Dr. Richard Benfer was a retired engineer who has been supporting New Mexico State University since the 1950’s. In 1993, Dr. Benfer gave a $15,000 endowment to the NMSU New Library to buy materials dealing with communications. Dr. Benfer spent his career working in communications for Bell Labs; however, he felt that communication was, by no means, limited to telephones. He stated, “Who wants to read about telephones? Boy, that is a small part of it. Communications is the basic thing all people have in common.” Dr. Benfer received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Illinois in 1929. This was the year the stock market crashed, so he was thrilled to have a full-time job with communication giant, Bell Labs in New York City, earning $25 a week. While living in New York, he began to turn silent movies into “talkies,” and then eventually moved to Hollywood to design sound equipment for movies. He was on the technical sound stages of major studios such as Paramount, Columbia, and MGM. When World War II began, Dr. Benfer was notified by mail that he would be transferred to design fire control equipment, or radar. Dr. Benfer has experienced many things during his lifetime. He stated that, “From 1929 right up to today, it is fascinating what is being done in the field of communications.”
Class Level: GR.
Required Minimum GPA: 3.0
Required Major: CD
Other requirements: Must be actively engaged in ongoing research within the fields of Speech Pathology and Audiology.