October 6, 2014 by Curtis and Julie Lucas via email
Curtis and Julie have been a “pair” since 1957 when they were 15 years old and this Thanksgiving will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary. This is their NMSU story as told by Julie:
It was 1963 – we were married, 21 years old and had a 1-year-old daughter. We lived in Gallup, NM, wanted to finish our degrees and had friends living in married housing at NMSU. Those friends — Howard and Marge Hudgeons — attended NMSU/College of Business and went on to graduate in the mid-1960s with their accounting degrees. They said come down, look at married housing and see what you think. We did and loved the concept: Rent was $35 per month which included utilities, maintenance mowed the yards every week and we could walk to work or class. Perfect for 21 year olds!
The furniture we had included a crib and a rocking chair. All other furniture was purchased on campus from “for sale” cards posted at the Sub. We settled at 403 McArthur Dr. in married housing. Curtis started back to class full-time for his degree in education. I worked at the credit bureau the first year.
We paid $35 for housing, $10 for phone, $40 for Lory’s daycare and tuition was $150 per semester, paid in four installments.
Our second year in Las Cruces, our neighbor, Kay Davis worked as a secretary in the Ag-Economics Department in Gerald Thomas Hall. (The pond was there, but was very small, not finished.) She said they needed a secretary and that I should put in an application. I did and started working in a fabulous department for Dr. Ralph Stuckey. He was a marvelous advocate for water resources in New Mexico.
Garrey Carruthers was a student at the time, working on his Master’s degree. He had a beautiful red Mustang that he parked at the back door and we all drooled walking into work each day.
I typed many papers for Dr. Stuckey, Dr. George Dawson, and Dr. Stephens, learning so much about water, chili and ranching in New Mexico.
One great benefit at NMSU was I could take a class each semester, tuition-free. My bosses allowed me to take my lunch hour whenever my class was scheduled; therefore, over our 4 years I built hours toward my degree in nursing. We had no college loans and were debt free at graduation!
Curtis graduated in 1967 with a degree in Education, going on to teach and coach at the high school level both in Arizona and New Mexico. I went on to complete a degree in nursing in Phoenix while raising two children. We had our son, Kevin, two weeks after Curtis graduated.
Our daughter (Lory Lucas Nuñez) attended NMSU as a student and now after raising her children in Santa Fe has returned to NMSU an employee in the Dean’s Office in the College of Business.
We are blessed to have three grandchildren attending NMSU. One grandson just graduated in May 2014 with his degree in Civil Engineering and is working for LANL in Los Alamos. Our other grandson is on track to graduate December 2015 with a degree in Management and Small Business Entrepreneurship and our granddaughter is on track to graduate May 2016 with a degree in Kinesiology.
50 years of the extended Lucas family – we are totally NMSU!!!