President’s Associates celebrate 30 years of NMSU’s most prestigious scholarship

Jan. 28, 2009 by No author listed NMSU News Center

The 30th Annual President’s Associates Gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

This year’s event marks an important milestone in a scholarship program established in the 1978-79 academic year by then NMSU President Gerald Thomas, former vice president for development Steele Jones and business and community leaders led by the late Sen. Frank Papen.

Since its creation, the President’s Associates Scholarship has been awarded to 300 students, representing every academic discipline and every community in New Mexico. Successful applicants exhibit a combination of outstanding academics, leadership skills and a commitment to community service. Many have become leaders on campus. Scholars receive the award as entering freshmen and receive the award for four years.

Beginning in 1979, with an award to students of $1,000 each year, the scholarship is now valued at $8,500 each year, with $3,250 of that figure being donated by individuals, families and businesses. In total, more than $3 million has been raised, and a permanent endowment valued at almost $2 million forms the foundation of future awards to New Mexico’s best and brightest students.

The cornerstone for the President’s Associates Scholarship program is its volunteer board. Over 125 dedicated community members have served on the President’s Associates board, selecting the scholarship recipients, planning events for the students and raising funds. Two former President’s Associates Scholars now serve on the board.

Chuck Widger, the current president of the board said, “We are working hard to make the 30th Annual President’s Associates Gala the best one ever. We want to celebrate the history of NMSU’s most prestigious scholarship with everyone who has ever been associated with the program, whether as a board member or a past President’s Associates Scholar. We also welcome anyone interested in becoming part of the ‘President’s Associates family.’”

If you would like to attend the gala or need more information, please call Nigel Holman at (575) 646-4033.

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