The Fifield Scholarship
Myron Fickas Fifield was born in 1914 while his father was the
county superintendent of schools in Aztec, New Mexico. He spent his early life at Mogollon and
Laguna, New Mexico, and came to Albuquerque in 1921. Fifield graduated from Albuquerque in 1931,
and from UNM in 1936 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.
Until World War II, Fifield worked in the Pipeline and Refinery Division of Standard Oil of
Texas. During the war, he served in the U.S. Navy, where he was assigned to a Navy aviation
unit in the South Pacific, spent 17 months in the New Hebrides doing overhaul on aircraft, and
was assigned to an intelligence unit in Washington, D.C., where he studied and rebuilt Japanese
aircraft. After the war, Fifield remained active in the Naval Reserve. He retired from the Navy as
a captain in 1968. From 1947 through 1951, when he came to Albuquerque to work for the
University, Fifield worked at Phillips Petroleum in Oklahoma.
Fifield met and married his wife, Katie, in Washington D.C. during the war. They had three
Fifield was a leader in the physical plant area. He was the national President of APPA (The
Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers) in 1958-59. He also hosted the annual
national meeting in 1958 and the national workshop in 1968. He was one of the founders of
Rocky Mountain APPA and the Southwest Physical Plant Supervisors. Fifield and his custodial
staff developed and operated an annual custodial workshop for 17 years.
Fifield was the director of the Physical Plant for 23 years, during which time he sponsored
and participated in numerous safety and supervisory training programs. He also conceived and
developed this El Servicio Real newsletter. He was a member of the publication board of a
magazine called The New Mexico Professional Engineer, and wrote several articles for the
magazine about University growth and the engineers and contractors who have contributed to it.
During his tenure, the University grew from 59 permanent buildings to 140, and the number of
Physical Plant employees grew from less than 100 to 302.
Fifield retired from the University in December of 1974. After his retirement, he continued his
work by conducting a variety of workshops and seminars at various school and university
physical plants. The workshops focused on employee morale, safety programs, and improved
production and efficiency. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack on February 10, 1976.
Fifield was a humanitarian. He had intense interest in everyone he met, and constantly strove to
see that everyone's talent and achievements received proper recognition. He expended unusual
energies in seeking solutions to problems that came to his attention. The principle goal in M. F.
Fifield's life was one of service to family, country, the University, and mankind.
The donations received in memory of Mr. Fifield were placed into an existing scholarship fund,
the El Servicio Scholarship Fund, which was renamed in memory of M. F. Fifield since he was
the prime mover in the founding and funding of the scholarship.