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New Mexico State University

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NMSU remembers fallen Aggies at Celebration of Traditions event

WHAT: Celebration of Traditions, a special tribute to former students who gave their lives in defense of the U.S.


WHO: Ben Woods, retired senior vice president for external relations; NMSU leaders

WHEN: 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24

WHERE: Memorial Tower, NMSU Las Cruces Campus

VISUALS: This year?s presentation will include the induction of Edwin Eugene Casey, Spanish American War; induction of WWI Aggies; induction of Ensign Mike Coinman, Vietnam; and recognition of Maj. Gen. John Hightower and Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez.

BACKGROUND: Miss Era Rentfrow, a New Mexico A&M graduate and registrar from 1922 to 1969, was responsible for the assembly of the photos of the Aggies that died in World War II, as well as a leader in the effort to construct Aggie Memorial Tower in their honor. The story is that Rentfrow was engaged to Joe Quesenberry, the first Aggie to die in France in World War I. Rentfrow never married and devoted her life to serving Aggies. Her dedication and the memory of the 126 Aggies killed in World War II have been the motivation behind this special tribute ceremony.

Ben Woods, retired senior vice president for external relations, has devoted extensive time researching Aggies who have died while serving their country and has been instrumental in locating photos for those Aggies that were lost in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, as well as crafting short biographies for each of the Aggies whose portraits are displayed in the memorial.