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Regents name new Honors Center for President William B. Conroy

The regents of New Mexico State University have decided to name the new Honors Center after President William B. Conroy in recognition of his contributions to NMSU.

At the board's regular meeting Friday (Dec. 17), the regents voted to suspend a regents' policy, prohibiting the naming of buildings after current faculty or staff, to make way for the unanimous decision to name the historic building after NMSU's 19th president.

The regents' action followed their approval of the $1.8 million plan to renovate the old YMCA building into a university honors center, scheduled to begin later in the spring semester. Designed by famed southwestern architect Henry C. Trost, the two-story "Spanish Renaissance" structure was built in 1907-08.

Regents President Adelmo "Del" Archuleta asked the board to consider naming the building after President Conroy, and his request was greeted enthusiastically by all the regents.

Vice President Larry Sheffield noted that Conroy has served NMSU as executive vice president, interim president and president through "our greatest growth and our greatest need." Naming the historic building for Conroy seems appropriate because of his "deep sense of history," Sheffield added.

Regent John Van Sweden noted "it's hard to list all he has done" for the university. Regent James Manatt said Conroy's leadership brought NMSU out of turbulent times, "back into calm water" and "expanded our horizons."

Sheffield and Regent Avery Culbertson made the motions to suspend policy and to name the new center. In other action, the regents:

- heard a final, audited report on the 1998-99 budget, showing the university as "robust and healthy," according to Vice President for Business and Finance James McDonough.

- approved a plan to consider buying insurance on the open market, rather than through the state's Risk Management Division, because of steeply increasing premiums in liability and worker's compensation.

- approved a Position Description and Criteria Statement for the presidential search process. President Conroy, who joined NMSU in 1986, will complete his term on June 30, 2000.