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New Mexico State University
Established 1888
Type Land-grant, space-grant, state university
Endowment $139.5 million[1]
President Barbara Couture
Faculty 1,873
Students 18,500[2]
Undergraduates 13,677[2]
Postgraduates 3,523[2]
Location Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA
Campus Urban, 6000 acres (24 km²)
Colors Crimson & White
Nickname Aggies
Mascot Pistol Pete

New Mexico State University, or NMSU, is a major land-grant university in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It also has campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Doña Ana County, and Grants, with extension and research centers across New Mexico.[3] The school was founded in 1888 as the 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 in 1960. NMSU has approximately 18,497 students enrolled as of Fall 2009, 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. NMSU is the only research-extensive, land-grant, USA-Mexico border institution classified as Hispanic serving by the federal government.[4]



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 Doña 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.

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

The university also have an extensive international student population from countries in Central America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia and Middle East.


New Mexico State University main campus, with Aggie Memorial Stadium on the left, and the main "colleges" on the right, along University Avenue
Zuhl Library

NMSU is divided into several smaller colleges. These include:


College of Engineering

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

  • Programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.[5]


The university was founded initially as an agricultural institution, and still offers agriculture programs. The NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences "Brings Science to Your Life" through academics, research, and New Mexico's Cooperative Extension Service.

Academic programs are offered targeting a wide array of careers in industries as diverse as tourism, fashion, environment, resource management, education, and consumer sciences. Of our 18 bachelor degree programs, 14 are offered nowhere else in New Mexico.[citation needed] We also offer three doctoral programs and nine master degree programs.

The Cooperative Extension Service provides practical, research based knowledge throughout New Mexico and beyond. Extension staff, located in all 33 counties and tribal offices, deliver 4-H programs, conduct trainings, and share research-based information about livestock, nutrition, horticulture, and many other topics.

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.[citation needed]

It is also noted for being one of the only[citation needed] places where the bhut jolokia pepper is grown commercially. The pepper is being studied by Paul A. Bosland of the University, and it the hottest known pepper in the world, at just over 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units. This intensity is around 100 times hotter than the jalapeño and 1,000 times hotter than a green chile pepper.[citation needed]

Institutes and research programs

The university is home to New Mexico's NASA Space Grant Program [6] and is one of 52 institutions in the United States to be designated a Space Grant College.[citation needed]


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

NMSU remains a longtime rival with the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas El Paso.

Notable people


  • Chito Reyes, basketball player, Olympian[7]
  • Paul W. Klipsch, Audio pioneer and founder of Klipsch and Associates. Namesake of the Klipsch School Electrical and Computer Engineering at NMSU.[8]
  • Scott Bailey, actor[citation needed]


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 drink it 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!
[citation needed]


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 and the 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 Associated Students of New Mexico State University [1] is the student government, and several departments have departmental organizations.

The Greek System at New Mexico State University includes:


External links

Coordinates: 32°16′59″N 106°44′53″W / 32.283°N 106.748°W / 32.283; -106.748

Las Cruces, New Mexico Flag of New Mexico
Doña Ana | Mesilla | University Park
Doña Ana County
New Mexico State University


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