History and Traditions of NMSU

Tradition is everywhere at New Mexico State University.  We see it on the paths hundreds of thousands of students have walked on since the 1800s and statues created in honor of former leaders. There is a tower constructed as a memorial for Aggies who died defending the country and a victory bell from 1940 now mounted behind the south goal post of the stadium.

As NMSU celebrates 125 years, it is the perfect time to remember the rich history of this University we all take so much pride in. New Mexico was still a territory when Las Cruces College, led by Hiram Hadley, opened the doors of its two-room building in the fall of 1888. One year later, the New Mexico territorial legislature authorized the creation of the first degree-granting institution in the territory, New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. With the help of the Morrill Act of 1862, an agricultural college and experiment station was formed in the rich agricultural community. Las Cruces College merged with New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on January 21, 1890 to 35 students and six faculty members. The university found its third and final name in 1960 when it became NMSU.

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