Letters from leadership

Like the rest of our country, NMSU is now operating in a new normal as a result of this pandemic that has fundamentally changed the way everyone operates. In March, we moved our courses online. Since that time, nearly all of our employees have been working from home. We’re even honoring our Spring 2020 graduates in a virtual commencement ceremony.

During this time, we’re keeping three principles in mind for everyone at our university:

• We must ensure that our students, faculty and staff are safe and secure;

• We will work to continue with academic progress, to the fullest extent possible;

• As we start doing things differently, we need to consider what we’ve learned during this process, which can make our university better and stronger going forward.

While we should all recognize that our world will be different from now on, we’re still very much connected to one another. In fact, it’s your connection to our university that allows us to do amazing things in support of our students and the communities we serve. Because of the efforts of each of our NMSU alumni and friends, I’m confident that we will be a much stronger university coming out of this ordeal. Thank you for all you do in support of our great university.

Dan Arvizu, Ph.D. ’73
NMSU Chancellor

The spring 2020 semester was an unprecedented time for our university, community and world. While facing the challenges of COVID-19, the NMSU system rallied to transition to online instruction and teleworking. In times of need, Aggies find ways to be resilient, generous and innovative and to help others.

While the spring semester was a surreal situation, hopefully, this issue of Panorama will bring you joy as you read stories of our alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. The stories illustrate that bonds formed at NMSU last lifetimes. This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Amazin’ Aggies 1970 Final Four team. We also have to thank all of our generous donors who have helped make each NMSU Giving Tuesday a success. This day of giving provides scholarships to students across the NMSU system and helps them achieve their dreams of higher education. In addition, this issue features organizations such as the NMSU Community Puppy Raisers and GALS program that change lives.

I’ve heard from many of you asking how to help; this is what is so awesome about our Aggie family. In times of uncertainty, helping the Aggie Cupboard has an immediate impact on our students and staff. This food pantry provides needed resources for those facing food insecurity issues. To donate visit https://mas.nmsu.edu/project/6947.

Stay well Aggies, we hope to see you soon.

Leslie Cervantes ’86
Associate Vice President of Alumni and Donor Relations, University Advancement

This issue of Panorama is produced by the office of Marketing and Communications, New Mexico State University, 575-646-3221.

Correspondences may be sent to Marketing and Communications, MSC 3K, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001,

Las Cruces, NM 88003-3590 or panorama@nmsu.edu. 

Panorama is published two times annually.

ISSN 2470-0649

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and educator.

The magazine can be found online at panorama.nmsu.edu.


Tiffany Acosta

Assistant Editor

Adriana M. Chávez ’19

Art Director

Gerald Rel


Amanda Adame ’19, Josh Bachman ’07, Minerva Baumann ’13, Eddie Binder ’12, Linda Fresques, Kristie Garcia ’07, Andrés Leighton, Carlos Andres López ’10, Reyes Lucero, Jane Moorman, Melissa Rutter ’17


Dan Arvizu ’73



John Floros


President, NMSU Foundation

Derek Dictson ’98


Associate Vice President of Alumni and Donor Relations

Leslie Cervantes ’86


Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Justin Bannister ’03 ’13


Executive Director of Marketing, Web and Brand Management

Melissa Chavira ’03 ’05 ’11


Director of Communications and Media Relations

Amanda Bradford ’03


Director, Alumni Relations

Rebecca Galves ’01

NMSU Alumni Association International Board of Directors Executive Council


Scott Sponseller ’96 ’98 



Carol Smallwood ’83



Michael Law ’05


Past President

Tony Martinez ’96 ’98


Executive Council Members

Nancy Flores ’88, Erika Swan ’95, Adam Thompson ’08 

2020© New Mexico State University
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Panorama, MSC 3590, New Mexico State University,
P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM, 88003-88001