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Former NMSU president was dedicated to student success, Aggie spirit

During William B. Conroy’s tenure as NMSU’s president, he developed a love for the university, especially those students who showed a passion and drive to succeed.

Conroy was president from 1997 to 2000, when he retired. In 2002, the university named the NMSU Honors College and its historic Henry Trost-designed building after him. Conroy passed away in February 2022 at the age of 90.

He also previously served as NMSU executive vice president and provost. Originally from New York, Conroy and his late wife, Patty, embraced Las Cruces as their home. They were avid supporters of Aggie athletics as well as all NMSU students.Conroy_honors_box.jpg

William Eamon, Dean Emeritus of the NMSU Honors College, met Conroy when he selected Eamon to become director of the university’s honors program in 1995. Eamon says he knew immediately that Conroy “had a deep and genuine regard for bringing out the best in NMSU’s most talented students.”

“Working with him, and under his mentorship, was without question the most enjoyable and rewarding experience of my career in academic administration,” Eamon says.

Conroy was instrumental in renovating the former YMCA building into what is now known as the William B. Conroy Honors College building. 

“And he was enthusiastic about our plan to transition the program to New Mexico’s first Honors College, which happened a couple of years after he retired,” Eamon says. “I know he took great pride and satisfaction in the development of NMSU’s Honors College, which is fittingly named after him.”

Following his retirement from NMSU, the Conroys split their time between Las Cruces, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and traveling the world. They were frequently seen at NMSU events and Aggie games, and spent time with their five children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. The Conroys were married for 63 years. Patty passed away in May 2020.

NMSU President William B. Conroy stands outside of Hadley Hall. Conroy served as president from 1997 to 2000. He passed away in February 2022.
Retired NMSU President William B. Conroy speaks at a dedication ceremony renaming the Honors College in his honor in 2002. Conroy passed away in February 2022 at the age of 90.