Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Donna Gutierrez
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD – Larry Harris (center) receives a mock framed front page of the Roswell Daily Record announcing his selection as the first recipient of the "Distinguished Service to the College" award from ENMU-Roswell. Bob Cates (left) is president of the ENMU-R Foundation, and Dr. Judy Armstrong is ENMU-R provost.
Dr. Judy Armstrong, provost, also announced that in future years the award will be called the "Harris Award for Distinguished Service to the College."
"It is a privilege and an honor to know and work with Larry," said Armstrong. "His tireless efforts on behalf of ENMU-Roswell and our community have helped countless numbers of people. I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition," she said.
Born in Pleasant Valley, Okla., Harris received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1941. He enlisted in the Army and graduated from Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Ind. He served as finance officer in the Air Force and spent three years in the South Pacific during World War II. When he was discharged from the Army in 1946, he had achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel at age 24. In 1946, Harris made Roswell his home. He was a partner in the Gessert-Sanders Abstract Co. before going into business for himself as an independent oilman in 1952.
Harris was instrumental in the evolution and development of ENMU-Roswell. He was also involved in the establishment of the Oilfield Training Center (the OTC is now the Occupational Technology Center) at the college. He provided resources, support, and personnel for the Petroleum Technology program, which thrived for many years before it was deemed no longer beneficial to operate.
Harris served on the Community College Board for 10 years and on the Community Advisory Council for eight years. He served as chairman of the first Bond Issue Campaign Committee for ENMU-R in 1981 and he served as chairman of the Mill Levy Campaign required by the legislature in 1987.
He was co-chairman of the OTC Advisory Board and served on the Board of Directors of the OTC Foundation. He currently serves as a member of the ENMU-Roswell Foundation.