton in the Communication Services office about how New Mexicon Lottery Scholarships benefit them.
(photo by Wendel Sloan)
|Alumni Social in Ruidoso
(photos courtesy of Alumni Association and Donna Oracion)
The Eastern New Mexico University Department of Art will host the University of New Mexico-sponsored exhibit of The Plazas of New Mexico in the Runnels Gallery in the Golden Library on the Portales campus through March 9.
Sponsored by the ENMU Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology and the Department of Art, admission is free and open to the public.
Heritage Days queen and princesses in Portales near the courthouse square in 2004
A reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 17, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Runnels Gallery and will include a book signing. A presentation and question-and-answer session with the authors Miguel Gandert and Chris Wilson is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. in Room 112 in the Jack Williamson Liberal Arts Building. Books will be available for purchase at both events.
Exhibit hours will follow regular Golden Library hours.
Roosevelt County Courthouse square, about 1920, Town boosters often organized car rallies to promote construction of state highways.
The exhibition features panoramic photographs of contemporary plaza celebrations from across the state by Gandert, an internationally renowned documentary photographer.
The second part of exhibit, prepared by Wilson, profiles the history of nine iconic plazas and squares from Taos Pueblo and the Santa Fe Plaza to the plazas at Albuquerque, Las Vegas and Mesilla. The Roosevelt County courthouse square in Portales is featured in the book and the exhibit.
Roosevelt County Courthouse, about 1905. Derrick probably exploring for artesian waters. (photo courtesy of ENMU Special Collections)
The Plazas of New Mexico documents the rich heritage of New Mexico’s public plazas, and the everyday life and community celebrations that help sustain them. It traces three distinct design traditions—the Native American center place with kiva and terraced residential blocks, the Hispanic plaza with church and courtyard houses, and the Anglo square with courthouse and business blocks.
Wilson is a leading cultural, architectural and landscape historian whose award-winning books include “The Myth of Santa Fe: Creating a Modern Regional Tradition” and “Facing Southwest: The Life and Houses of John Gaw Meem.”
|Classic and custom car show, Heritage Days in Portales, 2004|
Wilson is coeditor, with Paul Groth, of “Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies after J. B. Jackson.” Wilson is the J. B. Jackson Professor of Cultural Landscape Studies at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning in Albuquerque, and founding director of its Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program.
One of America’s leading documentary photographers, Gandert has exhibited widely, including in the Whitney Biennial. His largest body of work is found in Nuevo Mexico Profundo: Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland. He is a professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico.
For more information from UNM, call 505.710.7169 or visit http://plazasofnewmexico.com/index.html.
For more information from ENMU, call 575.562.2206.
Annual ENMU Anthropology Cynthia Irwin-Williams Guest Lecture/Conference Set for February 24-25
by Wendel Sloan
Ted Goebel, a professor at Texas A&M University, will lecture on the Ice Age origins of the first Americans at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 in the Jack Williamson Liberal Arts Building during the 13th Annual Cynthia Irwin-Williams Lecture Series/Conference at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
Goebel’s area of research includes Siberia, Kamchatka and Chukotka, Alaska, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah and Idaho. He excavates early sites, as well as surveys for new sites. He works on a variety of materials from ancient insects to human coprolites (fecal matter) to projectile points.
A tour of the Miles Anthropological Museum in Lea Hall will be conducted from 4-7 p.m. that day.
A tour of the Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.
At 11 a.m. there will be an atlatl competition at the site. An atlatl is a primitive dart-throwing system in which a hand-held throwing device creates leverage to add velocity to the dart.
Beginning at 1 p.m. that day there will be workshops in the Art and Anthropology Building on campus.
Mu Alpha Nu will provide dinner on Feb. 24, and breakfast and lunch on Feb. 25 to groups that RSVP.
Irwin-Williams (1936-90) began working at the Denver Museum of Natural History at age 12, and eventually earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 1963. She taught at ENMU from 1963-82, and was president of the Society for American Archaeology from 1977-79.
The event is sponsored by Mu Alpha Nu, ENMU’s Anthropology Club, and the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology.
For more information, call 575.562.2206 or 575.607.2206.
|ENMU Women's Lovers for Learning Event
(photos courtesy of Kayla Paulk)
The annual ENMU Women Lovers for Learning fundraising event was held Saturday night at The Vines restaurant in Portales. Reportedly, about $3,000 was raised for the ENMU Women scholarship fund through ticket sales, a silent auction and a dessert auction. The Swanee Singers sang four songs, and Jo Laney served as auctioneer for the dessert auction. Above, Patrice Caldwell models a dessert.
Swanee Singers demolish a $70 raspberry cheesecake bought for tbhem by Jason and Kayla Paulk.
|ENMU Hosting Music Groups in Fundraiser|
Eastern New Mexico University in Portales will host three Christian music acts in the Campus Union Ballroom on Sunday, March 4 in a fundraiser for the My Ashleah Foundation, a non-profit organization which promotes drug and alcohol awareness. It was founded by the family of Mark Richards whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver.
The groups in the “Love Come to Life Tour” are “Big Daddy Weave,” “Mikeschair” and “Kerrie Roberts.”
The concert is sponsored by ENMU P.A.C.K. (Promoting Alcohol Control and Knowledge) Program and the ENMU Police Department.
Tickets can be purchased from:
Paden Insurance Company (located in front of Wal-Mart in Portales)
- Online at www.myashleah.org (Click on “concert” tab)
- Also online at: http://www.itickets.com/events/281422/Portales_NM/Love_Come_to_Life_Tour.html
- Or call 806.729.1291 or 575.703.5735
Watch video at: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrRbPU8YRxs]
For more information, call Brad Mauldin, chief of ENMU Police, at 575-562-2392.
|Benefit Concert in Ballroom on March 4|