Whenever possible, we like to recognize graduates of Tucumcari High School and tell a little about their accomplishments. We need to let our new graduates know how far they can go in life should they so choose because they too often tend to believe they can’t do much as graduates of a school located in Quay County.
Rene Maciel, a Tucumcari native and 1976 graduate of THS has worked very hard to achieve excellence and to become President of Baptist University of the Americas, located in San Antonio, Texas. He was elected to that position in 2007 and has continued to earn further respect in higher education.
As do many of our alumni, Rene” looks back fondly at his life in Tucumcari and the importance our schools played. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Maciel, always receive much credit when he recalls those years and have continued to play central roles in his life. His brother, Charlie, served our city government well and was an outstanding A~golf pro at the Country Club.
Upon graduation from THS, Rene was granted athletic scholarships to Hardin Simmons University to play basketball and golf. After graduating with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science in 1981, he decided his calling was to ministry and that he should attain that through following higher education. He became a Recruiter and Admissions Counselor that fall at Hardin-Simmons, remaining until 1985 when he entered the Admissions staff of Baylor University and worked to complete his Master’s of Science in Education.
As Director of Admissions, Rene returned to Hardin-Simmons to work until 1993 when he came back to his home state as Assistant Administrator of the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home in Portales. He was promoted to Chief Administrator in 1997, continuing to develop his leadership skills as an institutional administrator.
From 1999 to 2001, he served as Director of Student Services at George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University and honed his skills at recruiting, admissions, financial aid, and more. He was promoted to Assistant Dean in 2001 to supervise operations, budget, finance, personnel, university relations, and academic services. He also had the opportunity to oversee the building of the new campus as it moved to Baylor University. He served as Chair of the Staff Council at Baylor and also on the Board of Casa Bautista Publishing House in El Paso.
Rene and Sabrina have two daughters, Brianna and Carmen. They have remained family oriented as he was taught during his early life at home in Tucumcari. Rene often attends Rattler Reunion and always participates in the golf tournament. Obviously, he has not forgotten his roots and doesn’t hesitate to talk about his beginnings in eastern New Mexico.
Those of us who have been privileged to know the Maciel family in Tucumcari have been most fortunate. This writer had great fun as Charles Maciel and I taught together at Tucumcari Junior High in the mid 1950’s. Now, having seen how well he and his sons have done since makes me glad to say I have known them.