Creating a culture of giving

Student donors launch new philanthropy program
By Charlotte Tallman ’02

When Chase Wolfe walked through Corbett Center Student Union one afternoon last November, he heard enough cheering and cowbells in the lounge area to pique his interest. What he found was a roomful of Aggie alumni, staff, faculty, friends and students raising money for student success during  the first ever New Mexico State University Giving Tuesday. When he joined the crowd he felt an immediate desire to give back the way those around him were, and he made his first gift to NMSU. By the time Chase walked out the doors of Corbett Center Student Union, he had become a different person—someone who not only knew he could make a difference, but did make a difference.

“I don’t think I ever realized how easy it was to give back,” says Wolfe, a senior studying Agriculture and Extension Education in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “When I made my gift, even though it was small, I knew it would contribute to a much larger cause. That made me feel good about myself, and appreciate even more the help I am receiving as a student.” Wolfe is just one of the many students throughout the NMSU system who are ready and willing to give back, and with the establishment of the new Student Foundation, a newly chartered philanthropy group on campus through the NMSU Foundation, they will have even more opportunities to give and advocate for causes that matter to them.

“The purpose of the Student Philanthropy program is to enhance the culture of giving across all of our campuses by helping students create a memorable legacy, understand the crucial role they play in the future of the university, and contribute as proud Aggie alumni when they graduate,” says Adrian Bautista, assistant director for Annual Giving.

Many times students chose to give back because of the experiences they have had an NMSU campus or they want to make a difference by supporting the programs they are passionate about. “I believe it’s important to give back to the NMSU community because helping others is so important to me,” says Vanessa Delgado, class of 2018. The Communication Disorders major, who is a Crimson Scholar and a member of the Dean’s List in the College of Education, plans to be a speech language pathologist after she graduates.

makeastatement-photoStudent philanthropy is not just about giving money, it is also about giving time, treasure and talent to further a cause they support. One way the Student Foundation does that is by tabling across campus to promote their causes or to present examples of the way gifts to NMSU help the university system deliver a quality education to students.

And, as a Land Grant Institution, NMSU relies on gifts from individuals, grants and foundations to provide scholarships, improve current student programs and maintain the caliber of education NMSU prides itself on providing.

Tuition comprises about 60 percent of what it really costs to educate an NMSU student, so gifts from donors go beyond making an education more affordable for students; they also support the programs and research that enhance their learning.

When students give, our NMSU community sees an increase in donor and alumni participation, enabling the university system to achieve a higher national ranking, increase the value of each degree and attract more corporate and foundation gifts.

Helping other students in the NMSU community is important to me. Helping establish a giving community on campus is something I’m passionate about.” – Vanessa Delgado



About the Student Foundation

  • Has 25 members
  • Meets bi-weekly in Dove Hall
  • Want to join? Call Adrian Bautista at 575-646-2552

What’s the best way to bring students, alumni, faculty and staff together to make a difference and keep up with the times? 

Much like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, NMSU’s Make a STATEment is a new way for community members, alumni and friends of the university to give to areas that matter the most to them.

“This new platform for giving impacts so many areas on campus,” says Adrian Bautista, assistant director for Annual Giving. “We are telling stories about the amazing things that are happening on campus, we are offering an opportunity for others to give to areas that mean the most to them and we are empowering our students to raise money for the causes they care about right here on campus.”

Make a STATEment allows student organizations, departments and programs to generate support for their cause with interactive video messaging on an internal platform without having to pay fees. The messaging not only explains how they will use the money raised, but also tells the story of why it is needed. From feeding hungry students on campus to supporting a scholarship in honor of a child who passed away too young, Make a STATEment gifts are an investment in NMSU and an opportunity to make a difference.

For more information or to find a cause you want to make a gift to today, visit