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Finding Resilience at NMSU

Ricardo Marquez and Claudia Granados

The Victoria Rader Scholarship, with matching funds from the Jon Wynne estate, allows NMSU Doña Ana Community College students like Ricardo Marquez, center, and Claudia Granados, right, to attend school without worry of paying for college. Rader, left, made a cash gift so she could enjoy the scholarship now, and her bequest as part of The 1888 Society will grow the scholarship in the future.

Starting an academic career as an NMSU Aggie—no matter your ZIP code or financial background—is easier with the help of the NMSU system. This is a network of five campuses: including Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Doña Ana, Grants and Las Cruces, which all work together to serve a variety of students, active duty or retired military, working parents and others seeking higher education throughout New Mexico.

It's a system of empowering resiliency, as mentioned by Dr. Blanca Campa in the cover story. Led by Chancellor Dan Arvizu, the NMSU system operates as a one-stop-shop, offering educational K-12 outreach to New Mexico through its 12 Ag Science Centers and statewide Cooperative Extension Service, as well as meeting prospective students' postsecondary educational needs regardless of their stage in life.

"The beauty of the NMSU system is that location and time are no longer barriers to a high-quality education," Arvizu says.

The NMSU system meets a critical need in today's world of higher education. Unlike the needs of four-year students, community colleges reach a more diverse group of people who employers need trained for jobs available today.

"If a student's passion doesn't require a four-year degree, the NMSU system, through one of the community college campuses, offers several two-year degree, vocational and certification programs that equip students for high-paying, high-demand jobs in the workforce right now," Arvizu says.

On top of that, gaining a degree is more expensive than ever, and NMSU's community college campuses provide financially weary students a more affordable experience.

"In other words, we're able to show our students what NMSU is all about no matter what campus they attend," Arvizu says. "Because we're all part of the same system, our faculty care for our students the same, our operations move in the same way, and also important, our NMSU Foundation serves students across the entire system with scholarships in the same way."

Philanthropy through the NMSU Foundation impacts not only the 13,600 students at NMSU-Las Cruces but also the 10,000 additional students enrolled at NMSU's four campuses across the state. That means donors, through planned gifts or other funding, can create scholarships specifically to community college students through the NMSU Foundation.

"The NMSU system ensures that becoming an Aggie has no operational barriers," Arvizu says. "But with the support of our faculty, staff, alumni and friends who donate to NMSU students through the Foundation, we prevent financial barriers as well. No student will take the same educational paths to reach academic success, but through the NMSU system, success will always be what's waiting at their finish line."