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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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John Yates Sr. to be honored at commencement

John A. Yates Sr., president of Yates Petroleum Corp. of Artesia, will receive an honorary doctorate at New Mexico State University's Fall Commencement program on Saturday, Dec. 15.

ohn A. Yates Sr., president of Yates Petroleum Corp., will receive an honorary doctorate at New Mexico State University's fall commencement ceremony Dec. 15.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in the Pan American Center. More than 1,800 main and branch campus students are candidates for degrees at the end of the fall semester. About 750 graduating students are expected to attend the main campus ceremony.

Yates, a New Mexico native who began working in the oilfields at the age of 12, is being honored for his leadership in the oil and gas industry. He graduated from Artesia High School, studied economics at Dartmouth College, and began working for Yates Petroleum, his family's company, in 1951. He has been president of the company since 1988.

Yates has had a lifelong passion for exploring for oil and gas, and the awards he has received reflect the prominent role he has played in the industry. He was inducted into the All American Wildcatters Association in 1989 and was selected All American Wildcatter of the Year in 1996. He is an honorary life member of the Roughnecks Club and in 1996 he received the Chief Roughneck of the Year award from the Independent Petroleum Association of America, an honor bestowed annually on only one person in the United States.

He has been appointed by the last four U.S. presidents to serve on the National Petroleum Council.

Yates and his wife Charlotte live on their ranch near Mayhill, N.M. They breed and race Polish Arabian horses.