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Foreman leaves behind storied lifetime, legacy of optimism

Foreman.jpgself-made millionaire by the age of 26, a U.S. Congressman by the age of 28, and named to two Presidential cabinet positions by 38, Edgar “Ed” Foreman Jr. ’55 continuously made the world around him better.Foreman passed away in February 2022 at the age of 88. His focus on health, blessings and joy leaves a rich legacy for everyone he touched.

Foreman was born on a peanut farm in Portales, New Mexico, and grew up in Roosevelt County. He started college at Eastern New Mexico University, but later transferred to NMSU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and met and married his wife, Barbara ’55. He received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2008.

Foreman began his career at Phillips Petroleum Company, but enlisted as a sailor in the U.S. Navy in 1956. In 1962, he decided to run for Congress, representing Texas from 1963 to 1965 and New Mexico from 1969 to 1971. He was the last congressperson to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives for two states, and later served in the Department of the Interior and Department of Transportation for the Nixon administration. His rise to success came quickly, but he never took it for granted.

Foreman then became a private citizen, working as a civil engineer, executive development leader and motivational speaker. He inspired hundreds of businesspeople with his Successful Life Course retreats and “Successful Daily Living” speeches. 

A lifelong supporter of NMSU, Foreman was a generous donor and namesake, along with his brother, of the Ed and Harold Foreman Engineering Complex. 

“Although in the early days we didn’t have a lot of material things, we were indeed rich,” he said in a past interview. “Over the last few years, we’ve been able to accumulate a little money, and we are pleased to contribute, in whatever way possible, to help people grow.”

Ed and Barbara’s principal gifts and continuous annual giving support a chair and several family scholarships at NMSU, plus a range of other college programs. The Ed and Barbara Foreman Endowed Scholarship ensures NMSU’s ability to produce highly qualified civil engineers. The couple’s children, Preston Kirk ’79 and Rebecca Lynn ’07, continued the Aggie tradition. 

Ed also gave his time, serving on the NMSU Foundation Board. 

“Ed was an extraordinary board member, NMSU alum and friend,” says Derek Dictson, president of the NMSU Foundation and vice president of University Advancement. “His passion for our NMSU community was palpable, and his family’s generous philanthropy has helped shape the lives of countless Aggies.”