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New Mexico State University

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NMSU announces Centennial essay contest winners, Centennial luncheon

A student from Onate High School and another from Estancia High School are the winners of the New Mexico Centennial essay contest, as selected by the New Mexico State University Statehood Centennial Committee. They will each receive a scholarship valued at $2,500 during the New Mexico Centennial Luncheon Jan. 6 at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces.


"It was a joy to read the wonderful essays that were sent in," said Jon Hunner, chair of the NMSU Statehood Centennial Committee. "Some were lyrical and lively, while others were full of facts and statistics. Overall, the high school seniors who sent in essays were engaged with the history and agriculture of New Mexico and showed a firm grasp of what it meant to live in the Land of Enchantment."

Hannah Hopper, of Onate High School, was awarded the heritage scholarship funded by the NMSU Alumni Association for her essay on "What does it mean to be a New Mexican?" The scholarship may be used at NMSU.

Aylissa Lujan, of Estancia High School, was awarded the agriculture scholarship donated by Mesa Farmers Cooperative for her essay answering, "What does agriculture mean to New Mexico?" The scholarship may be used at an institution of higher learning of Lujan's choice.

The Jan. 6 luncheon will start with a re-enactment of the signing of the Enabling Act by President Taft that created the state of New Mexico. It will be followed by lunch with a 1912 menu, presentation of the awards and a lecture by Hunner titled "Becoming a State Different: New Mexico's Stumble to Statehood." Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the NMSU Foundation Office or the Farm and Ranch Museum.

The essay contest attracted 32 essays from high school seniors from around the state. It was open to all seniors within the state of New Mexico. It is part of the university's centennial celebration of New Mexico's statehood that began in October with the NMSU homecoming events.