In 1888, Hiram Hadly, a respected educator from Indiana, set up the small Las Cruces College. One year later, the Territorial Assembly of New Mexico provided for the establishment of an Agricultural College and Agricultural Experiment Station with Bill No. 28, the Rodey Act of 1889. It stated: ” 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.” Designated as the land-grant college for New Mexico under the Morrill Act, it was named the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
New Mexico State University now has a 6,000-acre (24 km2) campus and enrolls more than 18,000 students from the United States and 71 foreign countries. Full-time faculty members number 694, with a staff of 3,113. The university has an extensive international student population from in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.