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New Mexico State University

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NMSU students help to celebrate inauguration of Barbara Couture

If you see more traffic along University Avenue this week, that is a sure sign that New Mexico State University is back in session, and soon, students will be rushing around, juggling class work and extracurricular activities.

But, some students have been on campus through the summer working hard and preparing for an extra special event this week - the inauguration of Barbara Couture as the 25th president of NMSU.

Putting together an event of this magnitude does not happen overnight - and that is something some students who have been a part of the planning committee for the inauguration have learned these last few months.

"One thing I have learned through this experience is that no matter how much you plan and plan and plan, something is not going to go exactly the way you think it will. You have to be able to shift gears and say, 'OK, now we are going to do this another way'," said Werllin Fourcade, a student in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, who is helping coordinate the inauguration as part of her internship.

deniSe Terrazas, who is also an intern in HRTM, agreed with Fourcade that she has learned to adapt to changing situations through this process, and added that she has greatly enjoyed being a part of this experience.

This week may be about celebrating Couture as the new president, but it is also a time to celebrate another semester at NMSU and new students joining the university family. Several events during the week have been combined so incoming students can celebrate with Couture "A New Era of Excellence through Partnership" the theme for this year's inaugural event. After moving into dormitories on Sunday, students were treated to a barbecue dinner where they got to meet Couture and receive Aggie pins. Today, Aug. 16, Couture spoke with incoming freshmen about the importance of receiving a college education and working hard through school. Each freshman received a "Challenge Coin" from Couture, challenging them to complete at least a four-year degree while at NMSU.

"I think that it is really important for our students to get a good start at the beginning of a semester," said Couture about her decision to hold this event for freshmen. "I hope that by hearing my encouraging words, that they are motivated to put their efforts into their studies, to really enjoy these years of university life by learning to make new friends and learning to have new experiences, and to get the most out of what this university has to offer them. All sorts of doors open to you here and I hope I can encourage our students to really make this a full and successful experience and to concentrate on Goal #1 - graduate."

Students also made history today by participating in an aerial photograph with the new president.

"I think it is a very important and rewarding experience for students to be able to actively participate in the planning of the inauguration and also to celebrate with the president during these various events throughout the week," said NMSU Board of Regents Vice Chair Chris Anaya. "It cements a feeling of connectedness between everyone at the university, from faculty and staff to students, and truly shows that we all have to work together to make NMSU great."

The public is invited to attend the inauguration/convocation ceremonies Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. in the Corbett Center Ballrooms.

Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to send Couture their well wishes via an online guestbook. The guestbook can be accessed at http://www2.nmsu.edu/inauguration/guestbook/index.php.

The event can be viewed live online at

Be sure to follow NMSU News on Twitter and Facebook for pictures and up-to-date information during the ceremonies.

Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews. Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews. For details about the inauguration/convocation event, and to RSVP, visit http://inauguration.nmsu.edu/.