University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico Seal
Latin: Universitatis Novus Mexico
Motto Lux Hominum Vita
Motto in English Life, the Light of Men
Established February 28, 1889
Type Public
State Flagship
Endowment $289.5 million[1]
President David J. Schmidly
Admin. staff 6,899[2]
Students 34,674[2]
Location Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States of America
Campus Urban, 600 acres (2.4 km²)
Athletics 16 varsity teams
Colors      Sandia Silver
     Cherry Red
Athletics NCAA Division I
Mountain West Conference
Nickname Lobos
University of New Mexico logo

The University of New Mexico at Albuquerque (officially University of New Mexico, although also commonly referred to as UNM-Albuquerque, UNM, or New Mexico) is a public research university located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the United States. It is the state's flagship research institution. It is the largest post-secondary institution in the state in terms of total enrollment across all campuses as of 2011,[2][4] as well as one of the state's largest employers.

Founded in 1889, it offers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs in a wide variety of fields. Its Albuquerque campus currently encompasses over 600 acres (2.4 km²), and there are branch campuses in Gallup, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Taos, and in Valencia County.[5] Coordinates: 35°05′02″N 106°37′07″W / 35.08389°N 106.61861°W / 35.08389; -106.61861




The University of New Mexico was founded on February 28, 1889, with the passage of House Bill No. 186 by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of New Mexico; stipulating that "Said institution is hereby located at or near the town of Albuquerque, in the county of Bernalillo within two miles north of railroad avenue in said town, upon a tract of good high and dry land, of not less than twenty acres suitable for the purposes of such institution," and that it would be the state university when New Mexico became a state. Bernard Shandon Rodey, a judge of the territory of New Mexico, pushed for Albuquerque as the location of the University and was one of the authors of the statute that created UNM, earning him the title of "Father of the University." Two years later, Elias S. Stover became the first president of the University and the following year the University's first building, Hodgin Hall, opened.

William G. Tight

William G. Tight

The university's third president, William G. Tight, who served a term from 1901–1909, introduced many programs for students and faculty, including the first fraternity, Alpha Alpha Alpha, and sorority, Sigma Sigma, for the University. However, his greatest legacy is the introduction of the Pueblo Revival architecture for which the campus has become known. During Tight's term, the first Pueblo Revival style building on campus, the Estufa, was constructed and the Victorian-style Hodgin Hall was plastered over to create a monument to Pueblo Indian culture. However, Tight was vilified for his primitivism and soon found himself removed from office for political reasons, though history would vindicate him as the Pueblo Revival style became the dominant architectural style on campus.

Hodgin Hall, First building built on campus, 1904. Still in use as Alumni Building.

Early growth

Under David Ross Boyd, the university's fifth president, the campus was enlarged from 20 to 300 acres (1.2 km2) and a 200,000-acre (810 km2) federal land grant was made to the university. In 1922, the University was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. During this time, more facilities were constructed for the university, but it was under the tenure of James F. Zimmerman, the university's seventh president, that the university underwent its first major expansion, with many new buildings being constructed, student enrollment increased, a broadening of scholastic interests and new departments added, and greater support for scientific research. Among the new buildings constructed were Zimmerman Library, Scholes Hall, the first student union building (now the anthropology complex), the university's first gymnasium and its first stadium. John Gaw Meem, a famed Santa Fe architect, was contracted to design many of the buildings constructed during this period, and is credited with imbuing the campus with its distinctive Pueblo Revival style.

World War II

During World War II, University of New Mexico was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[6]

Following World War II

Thomas L. Popejoy, the ninth and the first native New Mexican university president, was appointed in 1948 and oversaw the university through the next twenty years, a period of major growth for the university. During this time, enrollment jumped from nearly 5,000 to more than 14,000, new programs such as medicine, nursing, dental, and law were founded, and new facilities such as Mesa Vista Hall, Mitchell Hall, Johnson Gymnasium, new dormitories, the current student union building, the College of Education complex, the business center, the engineering complex, the Fine Arts Center, the Student Health Center, University Stadium, University Arena (now officially known by its nickname of The Pit), and the first facilities on North Campus were constructed. This period also saw the foundation of UNM's branch facilities in Los Alamos and Gallup and the acquisition of the D.H. Lawrence Ranch north of Taos.

