Serving the High Plains

Jim Morgan to retire from Mesalands

Mesalands Community College President Gregg Busch announced last week that Jim Morgan, chief operations manager and a key figure in developing its wind-energy program, will retire on Dec. 31 after 23 years.

On Busch’s nomination after the announcement, the board of trustees unanimously voted during its Nov. 15 meeting to grant Morgan chair emeritus status, which retains him staff privileges at the college.

Busch said Morgan also would return as a contractor to help Mesalands on several projects.

“He will be sorely missed,” Busch said.

Board Chairman Jim Streetman agreed with Busch and added he was “thrilled we’ll have (Morgan) back” on a part-time basis.

A celebration in Morgan’s honor will be held Dec. 15 in the Building A commons area.

Morgan, a native of Tucumcari, graduated from THS in 1961. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on six submarines. He served in the Cuban missile blockade on the USS Quillback SS464.

After nine patrols out of Holy Loch, Scotland, in 1974, he was named chief of naval operations staff in Washington, D.C., then was assigned to the USS Dolphin AGSS, the world’s deepest-diving submarine.

In 1979, he attended Trident Missile Submarine School in Bangor, Washington. Soon after, he was assigned as trident navigator on the USS Michigan SS(B)N 727. Morgan retired from the Navy in 1981.

He was employed until 1999 as outage manager with ABB, refueling civilian nuclear power plants.

In April 1999, Morgan began work at Mesalands as a computer technician.

Morgan currently is responsible for oversight of building, grounds, maintenance, auto fleet, construction, project management, custodial services and facility rentals, and he served on the Busch’s executive staff and cabinet.

His accomplishments included eventual development of the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands and led the drafting of the college’s master plan.

“Jim’s contributions to the college are immeasurable,” Busch stated. “[His] dedication to student success and service [were] exemplary. I am going to miss Jim as one of my key advisors and friends, but I am glad that he will return from time to time as a valued contractor and continue his work on solar energy.

“At the same time, I am happy he will have the opportunity to spend more time with his wife Phyllis, four children, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.”

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