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12 named to advisory board for Southwest and Border Cultures Institute

Twelve business, community and cultural leaders have been named to an advisory board for the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute at New Mexico State University, which will work to preserve the cultural heritage of the border region.

< The advisory board's purpose is to promote the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute (SBCI) across the Southwest and to assist in the successful completion of NMSU's National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant campaign. The NEH has awarded $450,000 to NMSU for the SBCI, which the university expects to match 3-to-1 to create a $1.8 million endowment.

The institute will promote humanities research, education and public outreach aimed at understanding and preserving the unique multicultural heritage of the region.

"With the rapid growth and development of the region, we will quickly lose those unique aspects of our border culture if we don't act to preserve them," said Dr. Kent Jacobs, a Las Cruces dermatologist who was appointed to the advisory board along with his wife, Sallie Ritter Jacobs.

"Singularly, that is the most important thing about the creation of the institute," Jacobs said. "Number two, when industry comes into the area, they will have a central source of information on the impact their presence will have on the region, if they inquire."

Other members of the advisory board are:
--Enrique Cortazar, director of the National Institute of Fine Arts in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
--Tom M. Gale of Las Cruces, former dean of the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences.
--John E. Jacobs, head of the Merrill Lynch office in Las Cruces.
--Jose Diego Lizarraga, director of the Paso del Norte Cultural Center at the Mexican General Consulate in El Paso.
--Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces, community volunteer.
--Susan Skramstad of Las Cruces, a member of the board of directors of the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities and a nationally known fund-raising and non-profit management consultant.
--J. Paul Taylor of Mesilla, state representative for District 33.
--Gerald Thomas of Las Cruces, president emeritus of NMSU.
--Edson Way of Santa Fe, state cultural affairs officer, who was instrumental in establishing the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.
--Steve Yellen, a stockbroker with the Morgan, Stanley, Dean Witter office in El Paso.

To earn the full $450,000 NEH grant, NMSU must raise $1.35 million in non-federal funds by Oct. 31, 2002. Funds contributed to the challenge grant campaign will be used to establish permanent endowments to support humanities research by faculty and students, community outreach and public programming throughout the region, and acquisitions by the University Museum, the NMSU Library, and the library's Rio Grande Historical Collections, Special Collections and Borderlands Collection.

For more information about the Southwest and Border Cultures Institute or the challenge grant campaign, contact Reed Dasenbrock, associate dean of arts and sciences at NMSU, (505) 646-2611, rdasenbr@nmsu.edu, or Cynthia Hoffmann, grants and development officer for the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences, (505) 646-2773, cyhoffma@nmsu.edu.

Karl Hill
Feb. 3, 2000