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Southwest Spotlight interview with Dr. Patrice Caldwell about Fall 2021 Homecoming

CRISS: This is Southwest Spotlight on the KENW, Public Radio Network. With me now is Doctor Patrice Caldwell, Chancellor of the ENMU educational system here on the High Plains and President of Eastern Mexico University here in Portales. And Doctor Caldwell, we’re going to have a homecoming parade this year and I think everybody is going to be joyful over having the ability to see that happen. Can you talk a little bit about that for me?

CALDWELL: Oh, I love to Don and thank you for inviting me to the Spotlight. The homecoming parade, of course, is the one way we knit together the community and the campus, our alums, our current students in a celebration of this campus’s connection with its community. And I know we’ve all missed the opportunity to get together at the parade. So, we’re looking forward to some pretty wild candy throwing and some great music and some, I hope, Pretty fantastic floats. But you know how that goes? Maybe the 11th hour is when we are going to have the floats ready, but whatever it is, I think we’re going to enjoy it immensely.

CRISS: Well, it just want to say when I was a student many years ago. Stood with some theater people. I was a theater major and one of them was Dan Ide who became Doctor Dan Ide. And so, I stood with him and watched the parade and then I was able to see him ride in the parade as a- as an honored alumni.

CALDWELL: How wonderful.

CRISS: And that was that was quite a thrill for me in two different ways.

CALDWELL: The Ide family are a wonderful legacy family for Eastern. That’s a great story.

CRISS: Yes indeed. And so, I look forward to seeing some things this year that they’re going to be good as well. Talk to me a little bit about the Eastern band. They’re really good, aren’t they?

CALDWELL: Their excellent! the band was back early practicing and COVID protected ways. They performed at Dawg Days, and they’ve done pep rallies and they’re going to do another one. Of course, at the bonfire. And they’re sounding absolutely fantastic. Of course, every year Mr. Seifert says this is really a pretty good band and they are superb. So, they are going to fill the town as they walk down. And I think we will all enjoy their selections and of course just seeing them is going to be a great experience. They’ve not been in the community, of course they’ve performed at football competitions, but this will be their first sort of introduction to the- or the re-introduction to the community. It’s a big group. And they sound Pretty darn good. The trumpet section in particular I want to call to your attention because at the last Home game, which was honoring 911 they played Taps Acapella and of course, we had to fly over from Cannon Air Force Base and the combination was pretty spectacular.

CRISS: Ah, that’s great, it’s breathtaking to see a band come down the street like that. And I also love to see the floats.

CALDWELL: Yes.

CRISS: They’re- They’re so interesting and the young people have such good imaginations.

CALDWELL: They do, they do.

CRISS: And-

CALDWELL: And we hope that those that imagination will come to fruition by parade time because a lot of these things happen. Inspiration often strikes at the last moment. So, we think the theme is perfect for that: Coming back to life. And I think that’s going to be a Really good theme for us all that as we move out of the pandemic with each week and towards the normalcy we really come to expect and have hoped for, for our community and our campus.

CRISS: Well it is going to going to happen this Saturday, and that’s something that everyone across this whole eastern part of the state of New Mexico would enjoy seeing. And I- I hope they come and enjoy it.

CALDWELL: And I do too and will be on time starting at 11 AM. So, no one needs to wonder. We will start by hook or by crook at 11 AM. We just be on that curbside and with their chairs and whatever else makes them comfortable. And get come candy and hear some great music and some floats and see some students and have a great time.

CRISS: Well Thank you very much for talking with me today.

CALDWELL: Thank you for asking.

CRISS: This is Don Criss, and this has been Southwest Spotlight.

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  • Don Criss, Host of Southwest SpotlightA Southwest SpotlightA Southwest Spotlight is a 5-minute weekly public affairs production of KENW-FM that shines a light on people, places, issues and news of interest in eastern New Mexico and West Texas.The host of the show is Don Criss, host of KENW-TV's "You Should Know". A Southwest Spotlight airs twice a week on KENW-FM at 2:20 p.m. MT Wednesdays and 9:20 a.m. MT Fridays.The programs also are available as podcasts on the KENW-FM website page for "A Southwest Spotlight."(NOTE: Some programs archived on the KENW-FM website aired under the former name "High Plains Update" with Janet Lyn.)