Las Cruces – Forty years ago, a gallon of gas cost 35 cents, Richard Nixon was in the White House and Professor Clarence Fielder started teaching at New Mexico State University. Fielder, a decorated Korean War veteran who is described as a dedicated heritage preservationist and a cherished educator, will be honored at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, in the Otero Room of NMSU's Corbett Center Student Union.
Sponsored by the Black Studies Program and the Department of History, the ceremony will include the initiation of digital archives documenting the lives of African-Americans in the West. Guest speakers also will pay tribute to Fielder.
"It's important to recognize Professor Fielder for his service and his work," History Department Head Jon Hunner said. "He has taught 78 semesters here at NMSU, that's a huge amount of students to have an impact on. His passion for African-American studies has even inspired some of those students to go on to higher education."
Fielder came to NMSU in 1970 and during his tenure became involved with many campus programs. He assisted in creating "The African-American Community of Las Cruces, 1890-2002" exhibit for the University Museum in 2004, gathering information and historic photographs from the community. Most recently, Fielder helped last summer in the preservation of the century-old Phillips Chapel, a small church located within the African-American community in Las Cruces.
The ceremony is open and free to the public.