New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University
at Las Cruces
NMSU Seal.png
Established 1888
Type Land-grant, space-grant, state university
Endowment $139.5 million[1]
President Barbara Couture
Academic staff 1,219[2]
Students 18,497[2]
Undergraduates 14,698[2]
Postgraduates 3,799[2]
Location Las Cruces, New Mexico
Campus Urban, 6000 acres (24 km²)
Colors      Crimson
Nickname Aggies
Mascot Pistol Pete
University of New Mexico logo

New Mexico State University at Las Cruces (officially New Mexico State University, although also commonly referred to as NMSU-Las Cruces, NMSU, or NM State), is a major land-grant university in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States. It is the second largest four year university in the state in terms of total enrollment across all campuses as of 2011, It also has campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Doña Ana County, and Grants, with extension and research centers across New Mexico.[3]

The school was founded in 1888 as the Las Cruces College, an agricultural college, and in 1889 the school became New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. It received its present name in 1960. NMSU has approximately 18,497 students enrolled as of Fall 2009, and has a faculty-to-student ratio of about 1 to 19. NMSU offers a wide range of programs and awards associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees through its main campus and four community colleges. NMSU is the only research-extensive, land-grant, USA-Mexico border institution classified as Hispanic serving by the federal government.[4]



Hiram Hadley

In 1888, an institution of higher learning, based in small adobe buildings, known as Las Cruces College—led by Hiram Hadley, a respected educator from Indiana—had even bigger plans in mind, which was established in the heart of the small village of the same name. One year later, a foundation for much growth was established when the Territorial Assembly of New Mexico provided for the establishment of an Agricultural College and Agricultural Experiment Station with bill No. 28 or the Rodey Act of 1889. The bill stated that, " Said institution is hereby located at or near the town of Las Cruces in the County of Doña Ana,upon a tract of land of not less than one hundred (100) acres, contiguous to the main Las Cruces irrigating ditch, south of said town." The institution, which was designated as the land-grant college for New Mexico under the Morrill Act, was named the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.[5][Full citation needed]

Las Cruces College merged with New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, and the new school opened on January 21, 1890. That first semester there were 35 students in the college level and preparatory classes and six faculty members. Classes met in the old two-room building of Las Cruces College until suitable buildings could be put on the 220-acre (0.89 km2) campus three miles (5 km) south of Las Cruces. In February 1891, the university's first building McFie Hall, popularly known as Old Main, opened its doors. Unfortunately, the building burned down in 1910, but its remains can be seen in the center of Pride Field on the University Horseshoe,, or old university center[5]

In a move to better represent its operations, the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts was changed by the state constitutional amendment to New Mexico State University in 1960.[5]

Today New Mexico State University sits on a 900-acre (3.6 km2) campus and enrolls 18,497 students from all 50 states and from 71 nations. Regular faculty members number 694 and staff, 3,113. The university also has an extensive international student population from countries in Central America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia and Middle East.

New Mexico State University main campus, with Aggie Memorial Stadium on the left, and the main "colleges" on the right, along University Avenue


New Mexico State University is the land grant university of the state of New Mexico. As a thriving center of higher education, deeply rooted in the southwestern tradition, its role as a comprehensive university is recognized throughout the state. New Mexico State University offers a wide variety of programs through the Graduate School and the colleges: Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Extended Learning and Health and Social Services. The 21 doctoral programs are limited primarily to agriculture, education, engineering, and the sciences; the specialist in education degree is offered in 4 study areas; the education doctorate degree is offered in 3 study areas; there are 51 master’s degree programs and 87 baccalaureate degree programs. At its four branch community colleges, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Doña Ana and Grants, New Mexico State University offers academic, vocational/technical, and continuing education programs. In accord with its land-grant mission, New Mexico State University provides informal, off-campus educational programs through the Cooperative Extension Service. Through a statewide network of 9 research facilities, the Agricultural Experiment Station conducts basic and applied research supporting agriculture, natural resources management, environmental quality, and improved quality of life.[6][Full citation needed]

Zuhl Library

NMSU is divided into graduate school and several smaller colleges. These include:


Celebrating Diversity

University rankings (overall)
Forbes[7] 148
U.S. News & World Report[8] 203–268
Washington Monthly[9] 149

NMSU is classified as a Hispanic-serving institution by the U.S. Department of Education and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Our undergraduate population is 24 percent Hispanic; other minorities that make up the student body include American Indians, Asians and African-Americans. Historically, NMSU has supported minorities in their academic goals—in fact, we admitted an African-American woman in 1928, well ahead of most other institutions of higher education. The university offers a multitude of support services to all students; interested minorities may also take advantage of the American Indian Program, Black Programs and Chicano Programs offices.[citation needed]