Humanities Building, added in 1970


During the early 70s, the university saw a series of protests, some of which turned violent. On May 5, 1970, a protest over the Vietnam War and the Kent State massacre occupied the Student Union Building. The National Guard were ordered to sweep the building and arrest those inside; eleven students and journalists were bayonetted when those outside did not hear the order to disperse given inside.[7] Two years later, on May 10, 1972, a peaceful sit-in protest near Kirtland Air Force Base led to the arrest of thirty-five people and was pushed back to UNM, leading to eight more arrests. The following day, tear gas was used against hundreds of demonstrators on campus and the situation continued to deteriorate, leading to the university to declare a state of emergency.

New programs and schools were created in the 70s and the university gained control over the hospital on North Campus. New facilities for the medical and law schools were constructed on North Campus and new buildings were built on Main Campus on the site of the now demolished Zimmerman Field and Stadium, including Ortega Hall, Woodward Hall, the Humanities building, and the Art building. The campus also underwent a new landscaping plan, which included the construction of the duck pond west of Zimmerman Library and the conversion of many streets to pedestrian malls in order to make a more pedestrian-friendly campus.

George Pearl Hall, School of Architecture and Planning. Completed in 2007.

The decade ended on a sour note for the university, with a recruiting scandal dubbed "Lobogate" by the press. An FBI wiretap on the phone of a prominent Lobo booster recorded a conversation in which basketball head coach Norm Ellenberger arranged with assistant coach Manny Goldstein to transfer bogus credits from a California junior college to the office of the UNM registrar. Subsequent investigation turned up a manufactured college seal from Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, along with blank transcripts and records of previous forgery. Further investigation uncovered alleged incentives like cars and apartments doled out to prime players and exposed a vast network of sports gambling. The scandal forced Ellenberger to resign and defined the term of William E. Davis, UNM's eleventh president.

Recent history

From the 1980s on, the university has continued to grow, with ever-expanding enrollment and new facilities constructed. The 1980s saw dramatic expansions of the medical center, new facilities for the business and engineering schools, and the construction of the Centennial Library. The 1990s saw the foundation of an Honor's College and the construction of the current bookstore, Dane Smith Hall, and an expansion of the Research Park at South Campus.

By this point, the university now had one of the largest student and faculty populations of Hispanics and Native Americans in the country; a study released in 1995 showed that the number of full-time Hispanic faculty at UNM was four times greater than the national average and the number of Native American teachers five times greater. UNM's emphasis on Hispanic programs also meant that the schools of law and business had some of the largest Hispanic student populations of any university in the country.

The 2000s saw a major expansion of medical facilities on North Campus and the construction of the current visitor center, a new engineering center, and George Pearl Hall, as well as renovations and expansions to several buildings on Main Campus, along with the creation of a branch campus in Rio Rancho. This wave of construction is continuing with more projects ongoing.


Mesa Vista Hall.

The main campus is located on 600 acres (2.4 km2) in Albuquerque on the heights a mile east of Downtown Albuquerque, and is split in three parts - central, north, and south. The central campus is situated between Central Avenue on the south, Girard Boulevard on the east, Lomas Boulevard on the north, and University Boulevard on the west, and is home to the main academic university. The North Campus, which includes the medical and law schools as well as the University of New Mexico Hospital, is located on the north side of Lomas across from the central campus. The South campus is located a mile south of the central campus, centered around the intersection of University Boulevard and Avenida César Chavez, and includes most of UNM's athletic facilities. The central campus is noted for its unique Pueblo Revival architectural style, with many of the buildings designed by former university architect John Gaw Meem, who is credited with imbuing the campus with its distinctive Southwestern feel. The central campus is also home to the University of New Mexico Arboretum, which contains some 320 species of woody plants.

