Library and Engineering represented at commissioning of USS New Mexico

Writer: Jeanette Smith

The NMSU Library and the College of Engineering were among the many New Mexico connections represented at the commissioning of the nation’s newest nuclear submarine, the USS New Mexico.

The March 27 ceremony, held in Norfolk, Virginia, marks the formal inclusion of the vessel in the U.S. Navy’s fleet.

The $2.7 billion vessel is the nation’s sixth Virginia-class submarine. It is 377 feet long, can dive to a depth of 800 feet and weighs 7,800 tons.

The NMSU Library and the College of Engineering were represented at the ceremony by Engineering’s Assistant Dean for Development, Patricia A. Sullivan. Sullivan will present the commanding officer of the submarine with a signed copy of the book The Whole Damned World on behalf of the two NMSU colleges.

The book was published in 2008 by the NMSU Library in collaboration with Rio Grande Books and edited by archivist Martha Shipman Andrews. It uses the letters and photos in the Library’s University Archives to show the personal correspondence of NMSU Engineering Dean Daniel Jett with his students during World War II.

Attendees at the ceremony were Library donor J. Phelps White III and his wife, Corina White; and engineering donors Kirk McCarter (civil engineering alum) and his wife Sharon McCarter; and Rear Admiral Paul Arthur and his wife and Joy (electrical and computer engineering alum).

There are many New Mexico and Las Cruces ties to the USS New Mexico. The submarine’s galley is called “La Posta” after the local restaurant. Curtains for bunks in the sleeping quarters were made in Las Cruces. At the conclusion of the ceremony, a Navy band will play John Philip Sousa’s “New Mexico March.”

New Mexicans are encouraged to send messages to the crew at

For more information, contact Kristina Martinez at (575) 646-3642.

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