Supporters of New Mexico State University came together to raise more than $3.6 million for scholarships and programs across the state during the university’s fifth annual Giving Tuesday event, led by the NMSU Foundation.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 1,231 donors contributed gifts to NMSU totaling more than $3.6 million. The figure will be finalized in the coming weeks as accounting staff from the NMSU Foundation works to ensure all Giving Tuesday gifts are properly documented and matched.
“I want to thank all of those who have contributed to making Giving Tuesday such a success,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said. “We appreciate all the generosity from our community, including our faculty, staff, students and alumni. They have created an opportunity for more students to be successful in their academic journeys and beyond.”
The funds raised on Giving Tuesday helped the NMSU Foundation exceed its $125 million goal for the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign. With the success of Giving Tuesday, the campaign is now closed.
“Reaching and surpassing our campaign goal on this day, especially, is not only joyful, but truly representative of how we got here — as a community making an immense effort together toward one vision for supporting NMSU,” said Tina Byford, interim vice president for University Advancement.
Since 2015, NMSU has invited alumni, faculty, staff and students to give back to the university system as part of Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving. Each year, donors contribute to charitable funds of their choice across the NMSU system, and matching-money challenges make it possible to multiply their gifts.
This year, hundreds joined the NMSU Foundation at the Giving Tuesday headquarters inside Corbett Center Student Union’s Aggie Lounge. Many donors also shared stories behind their contributions, while students wrote personal notes to thank supporters for their generosity.
Following the 9 a.m. kickoff celebration, New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera Company, gave $50,000 to NMSU’s Arrowhead Center to promote economic development in New Mexico. With the most recent funding, Arrowhead Center will continue the Sprint Accelerator program created through a previous award from the company.
New Mexico Gas Company also gave a separate gift of $9,000 to the College of Engineering to benefit the Department of Engineering Technology and Surveying Engineering.
El Paso Electric, a longtime NMSU supporter, gave a gift of $27,000, bringing the company’s total contributions to the university for 2019 to $172,880.
Aggie donors created a total of 36 new scholarship endowments, including NMSU alums Russell Hernandez and Christopher Schaljo, the restaurateurs behind Salud! de Mesilla. They created the Thyme of Your Life Endowment Scholarship in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The new scholarship will benefit students in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.
“It’s only fitting that we give back to students who are pursuing degrees in the hospitality industry,” Hernandez said. “Both Chris and I are alums, and we know that any penny that goes to students will help them, no matter the amount.”
Three new scholarship endowments will benefit students in the College of Business who are enrolled in the PGA Golf Management Program. Two endowments were created in the memory of R.C. Ordish, an NMSU alum who passed last year. Another was named after John Van Damme.
“The reason we created three new endowments for our PGA Golf Management students was to remember individuals who were near and dear to our hearts for our program,” said Pat Gavin, director of the PGA Golf Management Program. “At the same, it’s very important to assist students with the ongoing expense of going to college. Our PGA Golf Management students have to go above and beyond, and the expense keeps going up and up. So, anything I can do to give back to the current students to make those expenses not as intense is what I’m all about.”