After 16 years of service, Eastern’s beloved president, Dr. Steven Gamble, is retiring in July of 2017. While he is going to miss the students and faculty of Eastern, he looks forward to seeing the future of the campus grow.
Before starting at Eastern, Dr. Gamble served as the President of Southern Arkansas University for 10 years. Though he enjoyed working at Southern Arkansas, Gamble sought to make his way back to this part of the country and applied for the job at Eastern as soon as he saw it. Gamble grew up in Big Springs, Texas, so he was no stranger to the rural life around New Mexico. “Eastern had a good reputation the whole time I was growing up…so when the job opened up I thought, ‘hey, maybe I could be competitive for the job,’” said Gamble.
In his 16 years as president, Gamble saw his greatest accomplishments not as anything he did alone, but instead as a team efforts between him and the other members of his staff. “The thing I think I’ve done best of all is I’ve hired good people,” said Gamble. “If you’ve got resources and you’ve got good people, things are going to go pretty well.”
While his term as president may be coming to an end, don’t be surprised if you see Dr. Gamble on campus next semester. Due to Eastern’s quarter-time position, Gamble will be sticking around to help the new president, Dr. J.S. “Jeff” Elwell. “I don’t see going from [working] 50 hours a week to zero being healthy, so I think if I’m working ten hours a week I’ll have some structure to my life still,” said Gamble. “Besides, if I didn’t think I could do some good things helping the new president, then I wouldn’t do it.”
Though Gamble will miss his role as president, he knows that at 71 years of age, it’s time for him to retire and start spending some time for himself and “grow old gracefully.” In regards to the future, Gamble wants students and faculty to “keep remembering the mission of the institution, and remember to respect each other.”