DATE: October 5, 2023
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has announced a new $2.5 million gift to New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, doubling their earlier $2.5 million contribution. The donation aims to further support the establishment of the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship at Arrowhead Center, which began in 2017.
“With this investment in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem, our family foundation is highlighting its commitment to fostering the enterprising spirit and innovative technologies that drive economic prosperity in our region,” said Woody L. Hunt, chairman of the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation.
The contribution will be used to grow the strength and diversity of entrepreneurship in the Borderplex region. This will be achieved by empowering diverse groups of people to explore and practice entrepreneurship, educating and encouraging students to bring innovative products and services to commercial markets, and increasing access to early-stage investment.
“This generous contribution will significantly bolster the Hunt Center’s efforts to support new ideas and entrepreneurship opportunities in the region,” said NMSU interim President Jay Gogue. “It means that we will be able to do even more to nurture emerging entrepreneurs, propel nascent businesses, expedite technology commercialization, and facilitate the exchange of invaluable industry insights.”
One of the initiatives that the new grant will support is the new Mike Hunt Construction Sprints. Named for the vice chairman of the board of directors for Hunt Companies, the sprints will include speaker events, business model workshops, idea-generation programs, networking opportunities and awards for NMSU students, all with the aim of accelerating businesses through innovative construction technologies.
“The sprints will capture the excitement and challenges of building something new while also promoting learning and reflection,” Mike Hunt said. “After a lifetime of working at the intersection of construction, innovation and business, I cannot imagine a more meaningful honor than to have this program named after me.”
“We are proud to serve as a collaborative hub in the growth and evolution of new enterprises in the Borderplex,” said Arrowhead Center director Kathy Hansen. “The Hunt family deserves credit for their foresight and commitment to our entrepreneurship ecosystem, and for understanding the profound impact that strategic philanthropy can have on a community. With this new gift, we hope to establish the Hunt Center as a national exemplar when it comes to enhancing access to entrepreneurial resources.”
The Hunt Family Foundation has long been committed to supporting sustainable programs that can make a widespread and prolonged impact in the Borderplex region. Started in 1987 by Woody and Gayle Hunt, the foundation focuses on support for non-profit initiatives in six categories, including education and regional economic development.
Arrowhead Center is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, committed to catalyzing economic development and fostering a culture of innovation. The Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship, established through a transformative gift from the Hunt Family Foundation, is at the forefront of these efforts, empowering diverse entrepreneurs, nurturing student startups and fueling economic progress.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation is one of the Borderplex’s private family foundations focused on creating a globally competitive region. Since 1987, it has made grants and commitments of over $147.9 million to institutions working to transform education, improve healthcare, advance regional economic and cultural development, and create a greater quality of life for all Borderplex residents. Almost 89% of the Foundation's total giving has supported organizations and initiatives in the Borderplex region.