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Parents of NMSU grads honor children's educational success

A scenic view and a sense of community spirit brought Danny and Paula Gamboa and their family to New Mexico State University's Center for the Arts recently, where a terrace was named for the couple in honor of their children - all NMSU Aggies.

NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Christa Slaton honor the Gamboa Family at the NMSU Center for the Arts. (Submitted photo by Robert Yee)

Danny and Paula Gamboa on the terrace dedicated to the Gamboa family at the NMSU Center for the Arts. (Submitted photo by Robert Yee)

"Partnerships between the university and the private community are essential to the university," said NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard. "The family is a tremendous supporter of NMSU."

At the naming reception on Friday, Sept. 27, held by NMSU's College of Arts and Sciences, the local businessman and his wife watched as the plaque for Danny and Paula Gamboa was unveiled just inside the door to the second floor balcony with a view of the Organ Mountains.

"The Gamboas really have made NMSU a part of their family," said Christa Slaton, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "The naming of this terrace at the Center for the Arts is just one of many ways they have demonstrated how much they care about this university."

The terrace is a tribute to the educational success of the couple's three children. Gabriel, class of 2005, earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology. He currently works in the family business as the general manager.

"I think it's fantastic that my dad's giving back to the community he was raised in," he said. "It's coming full circle. I strive to be like my dad."

Tess Marie graduated in 2006 with bachelor's degrees in sociology and Spanish. She is again attending NMSU to prepare for a physical therapy career. Leandra, the youngest, will earn her degree in Spanish and international business this December. She plans on continuing her education and hopes to attend law school.

Although Danny Gamboa did not graduate from college, he said he values education and is proud of his children's achievements.

"Danny's goal is to help others in the community," said Paula Gamboa of her husband. "That's a large part of what he tries to do and instill in our children. He believes their studies should be their passion."

"From here on, they're going to be on their own, and they're going to have to do their own thing, and this was one way that I could give back and show my appreciation to NMSU," Gamboa said.

All three of his children expressed hope of following their parents' example.

"My dad tries to give us everything he couldn't have growing up," Leandra said.

Danny Gamboa is president of Casa de Autos, a family owned and operated car dealership. He and his wife are long-time supporters of NMSU and earlier this year, they donated several vehicles to Aggie Athletics.

The evening was filled with the Gamboas' friends and relatives who were there to show their support for the family. Guests included Danny's mother, Josaphina, and grandson Othello, who spoke warmly of his grandfather.

"He sets a good example," he said. "It touches my heart that he takes time to help me."

The 10-year-old expressed an interest in archeology as a prospective career, possibly leading the next generation of Aggies in the family.