  • Diverse: Issues in Higher Education ranks NMSU at No. 19 on the list of top 100 undergraduate degree producers in the category of Hispanic bachelor's degrees. The same publication ranks us at No. 20 for Native American bachelor's degrees. NMSU's highest rankings in Hispanic baccalaureates were in education at No. 6 and engineering, at No. 13.[citation needed]
  • Diverse: Issues in Higher Education places NMSU among the top 100 graduate degree producers. We come in at No. 25 in the nation for Hispanic master's degrees, No. 37 for Native American master's degrees and No. 61 for Hispanic doctoral degrees.[citation needed]
  • The University of Southern California's Center for Urban Education names NMSU as one of the top 25 institutions with "effective practices for increasing the number of Latino recipients" of bachelor's degrees in the STEM--science, technology, engineering and math—fields.</ref Dowd, A.C., Malcom, L.E., & Bensimon, E.M. (2009). Benchmarking the success of Latino and Latina students in STEM to achieve national graduation goals. Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California./>[10][Full citation needed]

National Recognition

Foster Hall
  • The College of Education's graduate program also was ranked in the top 50% by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools 2011 Edition.[10]

Institutes and research programs

Research Programs

Since its founding as New Mexico’s land-grant college in 1888, New Mexico State University has encouraged and supported creative scholarly activity of its faculty and students. New Mexico State University is ranked 105th among colleges and universities in research and development in the nation, and is ranked 29th among institutions nationally without medical school in terms of R&D expenditures by National Science Foundation. Most early research followed mandates of the founding legislation of land-grant colleges by generating knowledge useful in agriculture and engineering. Over time, however, research has expanded from this focus on applied natural sciences to include all disciplines of the university. Today, creative scholarly activity leads to basic scientific discoveries as well as practical applications emanating from the natural and social sciences, arts, humanities, business, education and health sciences in addition to engineering and agriculture. This creative activity enriches academic program for students, provides training and employment opportunities, and attracts externally funded support to enhance university research, academic programs and facilities.[6]


The university is home to New Mexico's NASA Space Grant Program.[11]

In 2010, the NMSU Physical Sciences Laboratory has secured a study contract with Reaction Engines Limited, a British aerospace company that is developing technology for an airbreathing single-stage to orbit, precooled air turboramjet based spaceplane.[12]

NMSU is a very active research university, with $150 million per year in externally funded research programs. Our estimated annual economic impact in New Mexico is $1 billion. Anchoring the southern end of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Research Corridor, NMSU is the only university to reach the platinum, or highest, level of service to NASA’s Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. SATOP makes the expertise of corporate and university researchers available to small businesses.[13]

Academic Centers and Research Institutes

  • Agricultural Experiment Station conducts basic and applied research supporting agriculture, natural resources management, environmental quality, and improved quality of life.
  • Bureau for Business Research and Services provides business and economic research services to the public and private sectors of the state, region, and country and management services to business organizations and associations, government agencies and the public.[citation needed]
  • Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center (CDRCC) conducts educational, demonstrative, and experimental development with livestock, grazing methods, and range forage including investigation of the sustainability and management of natural resources and environmental ecosystems. CDRCC is a major source of arid land research.[citation needed]
  • Institute for Energy and Environment (IEE) is a multidisciplinary, energy sector and water resource institute serving the Southwest and beyond. IEE develops innovative solutions through the synergy of an academic, governmental and private sector partnership. IEE’s ultimate goal is to provide global leadership, expertise, and technology for public policy, technical and human resource development to meet growing energy and water needs. The International Environmental Design Contest is co-hosted by the IEE.[14]
  • Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (M-TEC) supports economic development in New Mexico by providing quality manufacturing education, technical assistance, and other extension services to extension services to industries in New Mexico.
  • Physical Science Laboratory, a nonprofit research and development arm of NMSU, provides a wide variety of research and development services to support defense and space activities around the world.[citation needed]
  • Water Resources Research Institute overall mission is to develop and disseminate knowledge that will assist the state and nation in solving water problems.[citation needed]



NMSU's teams are called the Aggies, a nickname derived from the university's agricultural beginnings. New Mexico State is in its sixth season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Western Athletic Conference is the fifth conference NMSU has been affiliated with in its football history. New Mexico State spent the past six seasons as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. Prior to that, NMSU was a member of the Big West Conference (called the Pacific Coast Athletic Assocation until 1988), Missouri Valley Conference and the Border Conference.[15]

NMSU Aggie Memorial Stadium

Song and chant traditions
NMSU Alma Mater

Our Alma Mater, now to thee,
We lift our voice of praise,
We love thy walls, we love thy halls,
And all thy pleasant ways.
We love thy wisdom and thy strength,
Thy truth which makes men free.
Thine, Thine we are in peace or war,
Our own N.M.A.C.

