Since its conception 42 years ago, the Christian House Foundation has been a faithful supporter of ENMU. Chartered in 1976 by the state of New Mexico, the Foundation's purpose was to receive and administer property, endowments, trust funds and gifts for purposes of furthering Christian education on a non-denominational basis at ENMU. By providing scholarships for students and furthering the development of the Christian Campus House located adjacent to the main ENMU campus in Portales, the foundation has positively affected the educational experience for hundreds of students.
In 2006, when ENMU alumna Jean Hall (BME 75, MED 75, BS 70) passed away, in her will, she remembered the Christian House Foundation with a generous gift in memory of her beloved father E.C. Luna. She asked that the Christian House Foundation use these funds to continue providing scholarships for deserving ENMU students. During their lives, Mrs. Hall and her family were very active in the community. Her father, E.C. Luna, managed the J.C. Penney store in Portales for many years, and Jean's husband, Bud Hall, ran the Office Center in Clovis. From ENMU, Jean earned bachelor's degrees in elementary education and music education, and a master's in elementary education.
Over the years, many people contributed to this fund to help grow the campus ministry and scholarship offerings. Then, in December 2017, the Christian House Foundation board of directors transferred these assets to the ENMU Foundation to administer and honor the scholarship tradition.
"Nearly everybody involved with the Christian House Foundation had some connection with the University," said Christian House Foundation Board Member Kenneth Broad. "R.B. Allen was a giant of a man and he loved helping students. The Christian Campus House was the brainchild of Clarence Worley. Our mission is upheld by Eastern, that's why it was a natural thing to pass the torch."
The Christian House Foundation was governed by a seven-member board of directors, who were appointed from the congregations of the Central Christian Church and First Christian Church in Clovis, as well as the Central Christian Church in Portales. Founding members included R.B Allen, J.D. Peters, Jr., Nick C. Brady (BBA 71), Fred R. Fien, Ned Wright (BBA 70), Clarence Worley, and Dr. Buck Wilson (BS 60).
Since their attendance in the 1950s, Ron and Sarah Holcomb have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ENMU. They have been significant financial backers of the Greyhound Club, the ENMU Alumni Association and the ENMU Foundation for the past 27 years. During the construction of ENMU's new Greyhound Stadium, they stepped up as loyal patrons and were thrilled to see the beautiful stadium back on campus for students to enjoy.
In addition to their financial generosity, Ron and Sarah enthusiastically dedicate their time to the University. The couple returns to Portales multiple times per year to cheer on the Greyhounds during athletic events and Homecoming. Ron also served on the ENMU Alumni Board for a number of years, acting as president from 1984-85. He is currently a member of the ENMU Foundation board.
"When Sarah and I attended Eastern, obviously the school was a lot smaller," Ron explained. "At the time, there were so many people who were really influential in my life. Some professors – Barron Stuart, Arvel Branscum, Becky Sharp and President Floyd Golden – and of course coaches Al Garten and Carl Richardson. Over the years, I have thought about those people a lot. They were dedicated to the students and their love of Eastern was so apparent to me that I absorbed a lot of that, I guess, because it did wear off on me and has made a huge impact in our lives."
"It's just a great school," Sarah confirmed. "We've watched it grow and it's really come a long way. We're just so proud that we had the opportunity to go there."
Ron and Sarah first met in Portales while attending ENMU. Ron became ENMU's very first All-American football player and was also one of Eastern's top tennis players with a Texas Conference championship in both singles and doubles play. In 1984, ENMU Athletics held their first Hall of Honors banquet, and they inducted Ron as one of their first honorees.
After graduation, Ron and Sarah were married and moved their growing family to Guam, while Ron spent some time in the military. After his service, Ron dabbled in a few career fields – including as the manager of a hamburger restaurant. He eventually worked his way into the oil business. Sarah and Ron have three grown children and currently reside in Midland, Texas. Although they still conduct work in the oil business, the couple also tries to absorb as much cool, fresh air as they can at their mountain home along the Highway of Legends in Colorado.
Terry Othick (MBA 70, BBA 68) has been bleeding green and silver for more than 50 years – dedicating his time, energy and money to ENMU. As an active member of the ENMU Alumni Association, he was an influential member of the committee that started the Alumni Golf Tournament nine years ago. He has volunteered for the event every year since, and helped raise more than $300,000 for alumni scholarships. Mr. Othick has also served on the ENMU Board of Regents since 2015, for which he served as president and vice president. More recently, he spent a significant amount of time and work as the chair of the search committee for ENMU's current president, Dr. Jeff Elwell.
In 2013, ENMU Alumni Affairs awarded Mr. Othick with the Distinguished Service Award for his dedication and success in fundraising. He also remains in close contact with members from the Kappa Sigma chapter he joined while at ENMU, and the fraternity recently inducted him into their Theta Zeta Chapter Hall of Fame.
Mr. Othick greatly enjoys volunteering for ENMU. He explained that it is his personal belief "that the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education should be made available to any individual who desires and strives to earn a certificate or degree. One way all of us can help those aspiring students reach their goals and dreams is to donate whatever time and money we can afford to ENMU."
At the start of his 50-year career as a computer operator and programmer, Mr. Othick taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate technology courses at ENMU. After moving to Albuquerque in 1975, he served as chief information officer (CIO) for Public Service Company of New Mexico and for the New Mexico Department of Labor, and as executive director of operations and technology for a large school district. He was also a technology consultant for an Albuquerque technology firm and taught at UNM for more than 20 years. He currently provides IT consulting services to schools and small businesses.
Mr. Othick's wife Sissy (MED 74, BS 71) is a Portales native who earned two degrees from ENMU and her Ph.D. from UNM. The couple currently volunteers for Saranam, a supportive community that provides housing and education for homeless families in Albuquerque. They are also consistent supporters of Special Olympics. Terry and Sissy have one daughter, Ashlee, who owns three veterinarian practices in Albuquerque, and six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 17 years old.