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White honored as newest NMSU Aggie Legend

Release Date: 06 May 2022
White honored as newest NMSU Aggie Legend

For more than 50 years, Kenneth R. White has served New Mexico State University, and his dedication was celebrated when he was selected as the newest Aggie Legend. White, who is a Regents Professor Emeritus in Civil Engineering, has worked in numerous positions such as interim dean, department head, associate dean of research and professor at NMSU in the College of Engineering since 1970.

The Aggie Legend is an NMSU tradition honoring alumni and friends of NMSU who have supported NMSU while continuing successful careers. White was recognized at Founders Day April 26. 

“I was very surprised, humbled and pleased to be named an NMSU Aggie Legend,” White said. “I have enjoyed every aspect of my more than 50 years with NMSU. I loved being a professor and seeing students’ eyes brighten as they were able to understand difficult concepts and later seeing former students succeed in their profession.”

White was the adviser for Rola Idriss, the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in civil engineering at NMSU, and he hired her as a tenure-track faculty member in civil engineering at NMSU, making her the first female faculty member in the department. He also sponsored the first candidate for the minority Ph.D. program in civil engineering at NMSU, David Jauregui, current Civil Engineering Ed Foreman professor and department head and director of the NMSU Bridge Inspection Program.

In addition to this work with the university, White served nine years on the New Mexico State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors, was past president of the New Mexico Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served eight years as the State Transportation Commissioner for Southwestern New Mexico in District 1. 

White was a lead instructor for bridge inspection training for more than 30 different state Department of Transportations. Also, he was the principal investigator on bridge testing and evaluation for the Federal Highway Administration and bridge inspection and evaluation for the New Mexico DOT for more than 20 years. 

“I feel very fortunate to have many opportunities in research and maintain consistent funding over my career especially in the area of bridge inspection, testing and evaluation,” White said. “Being a professor at NMSU has been a great privilege and very interesting career.”

The most recent “A” Mountain Staff Award winners also were recognized at Founders Day.

“I am extremely honored to have been nominated and chosen for this award,” said Tamara Carruthers, costume shop manager and instructor for the Department of Theatre and the fall 2021 recipient. “Being able to engage in, and mentor students through, the creative process of theatre and support students’ development in the educational environment has been a highlight of my time at NMSU.”

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive the ‘A’ Mountain Staff Award,” said Aitiana Zamora, academic adviser and First-Year Experience instructor and the Spring 2022 recipient. “As a home-grown and loyal Aggie, being a part of the NMSU system as a student, staff and faculty member is irreplaceable, and I hope to continue to help mold Aggies of the future in discovering the importance and relevance of NMSU’s core values. As an Aggie of the present, I plan to embrace the opportunity to nurture future graduates, share my Aggie experience and give back to a university that molded the young woman I have become.”

“It is always wonderful to have our faculty, staff and students join us for Founders Day, ” said Susanne Berger, executive director of NMSU’s Facilities and Services Administration. “Founders Day is a time to celebrate our heritage and honor the history of our university, which was founded in 1888 as the state’s land-grant university. We also honor the Aggies who have contributed to NMSU’s mission of fostering learning, inquiry, diversity and inclusion, social mobility, and service to the broader community.” 

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