New Mexico Highlands University

New Mexico Highlands University
New Mexico Highlands University
Motto Artes, Scientiae, Humanitates
Established 1893
Type Public
President Dr. James A. Fries
Students 3,765[1]
Location Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors      Purple
Athletics NCAA Division II
Rocky Mountain Conference
Nickname Cowboys

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) is a public university located in Las Vegas, New Mexico.



Ivan Hilton Science Center

The university was first established as New Mexico Normal School in 1893, with the prominent archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett serving as its first president. The institution became New Mexico Normal University in 1902, and then New Mexico Highlands University in 1941, as it expanded its role beyond teacher education. Today, NMHU offers graduate and undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, education, and social work.

Located in the heart of Las Vegas, a city with a population of about 16,000, Highlands’ main campus is close to recreational and wilderness areas, and within an hour's drive of Santa Fe and 2 hours from Albuquerque.

The majority of the school's approximately 3,500 students are from New Mexico and are Latino. Highlands’ programs focus on its multi-ethnic student body, especially the Latino and American Indian cultures distinctive of New Mexico.


Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. NMHU also has specialty accreditations. The School of Education is in the process of becoming accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The School of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).


Undergraduate & Graduate Degrees


NMHU's athletic teams are nicknamed the Cowboys and compete in the NCAA's Division II's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Ten varsity athletics programs are offered included- women's soccer, cross-country, track, volleyball,men's and woman's basketball, baseball and college football. Former WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero wrestled there on an athletic scholarship. The Men's Cross-Country team placed 10th in the nation at the 2007 DII National Championship. The men's and women's basketball teams won a combined total of 3 games in the 2007-2008 season. In the 2008-2009 season, the NMHU Men's Basketball team broke the NCCA record for turnaround wins in all divisions. They went from 1-28 to 20-8 and winning the west division of the RMAC. They were led by head coach Dr. Joe Harge and tri-captains Chris Dunn, Roman Andrade, and Rashad Peterson.

Notable alumni

  • Charlie Cowan, NFL - All Pro Tackle
  • Bill Dinwiddie, NBA player
  • Carl Garrett, NFL - Beat OJ Simpson for Rookie of the Year
  • Len Garrett, NFL player
  • Eddie Guerrero (1967–2005), WWE wrestler
  • Leroy Lamis, sculptor
  • Lionel Taylor, NFL - Leading Pass Receiver
  • Don Woods, NFL Player
  • Hector Hernandez, NAIA wrestling champion, Secret Service agent
Donnelly Library

Branch Campuses

In the 1997-1998 academic year New Mexico Highlands University established an extended learning center in Rio Rancho which began offering upper division undergraduate and graduate courses in business, accounting, education, and social work. The center continues with classes in those areas and has added studies in criminal justice, public affairs administration, computer science and general and school counseling.

There are also many other branch campuses, including in Santa Fe, Farmington, Taos, Raton, Rio Rancho and Espanola.

In pop culture

The campus can be seen in the movie Red Dawn as the town of Las Vegas substituted for a fictional community of Calumet, Colorado. Also can be seen in the John Carpenter film "Vampires".


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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