Community celebrates grand opening
Eastern New Mexico University officials introduced the local community to the Golden Student Success Center (GSSC) during the building’s grand opening ceremony on Aug. 28.
The event kicked off with a performance by the Green and Silver Brass Quintet and featured speeches from ENMU Board of Regents, President Jeff Elwell, President Emeritus Dr. Steven Gamble and Melveta Walker, director of the Golden Library since 1999.
ENMU’s library was originally located in a small corner of the administration building. After reaching a critical size, a separate building was created and opened in 1953. After an expansion caused it to double in size again, the building was remodeled with a second floor, where the board of regents placed the newly established ENMU Archives and Special Collections department. In 1976, the library renamed it the Golden Library after the university’s second president, Floyd Golden and his wife, Elsie.
The new building boasts many amenities, such as new computers, faster Wi-Fi, quiet study rooms, student support services, tutoring, an endless amount of seating and a full-service cafe in the main lobby where students can grab a coffee or a bite to eat after a day of cramming for a test.
When asked for his thoughts on the new building, Elwell said,
“This new addition to our campus means that our students will have access to one of the finest student success centers in the region. More than a decade of planning and work have culminated in the opening of this wonderful facility, and it will aid our students and faculty in being successful in their chosen field.”
A large touch screen kiosk in the center of the main lobby features a map of campus and a map of the GSSC and information about all it has to offer. People can even draw and write on the kiosk with their finger. But off in the corner, one can see the building’s roots, as old books, retro art deco chairs, microfiche machines and the old square honeycomb ceiling live on.
The newly added sculpture garden showcases nine unique art pieces from nine different New Mexico artists at various points around the outside of the building. “My personal favorite is the Grama Grass Ballet behind the administration building, standing at 24-feet tall,” said Elwell.
“I think they did an awesome job,” said ENMU alumni Clarissa Hobbs, who attended the event. “I remember studying in the old library in the early ‘90s for my undergrad and master’s degree, and it was outdated then. When you compare it to the old building, it’s like we jumped a thousand years in the future.”