November 6, 2015 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center
This week, the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ New Mexico Chapter honored New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers and his wife, Kathy, as Outstanding Leaders in Philanthropy. The two were recognized in Albuquerque as part of National Philanthropy Day.
“You don’t have to have a lot of money to be philanthropic,” said Carruthers, who also served as New Mexico’s governor before becoming a successful businessman. “Long before Kathy and I had the resources to make monetary donations, we were giving our time to causes that were important to the community. The richness of New Mexico is that so many feel the obligation to give back.”
Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, in conjunction with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that make the state a better place to live through great vision, compassion and generosity.
In 1987, Kathy Carruthers founded the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy. For 28 years, the program has provided funding, training and technical assistance to adult-reading programs in the state. She also started a private foundation to raise money and oversee the repair, enhancement and the protection of the historic nature of the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion. The Mansion Foundation is still in existence and continues to raise private funds for the building.
Garrey Carruthers holds two degrees from NMSU and met Kathy while they were both students at the university. He has served NMSU as a professor, dean, president, chancellor and as one of the university’s top fundraisers. In addition to soliciting donations, Carruthers and his wife have given more than $650,000 of their own money to the university.
“I believe giving needs to be meaningful for each donor,” Carruthers said. “It’s also difficult to ask for money if you haven’t made a donation yourself. For me, it’s extremely important that if you have had some success in your life as a result of having received an education at a great university such as NMSU, that you return some of that to the university.”
Gifts by Carruthers and his wife have had an impact across NMSU, assisting students with scholarships, aiding various academic programs and helping with campus construction projects.
In 2004, Carruthers and his wife established the Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Chair in Economic Development in the NMSU College of Business. The two have contributed to the NMSU School of Nursing and to Aggie men’s and women’s athletic teams. They established scholarships in agricultural economics and in hotel, restaurant and tourism management in NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Earlier this year, they supplied an important matching contribution for a fundraiser to benefit NMSU’s food bank, Aggie Cupboard. They also made a substantial donation to help complete construction of the new NMSU Spiritual Center.