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New Book on NMJC History Available at Book Signing

New Book on NMJC History Available at Book Signing photo 10/6/2009 10:16:09 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. The Western Heritage Museum Complex & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will be the site of a book signing on Thursday, October 8, at 5:00 p.m. for a newly released history of New Mexico Junior College by Dr. Jim Harris.

Building Community through Education: New Mexico Junior College since 1965 relates the history of New Mexico’s first true junior college, tracing the early historical and political struggles surrounding its founding through its current status in southeastern New Mexico as a respected institution of higher education and subsequent economic engine. Perhaps the college’s single greatest contribution, however, lies in the fact that NMJC – in the words of the author – “helped build a community that was in its early years an isolated and frontier collection of towns.”

The book has been described by NMJC employees as a work ranging from “a serious documentation of important regional history” to “a beautiful pictorial history worthy of being displayed on the living room coffee table.”  Personal interpretations aside, Building Community through Education: New Mexico Junior College since 1965 is comprised not only of historical and little-known facts about the college’s 46-year existence, but is also loaded with both vintage and new photographs, helpful timelines, individual profiles, and historic highlights and milestones throughout.

Harris, a former professor of English at NMJC for 26 years and current director of the Lea County Museum in Lovington, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University and his doctorate from Texas A & M University - Commerce.  A past president of the Texas Folklore Society, Harris serves on the boards of the Historical Society of New Mexico, the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, and the Lea County Commission on the Arts. He and his wife Mary divide their leisure time between a dugout home in the Chihuahuan Desert along the Mexican border, a small cabin in the Sacramento Mountains of Central New Mexico, and the home of their son Hawk, who lives near Austin.

Building Community through Education: New Mexico Junior College since 1965 will be available at the Museum at a cost of $15. For more information, call the Museum at 575.392.6730.

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