New Mexico is known for many things — the Taos Pueblo community where people have continuously lived for more than one thousand years, Smokey Bear Historical Park, White Sands National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the Four Corners, the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, and much more. Throughout this great state, another noteworthy claim to fame includes universities with a rich background of academic excellence, especially when it comes to the history of New Mexico State University.
Founded in 1888 by Hiram Hadley, an Earlham College education teacher, NMSU was originally named Las Cruces College. The college began as a two-room building and included an elementary school, a university preparatory school, and a business school. The college later merged with the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, the state’s land-grant college, and the new school opened in 1890.
It wasn’t until 1960 when the New Mexico Constitution officially recognized the school as New Mexico State University. NMSU remains as the oldest public institution of higher education in the state of New Mexico.
Fast forward to the present day, and impressive numbers reflect how New Mexico State University has grown to become an outstanding educational beacon for students around the world:
- More than 21,000 students are enrolled at the university.
- Students have the option to choose from a plethora of degree programs with options for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates. The university offers 28 doctoral degree programs, 58 master’s degree programs, and 96 baccalaureate majors.
- The top five majors at the university include business, liberal arts and humanities, nursing, criminal justice and safety studies, and mechanical engineering.
- NMSU enrolls a variety of students from 49 different states and 89 foreign countries.
- The campus is a recognized NASA Space Grant College and the first honors college in New Mexico.
- Alumni encompass more than 130,000 people worldwide.
- The university is well known for being a Hispanic-serving institution and able to reach a multicultural population of students and communities across the state through its five campuses, a satellite learning center located in Albuquerque, cooperative extension offices in every county across the state, and 12 agriculture research and science centers.
And here’s a fun fact about NMSU: The university has kept many traditions alive, including the “A”. This is one of NMSU’s most cherished traditions, bringing light to the Aggie pride that is surrounded on campus. The letter “A” can be seen on many of the buildings, items, and structures, but the most famous “A” stands 330 feet tall on the Tortugas Mountain east of campus.
NMSU also has a stand-out list of notable names who have called the campus home, including, musicians, actors, athletes, etc. — Joe Jackson, Roosevelt Skerrit, Sam Lacey, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Paul Wilbur Klipsch, Steve Pearce, and Tony Wragge, just to name a few.
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