New Mexico State

"NMSU" redirects here. For the university in Missouri, see Northwest Missouri State University.
New Mexico State University
Established 1888
Type Public
Endowment $154 million [1]
President Garrey Carruthers
Academic staff 1,219[2]
Students 18,497[2]
Undergraduates 14,698[2]
Postgraduates 3,799[2]
Location Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
Campus Urban, 6000 acres (24 km²)
Former names Las Cruces College,
New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
Colors      Crimson and      White
Athletics WAC, NCAA Division I
Nickname Aggies
Mascot Pistol Pete

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 of New Mexico, in terms of total enrollment across all campuses as of 2011, with campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Doña Ana County, and Grants, with extension and research centers across New Mexico.[3]

It was founded to teach agriculture in 1888 as the Las Cruces College, and the following year became New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. It received its present name in 1960. NMSU has 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]


In 1888, Hiram Hadly, a respected educator from Indiana, set up the small Las Cruces College. One year later, the Territorial Assembly of New Mexico provided for the establishment of an Agricultural College and Agricultural Experiment Station with Bill No. 28, the Rodey Act of 1889. It stated: " 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." Designated as the land-grant college for New Mexico under the Morrill Act, it was named the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.[5][full citation needed]

Las Cruces College then merged with the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, and opened on January 21, 1890. It began with 35 students in the tertiary level and preparatory classes and a total of six faculty members. The college was supposed to graduate its first student in 1893, but the senior was murdered before he was able to receive his diploma.[6] Classes met in the two-room adobe building of Las Cruces College until new buildings were erected on the 220-acre (0.89 km2) campus three miles (5 km) south of Las Cruces. In February 1891, McFie Hall, popularly known as Old Main, opened its doors. McFie Hall burned down in 1910, but its remains can be seen in the center of Pride Field on the University Horseshoe.[5]

In 1960, in move to better represent its operations, New Mexico A&M was renamed New Mexico State University by a state constitutional amendment.[5]

New Mexico State University now has a 6,000-acre (24 km2) campus and enrolls more than 18,000 students from the United States and 71 foreign countries. Full-time faculty members number 694, with a staff of 3,113. The university has an extensive international student population from in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


The main campus of New Mexico State University sits on a 6,250 acres (24 km²) of land in the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico.[7] It is located in the southern part of Pan American Highway interchange, Interstate 25, surrounded by desert landscape and greenhouses.[8] The main campus is also bordered by Interstate 10, which is the main east-west road across Southern part of United States. In east of Interstate 25, the campus can be found the President's residence, NMSU Golf Course, the "A" Mountain west slope, New Mexico farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. North of University Avenue are Pan American Plaza, 48 acres of horse farm, and the Fabian Garcia Science center, which houses the Chile Pepper Institute's research, teaching and demonstration garden, algal biofuels research equipments, grape vineyards and gazebos, and fields and greenhouses for plant research projects. About six miles, south of campus, houses the 203 acre of land of the Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center. [9]

The first master plan of the university was to create a "Horseshoe", a U shaped drive, in an open and large lawn, and at the center sits the Old Main, which was the original campus building, the Mcfie Hall that was destroyed by fire in 1910 and now a college landmark, the cornerstone of Mcfie Hall, stands near the flagpole.[10] Today, the Horseshoe is the center of the campus, that houses the administration building, Hadley Hall, which sits at the top of the Horseshoe, and other classroom buildings.[11]

As a land-grand institution, its mission is to serve New Mexico's diverse population and to reach out with the educational needs through comprehensive programs of education, research, extension education, and public service across New Mexico, the nation and the world.[12] As a result, NMSU has a presence in each 33 counties of New Mexico, a satellite learning center in Albuquerque, 13 research and science centers, distance education opportunities and five NMSU campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Grants, Doña Ana County, and in Las Cruces. [13]

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


NMSU Housing is available to students who chooses to live on campus. There are several residential areas to choose from, including residential halls, apartments, graduate housing, family communities, living learning communities and theme communities. [14]Housing includes;

  • Chamisa Village Apartments Stage I
  • Chamisa Village Apartments Stage II
  • Cervantes Village Apartment Complex
  • Cole Village
  • Garcia Hall
  • Monagle Hall
  • Pinon Hall
  • Rhodes Garrett Hamiel
  • Tom Fort and Sutherland Village
  • Vista Del Monte Apartments