There are eight university buildings listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places. They include Hodgin Hall, the University's first building, and two adjacent structures: the Art Annex and Sara Reynolds Hall. The Estufa, one of the first Pueblo Revival style structures in the country and the first on campus, is also on the list. Other structures on the list are Carlisle Gymnasium, Jonson Gallery, Scholes Hall, and the University House.

Dane Smith Hall

The central campus is home to four museums: the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in the anthropology building, the Geology and Meteorite Museums in Northrop Hall, the Southwest Biology Museum in the CERIA building, and the University Art Museum in the Center for the Arts.

In an effort to promote sustainability and lessen the environmental impact of the campus, UNM has been reducing the campus energy usage through monitoring and retrofitting cooling, heating, water, and lighting technologies.[8] Due to these efforts, the University of New Mexico's grade on the College Sustainability Report Card 2009 improved from a "C" to a "B" according to the Sustainable Endowments Institute.[9] Since 2008, following an executive order that all new state buildings over 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) need to meet LEED silver at minimum, all new construction on campus has been registered for LEED status. So far, an expansion of Castetter Hall and the Technology and Education Center are the only LEED-certified buildings on campus, with a Gold and Platinum rating respectively. Several other buildings are currently registered for LEED status.


Demographics of student body (2010)
White (alone) 44.3%
Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 30.9%
American Indian 11.8%
Asian 3.1%
African American 2.3%
International 2.8%
Ethnicity unreported (unknown) 4.7%

The University of New Mexico offers more than 215 degree and certificate programs, including 94 baccalaureate, 71 masters and 37 doctoral degrees, through 12 colleges and schools.[10] The colleges are as follows:


The Princeton Review listed UNM as a "Best Western College" and ranked the School of Engineering 14th out of the Top 20 Graduate Engineering Programs.[11] In addition, Times Higher Education ranked UNM at #383-385 on its world university rankings list,[12] while the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UNM at #201-302 out of world universities and #91-112 out of universities in the United States.[13]

University rankings (overall)
U.S. News & World Report[14] 181
Washington Monthly[15] 179
ARWU[16] 201

US News & World Report listed UNM as a Tier 2 National University in their 2011 ranking of "Best Colleges."[17] As of April 2010, the USNWR ranked the UNM School of Medicine 82 in research[18] and 33 in primary care[19] out of 146 medical and osteopathic schools. They also ranked the Family Medicine residency program at 10[20] and the Rural Medicine residency program at 2.[21] In 2006, the UNM Health Sciences Center's curriculum received the following rankings: 3rd in Nursing Midwifery, 5th in Community Health, 15th in Family Nurse Practitioner, and 23rd in Occupational Therapy. The University of New Mexico School of Law is currently ranked 68th in the country and has steadily climbed in the USNWR rankings. The Clinical Law program in particular is one of the best in the country according to USNWR, coming in at #5 nationwide.[22] Also according to USNWR ranking the school is the 5th best graduate school in photography.[23]

The University of New Mexico Model United Nations team is one of the top ranked teams in the country, with multiple awards at several different competitions, most notably the Harvard World Model United Competition in Geneva, Switzerland and Puebla, Mexico. They have also competed and won awards at the St. Mary's University Model Organization of American States Conference.[24]


The average acceptance rate for freshmen applicants at the University currently stands at 66%.[25]


Lobos Baseball Logo.png

UNM's NCAA Division I program (FBS for football) offers 16 varsity sports known as the Lobos, who compete in the Mountain West Conference. Two human mascots, referred to as "Lobo Louie" and "Lobo Lucy," currently rouse crowds at New Mexico athletic events. The official school colors are cherry and silver.

New Mexico won the National title for Division I Skiing in 2004 defeating then #1 ranked University of Denver. The men's soccer team was National Runner-up in Division I Soccer losing in overtime to the University of Maryland in 2005 as the #2 seed, the highest ranking for a UNM soccer team in school history.


