New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University, at Las Cruces; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered and opened 1889 as a college. It became New Mexico State Univ. of Engineering, Agriculture, and Science in 1958 and adopted its present name in 1960. The school also has two-year branches at Alamogordo, Dona Ana, Carlsbad, and Grants. It has a plant genetics engineering laboratory and a water resources institute and maintains statewide extension centers and agricultural substations.

New Mexico State University, or NMSU, is a land-grant university that has its main campus in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The school was founded in 1888 as Las Cruces College, an agricultural college, and in 1889 the school became "New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts." It received its present name, New Mexico State University in 1960. NMSU has approximately 28,821 students enrolled as of Fall 2007, and has a faculty-to-student ratio of about 1 to 19. NMSU offers a wide range of programs and awards associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees through its main campus and four community colleges. For 10 consecutive years, NMSU has been rated as one of America's 100 Best College Buys for offering "the very highest quality education at the lowest cost" by Institutional Research & Evaluation Inc., an independent research and consulting organization for higher education. NMSU is one of only two land-grant institutions classified as Hispanic-serving by the federal government. The university is home to New Mexico's NASA Space Grant Program and is one of 52 institutions in the United States to be designated a Space Grant College. During its most recent review by NASA, NMSU was one of only 12 space grant programs in the country to receive an excellent rating.


In 1888, an institution of higher learning, based in small adobe buildings, known as Las Cruces College was established in the heart of the then small village of the same name. One year later, a foundation for much growth was established when the Territorial Assembly of New Mexico provided for the establishment of an Agricultural College and Agricultural Experiment Station with bill No. 28 or the Rodey Act of 1889. The bill stated that, " Said institution is hereby located at or near the town of Las Cruces in the County of Dona [sic] Ana,upon a tract of land of not less than one hundred (100) acres, contiguous to the main Las Cruces irrigating ditch, south of said town."

In February 1891, the university's first building McFie Hall, popularly known as Old Main, opened its doors. Unfortunately, the building burned down in 1910, but its remains can be seen in the center of Pride Field on the University Horseshoe, or old university center.

The school overcame many hardships, including major financial woes and political pressure during the Depression, but reestablished itself as a training ground for Army and Naval forces during WWII.

In a move to better represent its operations, the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts became New Mexico State University in 1960.


NMSU is divided into several smaller colleges. These include:

College of Engineering

NMSU's College of Engineering includes the departments of Chemical, Civil, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Engineering Technology, Industrial, Mechanical, Surveying, and Engineering Physics. NMSU's College of Engineering consistently ranks high in national ratings. Among its many honors are:

  • Conducts more than $15 million of research each year.
  • Offers the only degrees in aerospace, surveying, and industrial engineering, and engineering technology and information and communication technology in New Mexico
  • Programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.
  • More than 180 companies have recruited NMSU engineering graduates in recent years.
  • Full-time faculty members, rather than graduate assistants, teach all lecture-based engineering courses.
  • Named the Telemetering Center of Excellence in the United States by the International Foundation for Telemetering.
  • Ranked 13th nationally in federal-funded engineering research in 2002 by the National Science Foundation.


The university was founded initially as an agricultural institution, and still offers agriculture programs. It hosts the Agriculture Experiment Station, which produces the famous NuMex cultivars, including the onion of that name, and dozens of Numex peppers, like the NuMex Twilight.


NMSU's teams are called the Aggies, a nickname derived from the university's agricultural beginnings.

Notable people



Fight Song

Aggies, Oh Aggies

The hills send back the cry

We're here to do or die

Aggies, Oh Aggies

We'll win this game or know the reason why

And when we win this game

We'll buy a keg of booze

And we'll drink to the Aggies

Till we wobble in our shoes


Aggies, Aggies, go Aggies

Aggies, Oh Aggies

The hills send back the cry

We're here to do or die

Aggies, Oh Aggies

We'll win this game or know the reason why!


In the 1940s, the Victory Bell, a gift of the Class of 1939, was housed in an open-sided structure on the Horseshoe and rung to announce Aggie victories. In 1972, the bell was rededicated as the NMSU Engineer's Bell and now sits on a platform near Goddard Hall. On game days, various school organizations take turns in toting the ringing bell around Las Cruces prior to kick-off. The Bell is then taken to Aggie Memorial Stadium where it salutes Aggie touchdowns with its distinctive - and loud - chimes.

"A" Tradition In 1920, students of then New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts scouted for an appropriate place to display their school letter. Tortugas Mountain, located three miles (5 km) east of campus, seemed a natural spot. Brave males gathered enough stones to form a big "A" easily visible from campus and the surrounding area. On the following day, April 1, students trudged up the mountain side with their five-gallon cans of whitewash and splashed it on the stones, turning them into a gleaming white "A". For many years, giving the "A" its annual fresh coat of whitewash was an all school effort. The seniors mixed lime and water at the foot of the mountain ・freshmen and sophomores toted the mixture up to the juniors who splashed it on the "A." With the growth of the university through the years, the tradition was taken over by the Greek Council.

Student media

NMSU has two radio stations, a TV station, and a student-run newspaper. The radio stations are KRUX, a station run by students, and KRWG, a public radio station.

The TV station, KRWG-TV, serves as the region's PBS affiliate. Named for New Mexico broadcast pioneer Ralph Wilson Goddard, KRWG-TV features one of the few weekday newscasts student-produced by a university journalism school. The program is also the only New Mexico-based newscast for southwest New Mexico viewers.

The Round Up is the student-run newspaper, published every Monday and Thursday and calling itself "the student voice of New Mexico State University since 1907."

Student Organizations

NMSU has multiple student organizations, as well as a Greek system. There are several religious organizations, including The Christian Challenge-BSU. The ASNMSU is the student government, and several departments have departmental organizations.

The Greek System at New Mexico State University includes:


Kappa Sigma

Lambda Chi Alpha

Pi Kappa Alpha

Pi Kappa Phi

Sigma Chi

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Not recognized by the University)

Tau Kappa Epsilon

Alpha Tau Omega


Zeta Tau Alpha

Chi Omega

Delta Zeta

Delta Gamma

Pi Beta Phi


External links

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