As the New Mexico State University Alumni Association works to connect Aggies with their alma mater, many new Alumni Chapters are beginning to grow across the state and country.
The chapters are led by alumni from all different generations and backgrounds, but one thing they all seem to have in common is their dedication to NMSU.
I really do bleed crimson, says Patricia Matchin 02, who is a volunteer leader for the Roswell, N.M., Alumni Chapter. Matchin, whose parents and siblings are all NMSU alumni as well, says working with the alumni chapter is her way to show support for NMSU.
Scott Sponseller 96 98, co-leader of the Crimson Central Aggies, in Albuquerque, agrees, saying, he thinks the greatest benefit of participating in an alumni chapter is giving back to the university that spring boarded me to where I am now.
Enrique Tellez Jr. 91, co-leader of the Crimson Central Aggies, said that one of their events has really made a difference for incoming Aggies and their parents.
I have had several students and parents tell me how much the Senior Send-Off event helps them or their children get ready for the start of their college career at NMSU, Tellez says. Hearing from parents that it brought them a sense of comfort; that makes it all worth the effort.
Both Sponseller and Tellez agree the many events are a great way to stay connected to their alma mater and give back, but another benefit is meeting fellow Aggies.
It is fun to get together with a fellow alum, who has NMSU pride overflowing, and recount our many stories from our years at NMSU, Sponseller says. Although we attended NMSU at different times (referring to Tellez), our NMSU pride and loyalty are in sync.
Down the road in Santa Fe, Gary Beene 74, leader of the recently re-established Santa Fe Alumni Chapter, echoed a similar sentiment, saying, though we have only been reactivated in Santa Fe for a few months, I have had the opportunity to become friends with several folks I would never have otherwise met. Three of the people Ive met are much younger than me and frankly I really enjoy being around younger folks. There are generational differences in world-view and it is enlightening to be exposed to different perspectives.
The meeting of fellow Aggies is just as important for alumni chapters organized outside of New Mexico.
Mike Rogers 73, who leads the San Jose, Calif., Alumni Chapter says that participating in chapter events is a great way to meet new people with a shared experience.
We all have common experiences from living in New Mexico and going to school there, which is a start to make new friends, connections and build on a common bond, Rogers says.
One memory that stands out for a lot of the alumni who participate in chapters outside of New Mexico is the smell of roasting chile.
Our green chile roast is the big event of the year, Rogers says. We hold it in late August and use it to cook up some good green chile burgers, while roasting a couple hundred pounds of Hatchs finest for everyone to take a few bags home.
Although geographically located alumni chapters are the most logical to bring a variety of different Aggies together, there also are Affinity Chapters for those who want to stay connected to a program that had a lot of meaning to them in college.
Since 2000, the New Mexico State University Army ROTC Alumni Chapter has provided support to the Corps of Cadets through annual activities. For 2013, the chapter is hosting their second All Classes Reunion and 10th Annual Recognition Dinner in an Alumni and Friends of the Army ROTC weekend. The two-day event will take place Feb. 8 and 9, 2013.
We have three objectives for the February weekend, says Gary Cataldo 70, president and founder of NMSUs Army ROTC Alumni Chapter. To celebrate 110 years of Army ROTC at NMSU, to honor the graduating cadets of 2013 and to recognize those whose financial support over the years has meant so much to the Corps of Cadets.
Alumni and Friends of the Army ROTC at NMSU have provided significant resources to the program over the years. More than 430 individuals and businesses have contributed more than 1,600 donations, totaling more than $224,000 to various ROTC funds. Since its inception, the chapter has raised more than $45,000 in endowments and current-use funds.
Key to this growth has been the establishment of five endowments and four individually sponsored scholarship programs, as well as numerous reoccurring contributions, Cataldo says.
For more information on joining or starting an alumni chapter in your area, contact the NMSU Alumni Association at 575-646-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.