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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Speech and Hearing Center celebrates 50th anniversary

New Mexico State University will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Edgar R. Garrett Speech and Hearing Center with a ceremony May 4 from 5-8 p.m.


"It is important to celebrate this clinic, for it has provided consistent and state-of-the-art education for training speech language pathologists while providing a needed service to the community," said Marlene Salas-Provance, interim communication disorders department head.

"The Garrett Legacy of Excellence: 50 Years of Service" will feature a live jazz band, Mexican food, a silent auction and a tour of therapy rooms each celebrating a decade of service. There will also be face painting, a scavenger hunt and crafts for the children. NMSU Aggie football players will be in attendance to throw a football toss and deliver the signed football and jersey for the silent auction.

In 1962, Edgar R. Garrett founded the speech and hearing clinic with just a few patients and became its first clinician in addition to establishing the communication disorders undergraduate and graduate academic program.

Today, the Edgar R. Garrett Speech and Hearing Center, named in honor of its founder, provides diagnostic and therapeutic services to Southern New Mexico and is equipped with the latest technology in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology, treating patients from infants to the geriatric population. The center also provides individual and group therapy sessions as well as summer communication camps for children in the community at little or no cost to patients.

"Dr. Edgar Garrett would be proud of the legacy he left for NMSU, for Las Cruces and for the surrounding community," Salas-Provance said.

Graduate students in the NMSU communications disorders program provide all of the center's services. Program faculty who are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the New Mexico Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing Practices Board supervise the students. In the fall semester of 2011, more than 1000 hours of direct clinical services were provided to the community by first year graduate students.

The NMSU communication disorders program is nationally recognized for training bilingual speech pathologists. Of the 260 speech pathology programs nationally, NMSU is one of 41 to train bilingual speech pathologists, and to provide bilingual services to the community.

"There will never be a person in need that is turned away and the Edgar R. Garrett Speech and Hearing Center will continue to be a community pillar of service provision for years to come," Salas-Provance said.