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New Mexico State University

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$1.2 million Fulton endowment goes to Graduate School

President Michael Martin has announced that a $1.2 million endowment from Stanley Fulton will go to New Mexico State University's Graduate School.

ft, along with the $1.03 million approved by the regents on April 8, pumps $2.23 million into the NMSU graduate program.

Vice President for Business and Finance Jim McDonough told graduate students that was the largest infusion of money he has seen for the graduate program in the 14 years he has been at NMSU.

Rebecca Dukes, NMSU vice president for university advancement, said: "This gift is possible because the donor, Stanley E. Fulton, made the gift undesignated. It is rare that a university receives gifts that are not already intended to go to a specific project or fund. Undesignated gifts to the university allow the president the opportunity to direct gifts to areas of greatest need on the campus. In this case, it's our graduate program."

Fulton is the owner of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino in Sunland Park.

The endowment will be used to provide a permanent fund for merit-based fellowships for NMSU's teaching and research assistants who make outstanding contributions to the university's mission of research, teaching and outreach, said Graduate School Dean Linda Lacey.

Fourteen teaching and research assistants were awarded merit-based fellowships last year, Lacey said. The Fulton endowment means there will be $50,000 a year available to continue to provide financial awards to deserving students.

The $4,000 fellowships went to students in a wide variety of departments last year: Agronomy and Horticulture, Government, Sociology and Anthropology, Molecular Biology, Astronomy, Health Sciences, Animal and Range sciences, Education, Physics, Criminal Justice and History.

Many of the recipients have been involved in international research through work with the Peace Corps, community preservation projects and public outreach.

The merit fellowships are incremental steps toward providing increased support for outstanding graduate teaching and research assistants, Lacey said, noting the university has 900 graduate assistants.

"And it will help with recruiting outstanding students," Lacey said.

Growing graduate school enrollment is a key step in building the university's reputation for excellence, Martin told students at a recent meeting with them. That in turn enhances the academic resume of all graduate stude

Mary A. Benanti