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September 16, 2011 by Janet Perez, NMSU News Center
High school sweethearts who married after graduating from New Mexico State University, a hometown girl who is now an executive at a children’s products company in California, and a beloved member of the faculty who helped the university make its mark on professional golf will be among those inducted into the College of Business 2011 Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony takes place Sept. 23, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. Established in 1997 by the College of Business, the Hall of Fame honors outstanding business college alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers.
Class of 1976 graduates John and Susan Long took different paths to the College of Business. Susan first majored in broadcast journalism, but eventually decided a life in front of the camera was not for her. By that time, her high school boyfriend, John, had joined her at NMSU and he went directly into the accounting program. Susan soon followed John into the College of Business, where she majored in finance. John graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in accounting and Susan earned a BBA in finance. Both are CPAs.
“New Mexico State graduates can stand toe-to-toe with everybody,” John said. “I feel very blessed that the quality of education we got at NMSU is as good as you can get anywhere.”
Susan agreed and added, “I’m always proud to say I went to New Mexico State University. I got my education there; it served me well. I’ve always felt I stacked up 100 percent to anyone else that I was working with.”
John’s first job was with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG) in El Paso. Today, he is part owner of JDW Insurance, a large independent insurance agency in El Paso. John has been a member of the NMSU Foundation board for the past 10 years and also is a member of the college’s Business Advisory Council. He was selected for the Spirit of Service award in 2010 by the NMSU Foundation.
Susan’s first job was with El Paso Federal Savings and Loan Association, where she worked for 15 years. She “self-retired” in 2005 and now she uses her skills in various volunteer roles at NMSU and within the El Paso community. She currently is a member of the NMSU President’s Associates and is a past member of the Business Advisory Council.
Class of 1994 graduate Margaret Hardin has deep family roots in Las Cruces and in NMSU. Born and raised in Las Cruces, Hardin says her parents met when they were both students at NMSU. Eventually, Hardin and her brother followed family tradition and also graduated from the university.
Hardin earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and business computer systems. She received her Master of Business Administration in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business.
Hardin’s first job after graduate school was at Procter & Gamble, where served in various finance roles. In 2000, she joined California-based Munchkin Inc., a privately owned company that makes products for infants and toddlers. In 2007, Hardin was named president and chief operating officer of the company. When she started at Munchkin, the company had just 20 employees. Today, it has about 200. Hardin says her NMSU education prepared her for the move from a large multinational to a small entrepreneurial company.
“The double majors definitely helped. Computer systems were certainly important since I was the person in IT (at Munchkin),” she said. “I didn’t just run the IT department; I was the IT department. Since I also ran the finance group, the economics and the cost accounting that I had done at NMSU were a fundamental part of my job there at the beginning, as well.”
Two special awards are given out at the Hall of Fame ceremony. Introduced in 2006, the Traders Award honors individuals who have given exceptional service to the College of Business. In 2010, the Corporate Traders Award began recognizing outstanding contributions by corporations to the college’s mission.
This year’s Trader Award goes to Herbert Wimberly for his successful career as a professional golfer and a championship-caliber coach, as well as his more than 47 years of dedication to NMSU.
A graduate of the University of New Mexico, in 1962 Wimberly was hired by NMSU as the head golf coach and golf professional, where he stayed for 31 years. Wimberly’s NMSU golf teams consistently maintained a high level of athletic and academic achievement. In 1988, Wimberly and his brother, Guy, brought the PGA Golf Management program to NMSU, one of only three institutions selected at the time to host the new PGA-certified major.
Despite retiring, Wimberly still assists with the PGA Golf Management program and continues to represent NMSU at PGA golf shows. He has been inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame and the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate Tournament is named for him. The tournament is played every October at the NMSU Golf Course. In 2009, NMSU presented Wimberly with an honorary doctorate in recognition of outstanding achievement and devotion to the university and the state.
Wells Fargo will be honored with the Corporate Traders Award. Wells Fargo has been an avid supporter of and community partner with NMSU and the College of Business. The bank has sponsored or given gifts to a number of the college’s initiatives, which have benefited students, alumni and faculty.
Wells Fargo is the largest bank in New Mexico with almost 1,800 employees and 96 community-banking stores across the state.