Homecoming 2017: Outstanding Alumni: Thaxter “Scrappy” Richard

Silver City, NM- A familiar sight around the Grant County area is New Mexico State Police Officer Thaxter Richard, a.k.a “Scrappy. The Officer, known for his kindness and his character, was recently honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award at the 2017 Western New Mexico University Homecoming Celebration on September 23rd.

Scrappy had a varied career upon coming to Western New Mexico University. Originally he wanted to have a career in Physical Education before eventually changing his path to focus on Law Enforcement, majoring in Administration of Justice.

“I really wanted to make a difference with the youth,” Scrappy said, explaining his motivations for the change. “Working in Law Enforcement has given me a platform to reach out to the community.”

Aside from attending classes, Scrappy started out as Cornerback and Strong Safety with the WNMU Mustangs until 1994. He then started work as an Assistant Coach in the sport in 1995 before completing his time at Western in 1997. University President Joseph Shepard suggested that Scrappy’s time on the field provided valuable experience.

“[Scrappy] played football for us in our last winning season,” Shepard said. “I believe his character may have been formed on the field and eventually translated into the service that he provides our community today. He is an outstanding individual.”

He was presented with the award by the Director of Alumni Affairs, Amanda Moffett and the President of the University, Dr. Joseph Shepard. Scrappy received the award accompanied by his wife, Alejandra and his son Julian. Scrappy also has a daughter, Ajia. He had nothing but words of kindness and gratitude upon receiving the award.

“It feels good to serve my community,” Scrappy said. “I’ve received a lot of support from Silver City and I greatly appreciate it.”

Another former Football player, Mr. Larry Barstow, was also a recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award at Homecoming 2017.

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