WRITER: Marianne Salas
The stakes have risen for New Mexico State University’s 2018-2019 Men’s Basketball season, though not for the players. Fittingly titled “A Grand in the Stands,” and in partnership with Learfield, NMSU Foundation’s most recent scholarship giveaway awards several $1,000 scholarships to NMSU students throughout the season.
Leslie Cervantes, Associate Vice President of Alumni and Donor Relations, stated that after awarding one $7,500 scholarship to a student during the 2017-2018 NMSU Men’s Basketball season, they wondered what the giveaway would like if broken down into seven games.
“Number one, it would encourage attendance by students at games. Number two, several students would benefit versus one student. And number three, it would showcase the great work that’s happening at NMSU Foundation with our donors,” Cervantes said.
With five games and winners having come and gone, students have two more opportunities to enter the scholarship giveaway on Saturday, February 16 when NMSU plays Seattle University, and on Saturday, March 9 against California Baptist.
Students looking to enter the scholarship giveaway can do so at the registration table next to the Pan American Center’s south entrance, right behind the student section entrance. All students must do is scan their Aggie ID, which will then transfer their name to a sheet of paper to be placed into the drawing. The winner’s name will be selected and announced at halftime.
Renee Gonzalez, Lead Development Officer and Student Foundation Advisor, said that students are welcome to enter as long as they do so five minutes before halftime.
The $1,000 scholarship is restricted to Las Cruces campus students only and may be applied towards tuition and fees, books or housing costs. Students must be undergraduate, full-time and cannot be a student athlete or the child of any University Advancement or New Mexico State Athletics employee.
Cervantes referred to the NMSU Foundation, composed of both the Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of University Advancement, as the fundraising arm for New Mexico State University.
“Our primary job is to raise funds to support programs and scholarships at New Mexico State University,” Cervantes said.
Cervantes noted that student reactions have been a joy to watch.
“We’ve had three students win so far. All three of them have been there, and it’s been very nice because when you say their name, all of the sudden you can see their friends pointing to them and them coming down. It’s been interesting with some of them because their moms come down, too, and they’re so excited,” Cervantes said.
Alyssa Magana, a sophomore majoring in Chemical Engineering, was the third winner of the scholarship giveaway. Magana was optimistic upon entering and had high hopes for winning.
“It was so weird because right before they called my name I had a tingly feeling in my fingers and my heart started to beat fast. It was like I already knew, so when they called my name I was even more shocked,” Magana said.
Jonathan Crowe, a junior majoring in Marketing with a specialization in Professional Golf Management, had his name called on Thursday’s game against Kansas City, making him the fourth winner.
Crowe encouraged all students to participate, even those who may be skeptical of their odds.
“You can’t win if you don’t play,” Crowe said.