On November 3, 2010, the Management Department hosted a dinner in Pam Speer’s honor for her exceptional service and dedication. On December 1, 2010, the College of Business honored Pam in a retirement reception.
Pam has been employed at NMSU for over 36 years; 29.50 years in the Management Department in the College of Business, 1 year in Alumni Relations, and over 6 years in the College of Business Research Center.
In her own words
I was born in Socorro, NM and moved to Las Cruces (via Deming) in 1964 with my mom and dad and my sister, Linda. She passed away just after we moved here. My father died in 1996 and my oldest brother, Wilfred, in 2006. My other family members include my mother, Margaret, and siblings Rudy, Jeannette and Glenn.
My first job was as a typesetter for the Las Cruces Sun-News, at a whopping $1.60 per hour, the minimum wage at the time. I worked there during my last semester at Las Cruces High School and in the summer of 1971 right after high school graduation. Then in August of 1971, at 17 years of age, Dr. James Zwerneman hired me to be his secretary in the Center for Business Services, the predecessor to the current Bureau of Business Research and Services here in the College of Business. The Center was only a year old and didn’t have a director or secretary so we started together in a two-room office on the 2nd floor of Guthrie Hall. Dr. Z was a fun boss to work for. He would take his staff out to lunches and hosted parties at his home. He let me pick the colors in my office so I had avocado green window coverings and robin’s egg blue telephones. Those were my favorite colors back then.
I typed a huge volume of research reports and proposals. At that time most faculty in the academic departments would bring their research manuscripts to the Center to be typed. This was without the benefit of computers or word processors so lots of drafts had to be typed before they were finally ready. Getting an IBM Selectric II typewriter was a big deal and, of course, mimeograph machines and spirit duplicators were how tests and handouts were prepared.
The college had one copier that was loaded with a roll of special paper instead of individual reams of paper. Letters were typed with carbon paper and onionskin for copies. Guthrie Hall was only 3 years old and the college had 3 academic departments. Some memories from this time period include: student, faculty and staff end of year get-togethers at Lopez Arena featuring the faculty vs. student softball game; double-digit salary raises during some years.
I was at NMSU for 6 years before moving to Deming, NM in 1977 with my then-husband. He got his first teaching and coaching job there. I worked for Luna County, an attorney’s office and then at the athletic office at Deming High School for 2 years. We moved back to Las Cruces in 1980 with our first child, Reggie.
I worked 1 year for the NMSU Alumni Relations office before coming to the Management Department in June of 1981. Rose Byrum hired me for the position and Dan Costley was the department head. I was fortunate enough to be able to work half-time for 2 years. I switched back to full-time in 1983, a few months after our daughter, Tracy, was born.
Over the next 29 years in the Management Department, I would work with several department heads: Dan Costley, John Loveland, David Wieters, David Boje, Peter Dorfman, Terry Adler and B. Daily. Each brought their own unique personality to the job. I went through a divorce in 1994 and am grateful for the support I received during that difficult time.
Some of the things I’ll remember: Peter Dorfman’s saying for certain situations: “Do it and then ask for forgiveness later”; David Boje turning up the stereo and blasting “orn to be Wild” in the office; John Loveland’ booming voice that can be heard down the hall, around the corner, and almost downstairs; the gifts from around the world brought to me from our international doctoral students and faculty attending overseas conferences. In terms of work, I remember the introduction of computers with WordStar as the word processing program. Almost everyone wanted to throw their computers out the window because it was so frustrating in the beginning. How technology has changed!
The two people I’m most proud of are my two children: Reggie and Tracy. They are my comfort and support. Even though I worked full-time, I was able to come and go to take Reggie and Tracy to gymnastics, baseball practice, piano lessons, etc., in addition to attending their various athletic contests. This was very important to me and I learned how to manage my time to get everything done. I was able to do this since there was always a second staff member who would be covering the office.
I will be retiring with 36.75 years at NMSU plus 2.25 years with the public schools and PERA for a total of 39 years of service. After my retirement, I plan to just take it easy for a while. I’m not completely ready to retire permanently so I’ll probably go back to work, maybe part-time. I hope to do some traveling in the U.S. since I’ve seen very little of it. Plus gardening is my hobby and I spend a lot of time in my yard growing flowers.
I feel everyone in this college is part of my work family and it’s still sinking in that I won’t be coming here to work every day. I want to thank all the faculty and staff members I’ve worked with, the doctoral students, and most of all, the Management Department faculty. You’ve made me feel valued, appreciated and respected for the work I do. I will miss all of you.
Thank you to everyone who attended today’s gathering to help me celebrate this milestone in my life!