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Engineering honor society symbol returns to NMSU


After a number of years, the missing Tau Beta Pi, or TBP, Engineering Honor Society official badge, known as the Bent, is once again displayed in the Engineering Complex at New Mexico State University. A generous donation from engineering alum Kenneth Lloyd Martin and the work of numerous students led to the installation of a new monument for the symbol on the Bromilow Mall between Jett and Goddard Halls.

During a visit several years ago, Martin, retired from ConocoPhillips and a member of TBP-New Mexico Alpha Chapter, noticed that the traditional insignia of the organization was missing. Martin continues to be active with TBP on the national level.

“The Bent is an important symbol that brings visibility and helps to get students involved in a professional organization. It represents the history of the engineering organization,” Martin said.

The Bent comprises a watch key in the form of the bent of a bridge trestle. Martin and his wife, Staci, also an NMSU alum, donated the funds to have a foundry create a metal casting for the bent.

“Construction for the Bent monument was performed by Tau Beta Pi members along with much appreciated assistance from Aggies Without Limits. Tau Beta Pi hosted several events to polish the Bent, pour concrete for the foundation and separately for the base, unmold the base and install decorative tile. They procured the appropriate permissions from campus administration for the installation,” said Juanita Miller, academic adviser for TBP-New Mexico Alpha Chapter and College of Engineering safety specialist.

The original Bent had been installed when the group was chartered on April 5, 1974. The new Bent was dedicated exactly 49 years to the date of the initial dedication. The dedication ceremony for the new Bent was attended by Martin; TBP District 13 Director Christopher Stemple; along with College of Engineering leadership, staff and students. A video from the dedication can be viewed at

“It was a long journey,” said TBP-New Mexico Alpha Chapter President Rusitan Refuaiti, “but it was a meaningful one for our chapter.”

“It is really heartwarming to have alumni who are so interested in our students and are willing to invest in them,” College of Engineering Dean Lakshmi N. Reddi said. “We thank Mr. and Mrs. Martin for this gift which will stand for engineering excellence for many years to come.”