For alumni George and Catherine Petty, inspiration from their parents combined with an appreciation for their university education has resulted in two new scholarship endowments at New Mexico State University. Their gift will be matched, in part by AT&T Corp. The Rojo and Peggy Pobar Endowment for the College of Education honors Catherine’s parents. The George and Annabelle Petty Endowment in the College of Engineering is a similar tribute to George’s parents. George and Annabelle Petty moved to Carlsbad, N.M., when George Jr. was 5 years old. The family lived in Carlsbad for the next 15 years while the senior Petty worked for then American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) Long Lines. His wife split her time between homemaking and working for GTE Corp, (the “other” telephone company). Both parents strongly emphasized the importance of a college education to their sons, and George Jr. earned a BSEE in 1965. In appreciation of his youth in Carlsbad, Petty decided to direct his parents’ award to an entering freshman form Carlsbad majoring in engineering.
Rojo Pobar worked for many years in road construction in virtually all parts of New Mexico. The Pobars later settles in Organ, just up the hill from Las Cruces. They purchased the Sawahu Trading Post and adjacent service station. Catherine’s father managed the service station while her mother took charge of the trading post. Catherine earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics at New Mexico State in 1964. She taught for several years, raised two daughters, earned a master’s in marriage and family counseling and pursued a career in that field. She believes there is a critical need for educators specializing in the area of early childhood education and her parents’ endowment will support and entering New Mexico freshman woman studying in that area.
Pat Conn, the College of Education development officer, was excited to learn of this new award. It is only the second endowment that provides support for students in early childhood education. The younger Pettys grew up in New Mexico but left the state following college graduation when George’s U. S. Air Force commission took him to Germany for three years. After his tour in the Air Force, he went to work for AT&T Corp. It was the beginning of a 25-year career that was peppered with 15 moves. In 1964, the Pettys moved to Canada, where George served as CEO of TELUS Corp., one of Canada’s largest telephone companies. Upon retirement two years ago, the Pettys chose to live close to their daughters and settled in their current home in San Luis Obispo, Calif. George is currently serving on the New Mexico State University Foundation Board, which affords him periodic visits to campus.
Financial Need: Required
Class Level: SR. Student Teaching
Required Minimum GPA: 3.5
Required Major: ECED