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NMSU College of Business to hold annual Hall of Fame celebration

The New Mexico State University College of Business will honor the successes of alumni and friends of the college during its annual Hall of Fame Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.


The event will honor 2008 Hall of Fame inductees Richard Baldridge and Kerry Weems. Joyce Whitfield Jaynes and J.B. and Libby Pruett will receive the 2008 Traders Awards. The NMSU College of Business initiated the Hall of Fame almost a decade ago to honor outstanding alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and to develop a stronger relationship between the college and the business community.

Richard Baldridge is the president and chief operations officer for ViaSat Inc., a producer of satellite and other digital communication products. At ViaSat he is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the company's five operating groups as well as investor relations. He was previously a vice president and general manager at Raytheon Corporation. He also held senior leadership positions at Hughes Information Systems and General Dynamics Corporation. Baldridge graduated from NMSU with a degree in business administration with an emphasis in information systems.

Kerry Weems heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program and health insurance portability standards. He received the highest award conferred on federal employees, the Presidential Rank Award, by President Clinton in 2000 and again by President Bush in 2007. Weems studied business and graduated from NMSU in 1978.

Joyce Whitfield Jaynes has worked with numerous community organizations both locally and nationally. She served on the board of directors of the NMSU Foundation, the NMSU Business Council and she and her daughters have established an annual endowed scholarship in the NMSU College of Business in memory of her husband, Ed Whitfield. In 1980 she founded Whitfield Enterprises and continues to serve as president and chief executive officer in the management of family-owned commercial properties. Whitfield Jaynes graduated from New Mexico A&M, which later became NMSU, in 1945 with a degree in education.

J.B. and Libby Pruett both started as teachers before becoming active in community and philanthropic activities. J.B. has served on the board of the President's Associates scholarship program. Libby is serving her third term as a board member of the NMSU Foundation. She was on the board of directors of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, serving as chair in 2000. The pair, along with their son David, started a construction and development company in 1998 and own and manage commercial properties including the Spaceplex Building occupied by General Dynamics in the NMSU Arrowhead Business and Research Park. J.B. and Libby Pruett both graduated from NMSU, where they met and were married as students.