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New Mexico State University

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NMSU advancement leadership to change

New Mexico State University's Advancement Office will see a change in leadership this summer, when Rebecca Dukes, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the NMSU Foundation, turns the reins over to Nick Franklin, a long-time foundation volunteer board member.


Franklin is former senior vice president of public affairs for PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. He provided corporate-level leadership to the company in government relations, community relations and strategic communications. Franklin, a 2006 distinguished NMSU alum who grew up in Las Cruces, has more than 30 years of experience in the public affairs arena.

He has served on many foundation and charitable organization boards and has a strong background in fundraising. He was an attorney in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for many years and has served the state of New Mexico in several government and business leadership positions.

"Nick brings a wealth of experience and deep affection for NMSU, both will serve us well," said NMSU President Michael Martin.

NMSU Foundation President Jose Uranga, of Florida, agreed saying that Franklin's experience with the foundation should make the transition smoother and that his background would serve the institution well in this role.

"I am looking forward to working with Nick, just as I did with Rebecca," Uranga said.

Dukes has accepted a position with the Armstrong Group, a private banking and institutional consulting team with Merrill Lynch in Albuquerque. She will work on a team that focuses on wealthy families and endowments and foundations nationally.

"Our team in Albuquerque consults to $4 billion of institutional assets nationally, so it is important to have a high level of expertise on our team. Rebecca will be a welcome addition," said Leonard Armstrong, head of the Armstrong Group, who serves as the institutional consultant for the NMSU Foundation portfolio. An Aggie himself, Armstrong said he knows Franklin will be a good leader for NMSU's advancement team.

"Rebecca has brought expertise and commitment to our comprehensive campaign and to the NMSU Foundation," Martin said.

During Dukes' tenure, the foundation has doubled its annual gifts, increased the number of faculty and staff on payroll deduction giving, increased alumni giving and increased the endowment from $64 million to $122 million.

"I know Rebecca will do well in her new endeavor because I'm sure she will give her best to her new employer as she always did with the foundation," Uranga said.

"We wish Rebecca well in her new adventure," Martin said.