Who Was Ray Drew?
New Mexico Highlands University’s Board of Regents passed a resolution on August 23, 2002 to rename Donnelly Library’s gallery in honor of Mr. Raymond Drew.
Professor Drew was born on a farm in Conway, Massachusetts in 1923. He received a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from the University of New Mexico. He joined the faculty of Highlands University in 1958 and taught here for 32 years until his retirement in 1980. Mr. Drew married Virginia Tibbets, also an artist, in 1946. Mr. Drew passed away in 1982 and was preceded in death by his wife in 1964.
Highly talented as a watercolorist, he had many exhibitions and one-man shows around the country, and his paintings are in permanent collections at the Ford Motor Company, Amherst College, and Highlands University. Many of his works are hanging in offices throughout the university as well as in Donnelly Library.
As a professor, he was well liked by both students and faculty. As an educator, he was respected in his field as a watercolorist and art educator, and was the past president of the New Mexico Art Education Association. Mr. Drew influenced many art students and future New Mexico teachers. His devotion to the entire Highlands’ community was as important as his regular academic responsibilities. He is well remembered for assisting Native American students as the faculty sponsor of the Indian Club for many years.
It is because of Mr. Drew’s devotion to Highlands’ students, his love of teaching the arts, and his beautifully unique mastery of watercolor painting that New Mexico Highlands University dedicated the renaming of the Fine Arts Gallery to the Ray Drew Gallery.