NMSU has two major libraries in main campus.[15] This include the Branson Hall Library and the Zuhl Library. Both libraries has a total collection of more than 1 million volumes. [16]

Branson Hall Library

The Branson Hall Library was built in 1951 which houses text and resources related to engineering, business, agricultural materials, science, special collections, maps, government publications and archives.[17] A sculpture made of bronze named "Joy of Learning", created by Grant Kinzer, former Department Head for Entomology Plant Pathology and Weed Science, can be found on the north side of Branson Hall.[18]

Zuhl Library

The Zuhl Library was built in 1992 with a cost of $11 million. The library houses text and resources which is related to the arts, humanities and sciences collections. [19]North the Zuhl Library is a 20 foot wide steel and granite sculpture, named " A Quest for Knowledge", and was created by an Federico Armijo, an Abuquerque native.[20]


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.[21][full citation needed]

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

  • College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Extended Learning
  • Graduate School
  • College of Health and Social Services
  • College of Honors


University rankings

Celebrating Diversity

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.[22][23]

National Recognition

NMSU was ranked tier 1 nationally, at 189, and ranked 108 among public schools according to U.S. News & World Report 2013, National University Ranking. It is the only New Mexico higher institution aside from UNM that was included in the ranking. Washington Monthly 2012 also ranked NMSU 102 among 281 institutions, as a top national university, based on schools' contribution to the public in three categories: social mobility, research, and service.

The College of Education's graduate program is ranked 106 by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools 2013 Edition[23] while the College of Engineering's graduate program was ranked 120.[24] In addition, Chemistry, Computer Science, English, Math, Physics, Social Work and Speech-Language Pathology were all ranked within Top 150 Best Graduate Programs by USNWR.[24]

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 1st by the National Science Foundation among United States colleges and universities in research and development, and is ranked 1st among institutions without a medical school in terms of R&D expenditures. 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.[21]

The university is home to New Mexico's NASA Space Grant Program.[25]

In 2010, the NMSU

NMSU is a research active university, with $150 million per year in externally funded research programs. Its 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.[27]

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Water Resources Research Institute overall mission is to develop and disseminate knowledge that will assist the state and nation in solving water problems.

Student life

Victory Bell

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.[30]

"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.[30]

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[31] is the student government, it has a departmental organization.[32]

Greek Life

The Greek System at New Mexico State University includes:[33]




New Mexico State Aggies

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 Association until 1988), Missouri Valley Conference and the Border Conference.[30]


Main article: Rio Grande Rivalry

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 football rivalry with the University of Texas at El Paso known as The Battle of I-10.

Notable people

Main article: List of New Mexico State University people


There are approximately 120,173 NMSU living alumni in the United States and around the world.[34] The NMSU Alumni Association is one of the oldest organization of the university dating back from May 24. 1898. [35]The Alumni Association provides network for alumni and friends of New Mexico State University, which connect to the university through different events. Some notable alumni of NMSU include Jerome Shaw, EVP/COO of Volt Information Sciences, Inc;[36] Christine Aguilera, President of SkyMall;[37] Alvy Ray Smith, co-founder of Pixar; Kevin Johnson, CEO, Juniper Networks; and Pervis Atkins, NFL Hall of Fame inductee.


Faculties of NMSU receives numerous fellowship, scholarships, and awards. Some notable faculty include Paul Bosland , an internationally recognized authority on chile, he leads the university’s chile breeding research program and directs the Chile Pepper Institute at NMSU;[38] Seamus “Shay” Curran, a physicist who is also an enterpreneur, he is developing NMSU’s nanotechnology initiative, focusing on alternative energy sources, water technology and new materials;[39] Reta Beebe, a world-leading authority on the giant planets, she headed a team of world scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe Jupiter;[40] Clyde Tombaugh, an astronomer best known for his discovery of Pluto [41]and Antonya Nelson, named by The New Yorker as one of the 20 best young fiction writers in America, she has published three novels and more than 50 stories.[42]


External links

  • New Mexico State University official website
  • NMSU Athletics official website
  • ASNMSU official website
  • The Round Up official website
  • NMSU Arthropod Museum official website
  • NMSU American Association of University Professors official website
  • KRUX Radio official website

Related External Links

  • NMSU Institute for Energy & the Environment official website

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

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