WRITER: Tiffany Acosta
As the daughter of one of the most beloved former deans in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University, Dorothy Jett Barr knew she wanted to give back to the university loved by her father, Daniel Boone Jett.
Following the sale of the Jett family home at 935 N. Main St. in Las Cruces, Barr has donated the proceeds to the D.B. Jett Memorial Scholarship, which supports outstanding junior engineering students.
“Our family is pleased to give back to NMSU in the same spirit of our father, Daniel Boone Jett, who, as a professor and dean for many years, passionately believed in people helping people,” Barr said. “My mother, Louise, sister, Marie, and brother, Daniel B. Jett Jr., would also be proud to know that the proceeds from our home, in which we grew up while my father taught at the university, would contribute to help students in the Engineering College that he loved.”
“The legacy of academic contributions Dean Jett left behind is an important part of the history of NMSU College of Engineering,” said Lakshmi Reddi, dean of the college. “This generous contribution from the Jett family adds to that legacy and makes a significant impact on our student success.”
Nicknamed “Dad Jett,” he was hired in 1926 as a civil engineering professor and in 1933 became department head. He was dean from 1938 to 1947. After stepping down as dean in 1947, Jett returned to teaching and served as head of civil engineering until his retirement in 1956.
Jett Hall was dedicated in 1957. Today, it houses the chemical and mechanical and aerospace engineering departments. Currently, Jett Hall is under renovation, which is scheduled to be completed this fall.