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President's Associates Scholarship celebrates 30 years

The President's Associates (PA) Scholarship program provides outstanding New Mexico students with a remarkable educational experience. It is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the state. This year, the scholarship program celebrated its 30th year with a gala on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

Past President's Associates President, Bernadette Montoya, with President's Associates Scholars, Teresa Leslie, Valerie Beltran, Amy Lamb, Ashley Hicks, Anna Garliss and Alyssa Brooks.

"I would like to commend the President's Associates Scholars for having been awarded NMSU's most prestigious undergraduate scholarship," said Waded Cruzado, NMSU's interim president. "They are following in the footsteps of many outstanding alumni over the past 30 years who have taken advantage of this scholarship and who have made the very most out of their time on campus."

The President's Associates Scholarship was established in the 1978-79 academic year by then NMSU President Gerald Thomas, former vice president for development Steele Jones and business and community leaders led by the late state Sen. Frank Papen.

Since its creation, the President's Associates Scholarship has been awarded to 300 students, representing every academic discipline and every community in New Mexico. Successful applicants exhibit a combination of outstanding academics, leadership skills and a commitment to community service. Many have become leaders on campus.

Fifty-five students, from hometowns across New Mexico and studying subjects across the curriculum, are currently NMSU President's Associates Scholars. The students receive the award as entering freshmen and are awarded the scholarship for four years.

"Being a President's Associates Scholar has enriched my experience at NMSU in many ways," said Amy Lamb, an NMSU senior studying agricultural economics and agricultural business. "In addition to financial assistance, PA Scholars are supported by a network of professionals that truly care about student success and we enjoy the fellowship of past and present scholars."

Beginning in 1979, with an award to students of $1,000 each year, the scholarship is now valued at $8,500 each year, with $3,250 of that figure being donated by individuals, families and businesses. In total, more than $3 million has been raised, and a permanent endowment valued at almost $2 million forms the foundation of future awards to New Mexico's best and brightest students.

The cornerstone for the President's Associates Scholarship program is its volunteer board. More than 125 dedicated community members have served on the President's Associates board, selecting the scholarship recipients, planning events for the students and raising funds. Two former President's Associates Scholars now serve on the board.

For more information about the President's Associates Scholarship, visit http://honors.nmsu.edu/PA/.