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New Mexico State University to inaugurate Michael Martin

The inauguration of New Mexico State University President Michael Martin will celebrate "The Land-Grant Mission: Doing What Counts" at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, in the Pan American Center. The ceremony will be followed by an Aggie barbecue and public reception in the east parking lot of the Pan American Center.

Michael Martin will be inaugurated as New Mexico State university's 22nd president on Jan. 14. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Martin said he wants the inauguration to advance the mission of the university and celebrate NMSU, not an individual. He asked that it be inclusive, inexpensive and paid for with private funds.

"I hope we can use the inauguration to emphasize that NMSU is on the move and positioning itself for a new era of relevant and responsive service to every New Mexican," Martin said.

The academic symposia and events hosted as part of the celebration will start at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, with an open forum featuring visiting dignitaries in the Corbett Center East Ballroom. Forum participants will include John V. Lombardi, chancellor and professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Robert J. Jones, senior vice president for system administration at the University of Minnesota; Graham Spanier, president of Penn State University; and Retired Air Force Four-Star Gen. Lester Lyles, an NMSU alumnus who is currently serving as a consultant to NASA.

A reception for faculty, staff and students will follow the forum at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, in the lobby and lounge on the second floor of Corbett Center. Entertainers at the reception will include the Mariachi Cuerdas de Oro, the NMSU Dance Department's Ballet Folklorico and Native American dancer Matt Shunkamolah, an NMSU alumnus representing the Navajo, Kiowa and Osage tribes.

Prior to the inaugural ceremony on Friday, Jan. 14, there will be a panel discussion at 10 a.m. featuring New Mexico's higher education leaders in the Corbett Center East Ballroom. The panel will be led by Dan Lopez, president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology who also serves as president of the New Mexico Council of University Presidents. Other participants include President Steven Gamble, Eastern New Mexico University, and President John Counts, Western New Mexico University.

The investiture ceremony will be conducted by NMSU Board of Regents President Robert Gallagher, who will be joined by Gov. Bill Richardson, Las Cruces Mayor William Mattiace, Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Louis Martinez and Richard L. Jones, dean for research and director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Florida, where Martin previously served as vice president for agriculture and natural resources. Martin was elevated to senior vice president at the University of Florida shortly before being selected to serve as NMSU's 22nd president.

Martin's academic career has been dedicated to the land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension service. A native of Crosby, Minn., Martin completed a bachelor's degree in business and economics and a master's degree in economics at Mankato State College (Minnesota State University). He received his Ph.D. in applied economics from the University of Minnesota in 1977.

Martin and his wife Jan have two children. Amanda, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is a graphic artist in St. Paul, Minn. Sam has a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and is a graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

New Mexico State University, which began in 1888 as an agriculture college and preparatory school, is a comprehensive land-grant university. In the fall of 2004, the university enrolled 16,428 students at the main campus in Las Cruces and 9,804 students at four two-year campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Dona Ana County and Grants. The university offers 78 programs of study at the undergraduate level, 54 at the master's level and 24 doctoral programs. NMSU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

For ongoing inauguration updates visit www.nmsu.edu/president/inauguration.