New Mexico State University is the state's land-grant university, serving the educational needs of New Mexico's diverse population through comprehensive programs of education, research, extension education, and public service.
In 1888, Hiram Hadly, a respected educator from Indiana, set up the small Las Cruces College. One year later, the Territorial Assembly of New Mexico provided for the establishment of an Agricultural College and Agricultural Experiment Station with Bill No. 28, the Rodey Act of 1889. It stated: " Said institution is hereby located at or near the town of Las Cruces in the County of Doï¿½a Ana,upon a tract of land of not less than one hundred (100) acres, contiguous to the main Las Cruces irrigating ditch, south of said town." Designated as the land-grant college for New Mexico under the Morrill Act, it was named the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.full Las Cruces College then merged with the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, and opened on January 21, 1890. It began with 35 students in the tertiary level and preparatory classes and a total of six faculty members. The college was supposed to graduate its first student in 1893, but the senior, named Sam Steel, was murdered before he was able to receive his diploma. Classes met in the two-room adobe building of Las Cruces College until new buildings were erected on the 220-acre (0.89 km2) campus three miles (5 km) south of Las Cruces. In February 1891, McFie Hall, popularly known as Old Main, opened its doors. McFie Hall burned down in 1910, but its remains can be seen in the center of Pride Field on the University Horseshoe. In 1960, in move to better represent its operations, New Mexico A&M was renamed New Mexico State University by a state constitutional amendment. New Mexico State University now has a 6,000-acre (24 km2) campus and enrolls more than 18,000 students from the United States and 71 foreign countries. Full-time faculty members number 694, with a staff of 3,113. The university has an extensive international student population from in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
There are approximately 120,173 NMSU living alumni in the United States and around the world. The NMSU Alumni Association is one of the oldest organization of the university dating back from May 24. 1898. The Alumni Association provides network for alumni and friends of New Mexico State University, which connect to the university through different events. Some notable alumni of NMSU include Jerome Shaw, EVP/COO of Volt Information Sciences, Inc; Christine Aguilera, President of SkyMall; Alvy Ray Smith, co-founder of Pixar; Kevin Johnson, CEO, Juniper Networks; and Pervis Atkins, NFL Hall of Fame inductee