Aggie Milestones


Clara Belle Williams became NMSU’s first African-American graduate in 1937. She took summer classes at NMSU while working as a schoolteacher in Las Cruces, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in English. Williams Street and Clara Belle Williams Hall are both named in her honor.


Branson Library, NMSU’s oldest library still in use, opened in 1952. It was named for NMSU President John William Branson, who served from 1949-1955. Additions to the library were constructed in 1966, 1974 and 1981. It also underwent a major renovation from 1993 to 1994.


The first section of NMSU’s International Mall was dedicated in October 1972. The NMSU Alumni Association collected donations, which were matched by the university, to construct the pedestrian mall as part of a campus beautification project. The I-Mall, for short, now spans a mile between the NMSU Horseshoe and the Pan American Center.


Ralph B. Crouch, the former Mathematical Sciences department head and associate dean of the graduate school, began his career at NMSU in 1947. Today, the Crouch Award hon-ors current or living former NMSU employees for outstanding contributions to the life of the university community.


The Official NMSU Ring is celebrating its 15th anniversary at NMSU. The symbol of Aggie Pride and academic accomplishment is manufactured by Balfour. Thousands of NMSU graduates have purchased either gold or silver class rings since 2002.