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EAC holds its 128th Annual Commencement Ceremony

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EAC holds its 128th Annual Commencement Ceremony

By Todd Haynie

Thatcher, AZ—John Mickelson Stadium was once again filled as families and friends gathered for Eastern Arizona College's 128th annual commencement, held the evening of May 12. The graduating class at the event was the largest in the history of Eastern Arizona College with 613 candidates for graduation.

In addition to the traditional portions of the event, the audience heard comments from a number of individuals, including a welcome from EAC President Mark Bryce and remarks from the president of EAC's Alumni Association, George Lord, who welcomed EAC's newest alumni into the College's Alumni Association.

The guest speaker for the evening was EAC Emeritus Professor, Ed Hunter. Also taking the podium to speak was class representative, Kelsey Traylor, and faculty representative, Kenny Rhodes.

Ed Hunter came to Eastern Arizona College in the fall of 1963 after five years teaching at Ft. Thomas High School. His initial college duties were teaching business, accounting, and secretarial classes.

Change was on the horizon with the computer age around the corner and Hunter was chosen to attend a National Science Foundation Summer Seminar on the topic of computers. The rest is history as he became the face of computers at EAC for almost half a century.

Starting in the original computer center at the bottom of Old Main, then transitioning to the old music and choir building, he brought EAC into the computer age. He taught thousands of students in the small, modified building that was the forerunner to the new computer complex now known as the High Tech Center. Hunter pushed for the change for EAC to transition from huge mainframe processing units to modernized, micro-computers available individually to staff and students. He recalls the first desktop computer he ever saw. It was a TRS-80 in 1976. By the time he left EAC, the processing power of personal computers far outweighed what had been state-of-the-art science only a few years earlier.

Hunter had other accomplishments at EAC during his 40 years on campus. He is particularly proud of being the original founding faculty member of the Intertribal Club which helps Native American students acclimate and succeed at EAC. The club continues to be vibrant to this day.

Throughout his life, Hunter has received many accolades and has much to be proud of, yet he is most proud of his wife of 60 years, Peggy Jean and his two sons and one daughter. He beams with pride as he speaks of his 30 grand and great grandchildren.

Eastern Arizona College's Summer School Session I will begin May 22. Register now by calling EAC's Records and Registration office at (928) 428-8270, or online at


For additional photos of the commencement ceremony, visit