Foundation celebrates milestone anniversary

Compiled by Megan Hansen ’06 ’09


The NMSU Foundation, originally named the New Mexico Foundation, was established in 1959 under NMSU President Roger Corbett. The first major campaign raised money to purchase a large computer for data processing, subsequently attracting a new segment of students interested in computer science.


The President’s Associates group was formed in 1977, consisting of downtown Las Cruces business owners who pledged at least $1,000 a year to NMSU for student scholarships. The inaugural President’s Associates Ball was held Sept. 16, 1977 and was, according to then-President Gerald Thomas, “the event of the year.” The PA Ball is a tradition that continues today in support of PA Scholarships, a program designed to keep star students from New Mexico in the state. 


During Homecoming weekend of 1988, NMSU’s decade-long Centennial Campaign, the largest fundraising effort in NMSU history at the time, successfully reached its goal to raise $18,881,988 – an amount signifying NMSU’s first 100 years. 


The Aggie license plate was released, allowing New Mexico drivers to show their Aggie pride. Since its launch, more than 20,000 Aggie plates have been issued. Partnering with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, $25 of every license plate is donated to the NMSU Foundation in support of student scholarships. 


The first #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – was held at NMSU Dec. 1, 2015. The successful inaugural event became an annual tradition. Since #GivingTuesday 2015, hundreds of alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students in the state, across the country and around the world have raised $13.4 million for Aggie students.  


On Dec. 31, the historic Ignite Aggie Discovery! capital campaign will close. The largest cash-only campaign in NMSU history went public in 2017 and the $125 million campaign goal is within reach thanks to NMSU’s generous supporters.

For 42 years the President’s Associates Ball has raised funds for student scholarships.

The NMSU Foundation began during Roger Corbett’s tenure as president.

Since #GivingTuesday debuted at NMSU in 2015, alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students have donated $13.4 million.

The President’s Associates Ball started in 1977 when Gerald Thomas was president.

Major gifts to the NMSU Foundation have improved facilities such as the Presley Askew Baseball Field.

Dove Hall is home to the NMSU

Devasthali Hall, the newest building on campus, was supported with significant donor dollars.

Since 2001, New Mexico drivers have had the chance to display Aggie pride with an NMSU license plate and a portion of the proceeds is donated in support of student scholarships.

Fundraising campaigns, such as Make a STATEment, assist student organizations like Aggies Without Limits with the needed support to help communities around the world.

After the launch of the Aggie Ignite Discovery! capital campaign in 2017, the goal of $125 million by the campaign closing of Dec. 31 is near.