Writer: Amanda Bradford
Gifts were continuing to be counted Tuesday evening at the New Mexico State University system’s Giving Tuesday headquarters in Corbett Center Student Union’s Aggie Lounge, but at the 5 p.m. wrap-up celebration, NMSU had already brought in more than $1.8 million in gifts from more than 1,300 donors to scholarships and programs benefitting students at campuses throughout the state.
At a 9 a.m. kickoff celebration, representatives from New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera company, announced a $150,000 gift to Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at NMSU, to support programs that create businesses, accelerate technology commercialization and deliver a student entrepreneurship curriculum to communities throughout the state. It was the second year that Tommy Sanders, an NMSU alumnus and a vice president at New Mexico Gas Company presented a check at Giving Tuesday headquarters. The funds support business accelerator programs that help entrepreneurs across New Mexico.
“We are pleased that these funds will support the continued growth of Arrowhead Center programs,” Sanders said. “Chancellor Carruthers and his team have demonstrated tremendous leadership in the development of an engine that supports business growth. We’re very happy to be a part of that. We believe in what you’re doing, and we believe it’s going to have far-reaching impact to all of New Mexico.”
Giving Tuesday headquarters was abuzz with activity all day, as donors stopped by to present their gifts and be celebrated by students, faculty, administrators and staff. There were smiles and tears, as donors spoke about their reasons for creating endowed scholarships with the help of matching funds donated by NMSU administrators, loyal corporate partners and generous alumni like Starbucks CEO and NMSU College of Business alumnus Kevin Johnson.
Helen Davis and her family created a scholarship in honor of her late husband, former Las Cruces Public Schools board member and NMSU alumnus Chuck Davis, to support students at Dona Ana Community College.
“Chuck absolutely loved Dona Ana Community College. He served on the advisory board for several years and he saw the good work it did,” Helen Davis told the gathered crowd as she presented a check for $12,500 that would be matched to create a $25,000 endowed scholarship. “I just want to thank you all for everything you’re doing.”
It was the third year for NMSU’s participation in the one-day giving campaign, part of the global day of giving celebrated every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In all more than 65 new scholarship endowments were created using matching funds from various donors.
In its first two years, NMSU raised nearly $5 million in new gifts, many of which were matched by NMSU Foundation funds from the NMSU Alumni license plate program, a major donor bequest, and matching challenges extended by NMSU donors, alumni and leaders.
Final numbers won’t be ready for a few weeks, as the NMSU Foundation accounting staff works to ensure each gift is properly documented and matched, but NMSU Foundation President Andrea Tawney estimated the number could climb above the $2 million mark before the night is over.
“We couldn’t ask for a more generous community than the amazing Aggie donors who invest in our students and programs,” Tawney said. “These scholarships truly change our students’ lives and make it possible for them to achieve their dreams. This day is an opportunity to show our students how much their community, their professors and the alumni of the NMSU system care about their success and want to see them reach their goals.”
For more information about NMSU Giving Tuesday, including final numbers when they are available, visit support.nmsu.edu.