nmsu history

Miller Gates

nmsu history

Hadley Hall

nmsu history

Goddard Hall

nmsu history

Memorial Tower

New Mexico State University Foundation History


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 pledges 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 start 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 in 2001, 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 and alumni programs.


The first #Giving Tuesday – 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 #Giving Tuesday 2015, hundreds of alumni, friends, staff and students in the state, across the country and around the world have raised $13.4 million for Aggie students.


On Dec. 31, 2019, the historic Ignite Aggie Discovery! Capital campaign came to a close. The largest cash-only campaign in NMSU history went public in 2017 and the $125 million campaign goal was successfully completed thanks to NMSU’s generous supporters.


Founders Day: 1888 Minutes of Giving launches to commemorate the founding of NMSU in 1888 by raising donations to support the future of the university. A continuous 1,888 minutes of fundraising to support 24 different programs at NMSU, the campaign pays tribute to the visionaries who founded NMSU more than a century ago, reflecting their commitment to higher education and foresight in shaping generations of scholars, innovators, and leaders.

nmsu history

Hadley Hall Commencement 1913

nmsu history

Milton Hall built in 1941 served as the student union building until 1968

nmsu history

New Mexico A&M in 1948

nmsu history

Students painting the "A"

nmsu history

Alumni Homecoming Parade 1950s

new mexico state university history


  • The NMSU Foundation began during Roger Corbett’s tenure as president
  • Major gifts to the NMSU Foundation have improved facilities such as the Presley Askew Baseball Field
  • Since #GivingTuesday debuted at NMSU in 2015, alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students have donated $13.4 million
  • Dove Hall is home to the NMSU Foundation
  • The President’s Associates Ball started in 1977 when Gerald Thomas was president
  • For 42 years, the President’s Associates Ball has raised funds for student scholarships
  • Devasthali Hall, the newest building on campus, was supported with significant donor dollars
  • Since 2001, NM drivers have had the chance to display Aggie pride with an NMSU license plate, with a portion of the proceeds supporting student and alumni programs
  • 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 raising $125 million by Dec. 31, 2019 was achieved