Debbie Widger, associate vice president of development at New Mexico State University, came through town last week on her way to several meetings and spent the night. We met for dinner and a great visit. She is one of the few people left on campus whom I know, and it is always a major pleasure to see her. Through the years, she has kept me in touch with the happenings on campus and with news of friends.
Although Debbie was not one of my students, she began stopping by my office to visit just after she started working at the alumni office. Because she knew so many of the people I knew both on and off campus, we were never at loss for topics to talk about while she was on break from her work. Having watched her grow from that young girl to a sophisticated, professional woman has been a real privilege. She has retained her sense of humor and her mischievous grin as she has developed her qualities of leadership and knowledge.
She began early on to travel throughout the U.S. to meet with alumni organizations and to keep NMSU alive and well in the hearts of the Aggies with whom she met. As a result of all her travels and her skills at being eager to know the alumni personally, she has become the best known Aggie from NMSU. Whenever her name is mentioned to almost any Aggie, some story comes to mind, and we talk about her and about how much she has done for all of us.
As we visited during dinner, I was recalling many of our other visits and was aware of how much her friendship means to the aging professor. Since my retirement, she has missed few years of visiting in this area. We were laughing about how often she has had to stay over because she would arrive along with major snow storms and couldn’t leave town to pursue her duties on campus. Unfortunately she didn’t bring that snow with her this time, but she did bring some cooler weather.
Although her promotions have taken her out of the alumni office, she is still the person we call when we want information or just want to talk to a friend on campus. She has also been involved in the helping to amass scholarship funds and funds for different types of advancement and has probably raised more money than most of the others without even asking for a dime. We just get out our check books because we want to give and might not be so eager were she to ask for those checks.
She always smiles when I hand her my check and remind her that she has yet to ask for it. She continues to reply that she doesn’t need to ask when people are willing to give to support our university.
This Aggie is very honored to know Debbie and to have her as a true friend. We’ll be calling and writing each other throughout the year and will meet at homecoming if all goes well. Also, she’ll pass this way again as she continues to represent New Mexico State University, and we’ll share another dinner while we exchange news.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.