American Football Database
New Mexico State University
NMSU new seal
MottoLive, Learn and Thrive
Endowment$154 million [1]
PresidentManuel Pacheco (Interim)
Academic staff1,219[2]
LocationLas Cruces, New Mexico, United States
CampusUrban, 6000 acres (24 km²)
Former namesLas Cruces College,
New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
Colors     Crimson
AthleticsWAC, NCAA Division I
MascotPistol Pete
New Mexico State University logo

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]


File:Hiram hadley.jpg

Hiram Hadley

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. 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 900-acre (3.6 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.

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


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.[6][full citation needed]

File:NMSU ZuhlLibrary.jpg

Zuhl Library with Organ Mountains in the background.

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


University rankings
Forbes[7] 422
U.S. News & World Report[8] 189
Washington Monthly[9] 102

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.[10][11]

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[11] while the College of Engineering's graduate program was ranked 120.[12] 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.[12]

Institutes and research programs

Research Programs

File:Foster Hall New Mexico State University Las Cruces.jpg

Foster Hall is home to the Department of Biology

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 105th by the National Science Foundation among United States colleges and universities in research and development, and is ranked 29th 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.[6]



The university is home to New Mexico's NASA Space Grant Program.[13]

In 2010, the NMSU Physical Sciences Laboratory has secured a study contract with Reaction Engines Limited, a British aerospace company that is developing technology for an airbreathing single-stage to orbit, precooled air turboramjet based spaceplane.[14]

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.[15]

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.
  • Arrowhead Center, provides business assistance, technology incubation, intellectual property commercialization, economic policy analysis and growth to local businesses as well as students, staff and faculty at the university.[16]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Institute for Energy and Environment(IEE) is a multidisciplinary, energy sector and water resource institute serving the Southwest and beyond. IEE develops innovative solutions through the synergy of an academic, governmental and private sector partnership. IEE’s ultimate goal is to provide global leadership, expertise, and technology for public policy, technical and human resource development to meet growing energy and water needs. The International Environmental Design Contest is co-hosted by the IEE.[17]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Water Resources Research Institute overall mission is to develop and disseminate knowledge that will assist the state and nation in solving water problems.[citation needed]

Student life


File:New Mexico State University Goddard Hall.jpg

Goddard Hall

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.[18]

"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.[18]

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[19] is the student government, it has a departmental organization.[20]

File:NMSU Skeen Hall 2008.jpg

Skeen Hall with Organ Mountains in the background. Skeen houses the Department of Entomology Plant Pathology and Weed Science, the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Extension Plant Sciences

Greek Life

The Greek System at New Mexico State University includes:[21]




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.[18]


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.[citation needed]

File:NMSU AggieMemorialStadium.jpg

NMSU Aggie Memorial Stadium

Notable people



  • David Boje, author; current NMSU endowed Bank of America professor of management[29]
  • Garrey Carruthers, former governor of New Mexico; current NMSU dean of School of Business[30]
  • Edward O. Thorp, mathematician best known for writing the book Beat the Dealer[31] and co-inventing the first wearable computer; Associate Professor of Mathematics 1961–65[32]
  • Clyde Tombaugh, astronomer best known for his discovery of Pluto; former professor of astronomy[33]


  1. Hughes, Julie M.. "NMSU endowment earnings outpace peers". New Mexico State University. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Microsoft Word – 2009factbook" (PDF). Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  3. "NMSU: New Mexico is our Campus". New Mexico State University. May 10, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
  4. "Graduate Study in New Mexico". Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "NMSU: A Brief History". September 1, 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Microsoft Word - 2009factbook" (PDF). Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  7. "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  8. "National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  9. "The Washington Monthly National University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  10. Dowd, A.C., Malcom, L.E., & Bensimon, E.M. (2009). Benchmarking the success of Latino and Latina students in STEM to achieve national graduation goals. Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "NMSU: Points of Pride". September 1, 2005. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "New Mexico State University". Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  13. "New Mexico Space Grant". New Mexico State University. March 11, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  14. "News Update – February 2010". Reaction Engines Limited company news. February 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  15. "Las Cruces New Mexico - Education - New Mexico State University (NMSU)". Las Cruces Magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  16. "Arrowhead Business & Research Park". The Right Space - NM Borderplex. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Traditions - New Mexico State Athletics Official Web Site". Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  19. "The Associated Students of New Mexico State University". ASNMSU. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  21. "NMSU Greeklife". Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  22. Raghavan, Sudarsan (December 10, 2009). "Cleric linked to Fort Hood attack grew more radicalized in Yemen". Washington Post. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  23. Shane, Scott (November 18, 2009). "Born in U.S., a Radical Cleric Inspires Terror". New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  24. Holmes, Oliver (November 5, 2009). "Why Yemen Hasn't Arrested Terrorist Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki". TIME.,8599,2030277,00.html. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  25. Warren Richey (August 31, 2010). "Anwar al-Awlaki: ACLU wants militant cleric taken off US 'kill list'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  26. UPI staff reporter (November 11, 2009). "Imam in Fort Hood case born in New Mexico". United Press International. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  27. "Founder Biography". May 5, 2002. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  28. "Former Aggies to be inducted into intercollegiate athletic hall of fame". The Round Up. January 10, 2002. Archived from the original on September 12, 2004.
  29. david boje. "David Boje | New Mexico State University -". Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  30. [1][dead link]
  31. "Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One (9780394703107): Edward O. Thorp: Books". Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  32. "About Edward O. Thorp". Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  33. Melissa Gottwald and Maura Kenny. "Clyde W. Tombaugh Biographical Outline". Retrieved October 12, 2010.

External links

Portal icon New Mexico portal
Portal icon University portal

Related External Links

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

Template:Las Cruces Template:New Mexico State University