Mission Statement and Brief History
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.
NMSU was founded in 1888 as Las Cruces College. The Territorial Legislature of 1889 established the land-grant Agricultural College and Experiment Station, which officially opened on January 21, 1890. During its first full academic year, the college became known as the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, the first degree-granting institution in the Territory. Under the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862 and subsequent federal legislation, the special mission of land-grant institutions has been to provide a liberal and practical education for students and to sustain programs of research, extension education, and public service.
In 1960, New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts became New Mexico State University. Since that time, while sustaining excellence in those programs traditionally associated with land-grant institutions, New Mexico State has become a comprehensive doctoral-level university offering a wide variety of programs through the graduate school and the colleges: Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; and Health and Social Services.