UNM maintains strong athletic rivalries with New Mexico State University. The UNM-NMSU rivalry is represented by the Rio Grande Rivalry, a series based on points awarded to the winners of head to head competitions between the two universities in every sport. A rotating trophy is granting to the winning university for a period of one year, until the award presentation the following year. The rivalry is celebrated at UNM by the Red Rally, a large bonfire that takes place the Thursday before the UNM-NMSU football game. UNM leads in all-time wins over NMSU in basketball and football by large margins.[citation needed]

The Pit Arena


The Lobo men's basketball team is famous for its venue, The Pit. It may be best known as the site of the 1983 NCAA basketball championship, in which North Carolina State University, coached by Jim Valvano, upset the University of Houston.

The UNM women's basketball team has won the Mountain West championship for four of the past five years, and have gone to the NCAA Tournament for the past six consecutive years.


University Stadium

The Lobo football team plays at University Stadium, which is located across the street from The Pit.

The team has been to six bowl games since 1997 after a 35 year bowl drought. Placekicker Katie Hnida made history in the 2003 Las Vegas Bowl when she became the first woman to play in a NCAA Division I-A game, attempting but missing an extra point in the Lobos's 27–13 loss to UCLA. She later attempted and made two extra points in UNM's 72–8 victory over Texas State. New Mexico also lost its 2003 and 2004 bowl games, making its record in bowl games 2–8–1. The football team went to the first year of the New Mexico Bowl in 2006 and lost to San Jose State University, 20–12. In 2007 the Lobos finished the regular season 8–4 and were invited to the New Mexico Bowl for the second straight season. The Lobos shut out the favored Nevada Wolf Pack 23-0 to win their first bowl game since the 1961 Aviation Bowl.

Student life

Redondo Village, Located on the south-east part of campus is just one of the many dorm halls at UNM

The main university campus is located in the lower Heights of Albuquerque just east of Downtown Albuquerque, and is the focal point for the neighborhoods surrounding it; the neighborhoods to the immediate south and west are home to a large population of students. However, the vast majority of UNM's student population live off-campus around the Albuquerque metropolitan area, with only just over 2,000 living in on-campus housing.

The Student Union Building (SUB) is a major activity center for students on-campus, with a food court, a movie theater, event facilities, student government and organization offices, student services, and recreation areas. Another major hotspot for students is the popular Frontier Restaurant, a late-night eatery located across Central Avenue from main campus and a popular meeting spot for students. The Duck Pond is a popular relaxation spot for students and local residents, particularly in the warmer months.

The Campus Duck Pond

Student organizations

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) is the undergraduate student government of UNM, with an elected student body president, vice-president, student court, and 20 senators. The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) is the graduate student government of UNM, led by an elected President and a representative council from the different schools of study on campus.

Beyond student government, there are over 350 student-run organizations on campus, which include academic, athletic, ethnic, honorary, political, religious, and service groups, as well as fraternities and sororities. Greek life does exist on campus with 19 individual chapters, though the size and influence of the Greek community is not as large as in many other universities in the United States, with a population of only about 500 UNM students (or about 2% of the student population).[26]

Greek life

The University of New Mexico is home to several fraternities and sororities, though their numbers have fallen in recent years. The University hosts many fraternities including: Alpha Tau Omega, Omega Delta Phi, Lambda Theta Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, Phi Gamma Delta, Delta Lambda Phi, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. As of Fall 2011 - Kappa Sigma, Delta Lambda Phi, and Lambda Chi Alpha are colonies of their respective fraternities.[27]

Song and chant traditions
UNM Alma Mater

New Mexico, New Mexico
We sing to honor thee.
This golden haze of college days
Will live in memory.
This praise we sing will ever ring
With truth and loyalty New Mexico,
your fame we know
Will last eternally.

UNM Fight Song

Hail to thee, New Mexico,
The loyal sons are we.
Marching down the field we go,
Fighting for thee.
Now we pledge our faith to thee,
Never shall we fail.
Fighting ever, yielding never.

