An NMSU Family Shows Their Aggie Pride Through Philanthropy

A strong sense of community that connects one generation with another can create a legacy. That legacy becomes even stronger when parents give to the New Mexico State University programs that they love. Craig Buchanan,’88, and his wife Christy, ’90, are an NMSU family. Their son is also an NMSU student. Craig and Christy are proud to invest in the University and its future because they want others to enjoy the  NMSU experience.

"Our family is an NMSU family. We attended NMSU and really loved our time at the university. Now that we are parents of an NMSU engineering student, we are especially proud and excited to support everything that the university is doing,” said Christy.

The Buchanans contribute to a variety of university programs, including the President's Associates, an initiative that awards scholarships to students like Joellen Langford. Craig and Christy's son, Ryan, is a President's Associates scholar, and the Buchanans saw continued support for the fund as a way to recognize the University and impact students. Their contributions are strengthening one of the oldest engineering programs in New Mexico.

“There has been such tremendous growth and progress- from the investments being made in faculty recruitment and development to the commitments being made to STEM education, NMSU and its leaders demonstrate that they are thinking broadly about students and about the University’s role in addressing the challenges and opportunities of the future. Our philanthropy is a vote of confidence in NMSU, its mission and its vision,” she noted.

Joellen 's life was changed forever by the President's Associates Scholarship, which put her on a path to discovery and linked her to mentors and a lifelong purpose. When parents like the Buchanans make gifts to the programs they love, their generosity creates opportunities for students like Joellen, a student in NMSU's College of Engineering. 

Because of donors’ generosity and her own hard work, Joellen received the four-year scholarship that allows her to engage fully with her educational experience. She is making the most of that opportunity by taking a full course load of ‘very technical classes’ that demand intense study and focus. She is also able to participate in experiential lab sessions where she can put theoretical knowledge into practice. 

Math and physics were her favorite subjects in high school, so it isn’t surprising that Joellen identified a passion for the engineering field early on, and she found that her course work stimulated an affinity for problem solving. She particularly enjoys working with computer systems and robotics.

Joellen's daily routine at NMSU involves time in the computer labs, quiet study in the library, and meetings with her advisor. She is grateful that NMSU, and donors like the Buchanans, have made so many resources and support systems available for students.

“I always feel as though I have a place to go, and I never feel like I am one student among thousands,” said Joellen.

Joellen believes in giving back to the community through volunteering. She’s also inspiring other students to explore robotics through her work with Project Neo, a national contest for high school students. By mentoring aspiring students in the fields that she loves, Joellen hopes to recruit future engineers and programmers.

The Buchanans recognize that college can be an important part of a young person's life. Joellen is already changing lives and helping others. If you are a parent who is interested in supporting  the University, you can give confidentially, knowing that  the impact of your gift goes beyond one student.  By giving, you can help a new generation to realize its dreams.

© 2015 New Mexico State University

NMSU - All About Discovery!