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$300,000 gift to increase scholarships for first-year engineering students at NMSU

A $300,000 gift from Valerie Klipsch will enable the New Mexico State University College of Engineering to offer additional scholarships to first-year students.


is the wife of the late Paul W. Klipsch, a 1926 graduate of NMSU who founded a successful business manufacturing Klipschhorn audio speakers.

Since her husband's death in 2002, Mrs. Klipsch has continued his tradition of giving back to the NMSU College of Engineering. One-third of her most recent gift will be added to an endowment she established last year honoring former Engineering Dean Jay Jordan and his wife, Lya. This endowment funds scholarships for first-year students studying electrical and computer engineering.

Another $100,000 of her recent gift will be added to an endowment she established last year honoring Engineering Assistant Dean Joe Creed and his wife, Priscilla. The endowment honoring the Creeds provides scholarships for first-year students studying chemical engineering, which was Joe Creed's major when he was a student at NMSU.

Rosemarie Melon-Sanchez, who oversees student scholarships for the NMSU College of Engineering, said the additional funds will allow the college to offer six more scholarships a semester. This semester, the college awarded the first scholarships from Mrs. Klipsch's original endowment money. Alissa McDowell from Clovis High School received a scholarship to study chemical engineering, and Dustin Brandon from Mayfield High School and Michael Harvey from Las Cruces High School received scholarships to study electrical and computer engineering.

"These scholarships can really make a difference when we are trying to recruit students," Melon-Sanchez said.

The final $100,000 of the new gift will establish an endowment in honor of Steve Castillo, dean of the College of Engineering. This endowment will fund scholarships for students interested in studying electrical and computer engineering. The first scholarship will be offered in the fall of 2005.

"Valerie and Paul Klipsch's support for our engineering students has been unwavering over the years," Castillo said. "They wanted to make opportunities available to high-performing students with limited financial resources, and Valerie is continuing to build on that legacy."