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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU's Family and Consumer Sciences Centennial Celebration Planned

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University's family and consumer sciences department is celebrating its centennial anniversary April 2-6 with an open house, a birthday party, an alumni and friends dinner and a nationally known guest speaker.


Keynote speaker Myrna Deckert, chief executive officer of the El Paso Del Norte Region YWCA, will give a talk titled "Healthy Families, Healthy Communities: A Border Perspective" April 5 during the Centennial Celebration birthday party.

Deckert oversees more than 650 staff members and a budget of more than $33 million. She has been honored as national YWCA executive director of the year in 1990, one of El Paso's 20 outsanding women of the year in 1997 and was one of the El Paso Times' two newsmakers of the year for 2000.

"We are very excited to bring someone of her caliber to Las Cruces," said Ann Vail, department head. "It's also exciting to have her come speak because the YWCA is doing a community survey right now to determine whether or not they should establish a YWCA in Las Cruces."

The birthday celebration on April 5th will include a buffet dinner at 5:30 p.m. and address by NMSU president G. Jay Gogue. Deckert's lecture will be held at 7 p.m. at the Physical Science Laboratory Auditorium. A reception will follow in the PSL lounge. Tickets for the dinner are $20 per person and must be purchased by March 31 from the department.

"The lecture is a free event and everyone is invited to attend," Vail said. "We'll serve birthday cake at the reception after the lecture."

Other centennial events include an open house and birthday party with NMSU faculty, staff and students April 2 at 3 p.m. in NMSU's Gerald Thomas Hall's Social Living Center and an alumni panel discussion on careers in family and consumer sciences April 3 at 4 p.m. in Room 337 in Gerald Thomas Hall. Interested students are encouraged to attend the alumni panel discussion. Displays about the department's history will be up for visitors throughout the week on the third floor of Gerald Thomas Hall.

The department has evolved from four students in the fall of 1900 to an enrollment of more than 380 students. Students in family and consumer sciences have four majors and minors to choose from: family and child science; family and consumer sciences education; human nutrition and food science; and clothing, textiles and fashion merchandising.

"We've gone through several name changes since the beginning," Vail said. "We started out as the department of domestic economy. The last name change was in the 1990s when the department of home economics became the department of family and consumer sciences."

For more information on centennial events, contact the department at (505) 646-3936.