To listen:[29]


  • The Hanging of the Greens is a celebration held in early December for the holiday season, when the campus is decorated with thousands of farolitos and a procession of carolers winds through the campus to the University House, which is opened for visitors and where cocoa and bizcochitos are served.
  • Homecoming Week is held each fall to welcome back alumni. Over the course of the week, the student body elects a Homecoming King and Queen and six attendants (three male and three female) to serve as the homecoming court.
  • Lobo Day is a celebration for the founding date of the university on February 28, 1889. The tradition in recent years has included a large group photo of students taken in the Student Union Building, which is posted on a wall in the building.
  • Red Rally is a large bonfire and rally held on the Thursday before the football match with UNM's rival New Mexico State University. During Red Rally, a large effigy of an Aggie, the mascot of NMSU, is burned to the ground.
  • UNM Fiestas are an end-of-the year celebration held in the spring which includes a community service event called Spring Storm and a large concert.
  • Welcome Back Days are held during the first week of the school year and welcomes new and returning students to the university, and includes free food, entertainment, and information on the university's programs and organizations.


UNM owns and operates KUNM-FM, one of two National Public Radio stations in Albuquerque. In 2008, KUNM-FM won 16 Associated Press awards, including Station of the Year.[30] UNM also owns and operates the University of New Mexico Press, its publishing arm established in 1929.[31] With Albuquerque Public Schools, UNM also operates KNME-TV, Albuquerque's public television station which currently broadcasts in High Definition Digital on two channels, English and Spanish.[32] The Daily Lobo is UNM's student-run daily newspaper and is an award-winning publication serving the metro area.[33]


  • List of presidents of the University of New Mexico
  • List of University of New Mexico people


  1. ^ As of Aug 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "UNM Factbook 2009-10". University of New Mexico. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "CNM Factbook 2009-10". CENTRAL NEW MEXICO COMMUNITY COLLEGE. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  5. ^ "Campuses & Special Programs | The University of New Mexico". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  6. ^ "Naval Training and Education Yearbooks in the Navy Department Library". Department of the Navy. 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (1970-05-10). "Arsonists Strike on 2 Campuses". The Modesto Bee: pp. A–2. Retrieved 2010-12-05. "National Guardsmen were withdrawn from the University of New Mexico late Friday after a confrontation with students that sent 11 people to the hospital with bayonet wounds." 
  8. ^ "UNM Cuts Energy Usage 13.4%, Reduces Utility Spending by $2.4 Million". University of New Mexico. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  9. ^ "College Sustainability Report Card 2009". Sustainable Endowments Institute. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  10. ^ "The University of New Mexico". 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  11. ^ The Princeton Review: The Top 20 Graduate Engineering Programs
  12. ^ 2009 World University Rankings 301-400
  13. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2009
  14. ^ "National Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Washington Monthly National University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  17. ^ Best Colleges 2011 University of New Mexico US News & World Report Retrieved 2010-12-19
  18. ^ America's Best Graduate Schools 2010: Medicine: Research Rankings
  19. ^ America's Best Graduate Schools 2010: Medicine: Primary-Care Rankings
  20. ^ America's Best Graduate Schools 2010: Best Medical Schools Specialty Rankings: Family medicine
  21. ^ America's Best Graduate Schools 2010: Best Medical Schools Specialty Rankings: Rural Medicine
  22. ^ America's Best Graduate Schools 2008: Law: Clinical Training
  23. ^ "Best Graduate Schools | Top Graduate Programs | US News Education". 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^
  26. ^ "University of New Mexico frats suspended after allegations". Albuquerque Tribune. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  27. ^ "University of New Mexico Office of Greek life". Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  28. ^ "New Mexico Official Athletic Site - Athletic Program". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  29. ^ a b "New Mexico Official Athletic Site - Athletic Program". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  30. ^ "KUNM-FM 89.9 Home". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  31. ^ University of New Mexico Press
  32. ^ "KNME New Mexico PBS". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  33. ^ "New Mexico Daily Lobo :: The Independent Voice of University of New Mexico since 1895". Retrieved 2011-03-16. 

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