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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU's 'Doing What Counts' campaign transforms campus, exceeds expectations

The New Mexico State University Foundation's first comprehensive campaign, the most ambitious fundraising endeavor undertaken by the university, has already exceeded expectations. The Foundation Board of Directors will announce tonight, Oct. 27, during the "Doing What Counts" campaign celebration that they have received more than $250 million in campaign contributions to date.


"During the past seven years and throughout the 'Doing What Counts' campaign, NMSU has received many generous contributions from our alumni and friends, including significant support from our state legislators," said Riis Gonzales, vice president of development for the NMSU Foundation. "Because of this team effort, our campus infrastructure is transforming and keeping our land-grant university on the leading edge of higher education."

The original goal of $150 million by December 2008 was met early in the effort, causing the Board of Directors to revise the goal to $225 million by December 2010.

During the campaign, more than 200,000 gifts were received from more than 28,000 individuals, 3,500 corporations and businesses and 150 foundations.

"The generous gifts received during the campaign have been transformational to NMSU and have spurred growth in the number of its programs and the quality of existing programs," said Nick Franklin, vice president of university advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation.

Such contributions have supported the creation of 13 new academic chairs, 18 professorships, 323 scholarship endowments and 52 campuswide name designations of buildings, classrooms, laboratories and sports facilities.

"By permanently establishing more than 300 endowed student scholarships, the quality of education and the lives of our current and future students have been forever transformed," Gonzales said.

The establishment of 13 new academic chairs and 18 professorships is also transforming the university. Gonzales said endowed appointments such as chairs and professorships are important for the individuals who receive them and for the university as a whole.

"Endowed chairs and professorships allow NMSU to recruit and retain world-class minds and so build a world-class faculty community," Gonzales said. "Endowments enhance NMSU's ability to offer competitive compensation to the highest achieving scholars and researchers who collaborate with their peers throughout the world, influence their colleagues and bring renown and prestige to our university."

An important capital project undertaken during the campaign was the Center for the Arts, the most ambitious project undertaken by NMSU to date. A groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the three-phase Center for the Arts project was held in July, and when the center is completed, theatre arts, dance, music and the visual arts will be housed in one location.

The first phase is a 49,000 square-foot building containing a 500-seat performing arts theater with a full fly loft for teaching stage craft, multi-disciplinary classrooms, rehearsal spaces, offices, galleries, laboratories and support spaces.

"The Center for the Arts will not only provide students with up-to-date classrooms, labs and performance halls, but also provide our faculty with needed space to work on cross-discipline collaborations and projects," Gonzales said.

Franklin, who plans to return to retirement at the end of the year, feels fortunate to have been part of the campaign's final push.

"We navigated some rough economic times, but came out strong," Franklin said. "The generous gifts we have received are the reason we continue to grow and transform NMSU."

For more information, visit http://foundation.nmsu.edu.