Led by the banner’s crimson folds,
We’ll march the upward way.
As heroes of the common life
Thy sons would serve their day.
Through toil and triumph, peace and pain
With patience taught by thee,
We’ll fight our fight beneath thy flag,
Our own N.M.A.C.

With hope and courage, faith and joy,
we face the future bright;
Thy ringing call is in our ears,
they strong hand gives us might.
As thy brave sons have ever done,
So in the years to be,
We’ll guard they honor with our lives,
Our own N.M.A.C

NMSU Fight Song

Aggies, Oh Aggies!
The hills send back the cry,
We’re here to do or die!
Aggies, Oh Aggies!
We’ll win this game or know the reason why!
And when we win this game,
We’ll buy a keg of booze,
And we’ll drink it to the Aggies
‘till we wobble in our shoes!


NMSU maintains strong athletic rivalries with the University of New Mexico. 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. Different traditions take place at each schools the night before game day. NMSU also has had a strong rivalry with the University of Texas, El Paso.

Student life


Goddard Hall

In the 1940s, the Victory Bell, a gift of the Class of 1939, was housed in an open-sided structure on the Horseshoe and rung to announce Aggie victories. In 1972, the bell was rededicated as the NMSU Engineer's Bell and mounted on a platform near Goddard Hall. On game days, various school organizations took turns in toting the ringing bell around Las Cruces prior to kick-off. The Bell was then taken to Aggie Memorial Stadium where it salutes Aggie touchdowns with its distinctive – and loud – chimes. More recently, the bell has been permanently mounted at field level just behind the south goal post of the stadium.[15]

"A" Tradition In 1920, students of then New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts scouted for an appropriate place to display their school letter. Tortugas Mountain, located three miles (5 km) east of campus, seemed a natural spot. Brave males gathered enough stones to form a big "A" easily visible from campus and the surrounding area. On the following day, April 1, students trudged up the mountain side with their five-gallon cans of whitewash and splashed it on the stones, turning them into a gleaming white "A". For many years, giving the "A" its annual fresh coat of whitewash was an all school effort. The seniors mixed lime and water at the foot of the mountain and the freshmen and sophomores toted the mixture up to the juniors who splashed it on the "A." With the growth of the university through the years, the tradition was taken over by the Greek Council.[15]

Student Organizations

NMSU has multiple student organizations, as well as a Greek system. There are several religious organizations, including The Christian Challenge-BSU. The Associated Students of New Mexico State University[16] is the student government, it has a departmental organization.[17]

Greek Life

The Greek System at New Mexico State University includes:[18]

Notable people




  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "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 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Microsoft Word – 2009factbook" (PDF). Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ "NMSU: New Mexico is our Campus". New Mexico State University. May 10, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Graduate Study in New Mexico". Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "NMSU: A Brief History". September 1, 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Microsoft Word - 2009factbook" (PDF). Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ "National Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Washington Monthly National University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "NMSU: Points of Pride". September 1, 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ "New Mexico Space Grant". New Mexico State University. March 11, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  12. ^ "News Update – February 2010". Reaction Engines Limited company news. February 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Las Cruces New Mexico - Education - New Mexico State University (NMSU)". Las Cruces Magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c "Traditions - New Mexico State Athletics Official Web Site". Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Associated Students of New Mexico State University". ASNMSU. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "NMSU Greeklife". Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  19. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan (December 10, 2009). "Cleric linked to Fort Hood attack grew more radicalized in Yemen". Washington Post. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  20. ^ Shane, Scott (November 18, 2009). "Born in U.S., a Radical Cleric Inspires Terror". New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2009. 
  21. ^ Holmes, Oliver (November 5, 2009). "Why Yemen Hasn't Arrested Terrorist Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki". TIME.,8599,2030277,00.html. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  22. ^ Warren Richey (August 31, 2010). "Anwar al-Awlaki: ACLU wants militant cleric taken off US 'kill list'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  23. ^ UPI staff reporter (November 11, 2009). "Imam in Fort Hood case born in New Mexico". United Press International. Retrieved November 13, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Founder Biography". May 5, 2002. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  25. ^
    • Michelle Elizabeth Rose(Girls gone wild)
    David Wharton, UCLA-New Mexico State resurrects memories for Chito Reyes, Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2009
  26. ^ david boje. "David Boje | New Mexico State University -". Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  27. ^ [1][dead link]
  28. ^ "Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One (9780394703107): Edward O. Thorp: Books". Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  29. ^ "About Edward O. Thorp". Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  30. ^ Melissa Gottwald and Maura Kenny. "Clyde W. Tombaugh Biographical Outline". Retrieved October 12, 2010. 

External links

Related External Links

Coordinates: 32°16′59″N 106°44′53″W / 32.283°N 106.748°W / 32.283; -106.748

Las Cruces, New Mexico Flag of New Mexico
Doña Ana | Mesilla | University Park
Doña Ana County
New Mexico State University

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