Jan. 31, 2007 by Julie M. Hughes NMSU News Center
After successfully reaching its $150 million “Doing What Counts” comprehensive campaign goal years ahead of schedule, New Mexico State University’s Foundation has increased the goal to $225 million to be reached by 2010, making it the most ambitious comprehensive campaign goal undertaken by a New Mexico university to date.
“Many of our original projects have yet to be fully supported and although many have supported the campaign, we want everyone to have the opportunity to contribute,” said Rebecca Dukes, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the NMSU Foundation.
The “Doing What Counts” campaign went public in 2005 with gifts and pledges of more than $40 million in hand, but the momentum of the public launch resulted in many more gifts to the university for top priorities including endowed faculty chairs and professorships.
Stan Fulton, owner of Sunland Park Race Track and Casino, has given more than $7 million to the university, which has resulted not only in the Stan Fulton Center, an academic support and sports medicine complex for student athletes, but also the establishment of chairs in the College of Education, College of Health and Social Services and the College of Business.
Brothers Ed and Harold “Chub” Foreman made a $1.5 million gift to the civil engineering department that will fund a chair and two professorships.
Michael Johnson’s $1 million gift to the College of Arts and Sciences established the first chair for the college in the geological sciences department.
One of the largest gifts to the university came in March with an in-kind donation of computer software systems, equipment and training for the College of Engineering from the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE). NMSU was one of only 11 schools across the country to receive a PACE gift. NMSU’s PACE gift had a campaign value of about $88 million.
Dukes said the focus for the campaign as it continues will be to reenergize efforts for the unfunded projects.
One of the campaign’s capital priorities that is still a work in progress is the Performing Arts Center, which will serve the growing arts community of the region and the campus.
Other priorities of the campaign include scholarship endowments, funds to complete the renovation of the College of Education’s O’Donnell Hall and construction of a Native American Cultural Center.
The establishment of endowments has had an impact on the campaign as well. More than 80 new endowments have been established since the public launch of the campaign to support a variety of programs across campus.
Dukes said she would really like to see more alumni take advantage of the opportunity to establish an endowment. NMSU is one of only two or three schools in the country that only require $10,000 to establish an endowment. Dukes said at the conclusion of this campaign the university may consider increasing the required dollar amount.
“This is a great opportunity for alumni to give to the university,” Dukes said. She explained that alumni giving is important to the university because national rankings consider the percentage of alumni giving when evaluating a university’s standing.
“The percentage of alumni who give back to their alma mater impacts rankings and grant proposals,” Dukes said.
During the first half of this fiscal year, giving to NMSU is double what it was for the entire year of 2003-2004, which was when the university first started counting contributions toward the campaign.
“That’s what campaigns do,” Dukes said.
Dukes said there are many gifts in the planning stages that she wants to make sure are included in the campaign and that the advancement team is seeking individuals for challenge or matching grant competitions.
“The staff is excited and recharged by this new goal and we will continue to pursue funding for the needed NMSU projects,” Dukes said.
Dukes said the success of the campaign thus far has had a great deal to do with the volunteer leadership, including John Long, president of the NMSU Foundation, and Danny Villanueva, honorary chair of the campaign committee.
“Their leadership and the service of those on the Foundation Board of Directors has really accelerated what we have been able to accomplish,” Dukes said.
Dukes also indicated that the service of those on the investment committee has really made an impact on the growth of the NMSU Foundation’s endowment.
In 2006, the endowment surpassed $100 million in size and continues to grow, Dukes said.
For more information about the NMSU “Doing What Counts” comprehensive campaign, call the NMSU advancement team at (505) 646-1613.