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Newscaster Aragon and golfer Wimberly to be honored at NMSU commencement

New Mexico State University will honor former NMSU golf coach Herb Wimberly, as well as NMSU alumna and longtime TV newscaster Carla Aragon with honorary degrees during the spring 2009 commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at the Pan American Center. Tickets are not required. The Pan American Center will open an hour before each ceremony.



Former NMSU golf coach Herb Wimberly will receive an honorary degree during the spring 2009 commencement ceremony Saturday, May 9, at the Pan American Center. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

The morning program will include candidates for degrees from the Colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Business, Engineering and Extended Learning. The afternoon program will include candidates for degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Health and Social Services.

Herbert "Herb" Wright Wimberly will be honored for his tremendously successful career as both a professional golfer and a champion coach, and for his more than 47 years of dedication to NMSU, mentoring students and helping shape the next generation of leaders.

Wimberly, a Professional Golf Association Class A professional golfer, started golfing at the age of 12. In 1962, he was hired by NMSU as the head golf coach and golf professional, where he remained for a 31-year career.

His teams won six Missouri Valley Conference championships, one Big West title and played host to the 1968 NCAA Golf Tournament and the 1990 NCAA West Regional Golf Championship.

He coached the two All-American Golf Teams that played in the first International Collegiate Golf Matches in Chiba City, Japan. He was the recipient of Coach of the Year six times by the Missouri Valley Conference and once by the Big West Conference. Eighteen of his players were awarded All-American honors with two of the golfers, Larry Beem (1964) and Ben Kern (1968), named as first team All-Americans. Many of his golfers have gone on to play on tour.

In 1988, Wimberly, along with his brother Guy, brought the Professional Golf Management program to NMSU, one of only three institutions selected at that time to host the new PGA-certified major.

Wimberly was inducted into the NMSU Hall of Fame in 1985. Since his retirement, he has stayed in the game by assisting with the NMSU Professional Golf Management Program, and continues to represent NMSU when attending PGA golf shows.

Wimberly and his wife, Carleene, are the proud parents of nine children, 22 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Carla Aragon will be honored for her dedication to New Mexico as an outstanding community member and as a television journalist, starting first with KRWG-TV at NMSU and later as an anchor and reporter for KOB-TV in Albuquerque.

A proud graduate of NMSU, Aragon stepped away from the Eyewitness News 4 anchor desk in November 2007 after 35 years in broadcasting. Her new pursuit: a lifelong dream of writing bilingual children's books on traditions she cherishes from her childhood. Her book "Dance of the Eggshells/Baile de Cascarones" will be published by UNM Press for the 2010 Spring Catalog.

As a journalist, she has covered some of the most significant stories of recent years in New Mexico. One of her most memorable moments covering breaking news was during the bosque fires of 2003 when her own home and neighborhood was being evacuated because of wildfires raging nearby. She remained on the air covering the devastation as her husband packed up some of their valuables, including their dogs. In 2006, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Board honored her with a media award for "Still there ... still doing that."

Before joining KOB-TV in 1994, Aragon spent 11 years in Los Angeles working at KNBC-TV as the morning co-anchor of the top-rated weekday morning newscast, "Today in L.A.," and as a general assignment reporter. She covered portions of the O.J. Simpson Trial, two visits by Pope John Paul II, the Los Angeles riots and several California earthquakes and fires.

Recently, she was the producer/talent for the Sen. Pete V. Domenici oral history, which is part of the Domenici Archives established at New Mexico State University.

She enjoys gardening, traveling, white water rafting and spending time with her husband, Allen Lewis, and their two rescue dogs.