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El Paso Electric contributes $250,000 to NMSU College of Engineering

El Paso Electric today announced a $250,000 contribution to the New Mexico State University College of Engineering for the establishment of the William Kersting Endowed Chair in Power Systems Engineering.

El Paso Electric President and CEO Gary Hedrick, right, listens as New Mexico State University Professor Emeritus William Kersting talks about the need for training more engineers for the utility industry. El Paso Electric has announced a $250,000 contribution to the NMSU College of Engineering for the establishment of the William Kersting Endowed Chair in Power Systems Engineering. (Photo by Karl Hill)

tribution will go toward a $1 million endowment to support the Electric Utility Management Program in the College of Engineering. Earnings from this endowment will be used to sustain and expand the program's expertise in electric power systems. The funds will provide support for the faculty member who holds the Kersting Chair and to outstanding graduate and undergraduate students in electric power systems engineering.

The chair is named for Professor Emeritus William Kersting, who founded the university's Electric Utility Management Program in 1967.

"This contribution demonstrates El Paso Electric's commitment to education and to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve," said Gary Hedrick, El Paso Electric president and chief executive officer. "Our relationship with New Mexico State University is a long and fruitful one. Dr. Kersting's dedication and commitment to engineering students has produced many of this area's most talented engineers, many of whom have become part of the El Paso Electric family. It is an honor to be able to recognize this outstanding educator and community leader."

Steven Castillo, dean of the NMSU College of Engineering, said El Paso Electric's long-standing support has been vital to the success of the Electric Utility Management Program.

"The College of Engineering is committed to sustaining this core competency in electric power systems engineering to meet the needs of the utility industry throughout the Southwest," Castillo said. "The generous support of El Paso Electric ensures that we will be able to expand our expertise in this area, which is so important to the economic development of our region."

The Electric Utility Management Program offers the only degree program in the nation that combines engineering education with training in economics and management to produce industry leaders for the electric utility industry. The program is part of the College of Engineering's Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

NMSU President Michael Martin said strategic partnerships with companies such as El Paso Electric are crucial to the university's land-grant mission of teaching, research and public service.