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NMSU alumni create largest endowed scholarship for management students

Ross and Patty McCallister remember the determination it took to finish their college education at New Mexico State University in the 1970s. They also know that the challenges they overcame are magnified in today’s economy.


Woman in tan dress, man looking over her shoulder
New Mexico State University alumni Ross and Patty McCallister created an endowed scholarship for students in the management program in NMSU’s College of Business. The McCallisters met while attending NMSU. Ross received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from NMSU with a major in management. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

Forty years after graduating from NMSU’s College of Business, the co-owners and founders of MC Companies, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, have established the Ross and Patty McCallister Endowed Scholarship to support junior or senior students with a declared major in management. It’s the largest scholarship to date in the Management Department.

“It is very inspirational when NMSU alumni establish endowed scholarships to help our current students,” said College of Business Dean James Hoffman. “Ross and Patty are great examples of the engaged alumni we have here at NMSU. They return to campus every year to speak to our management classes, and they inspire our students, who are able to see what’s possible in life through hard work and determination – and it all started at NMSU.”

Ross and Patty met at NMSU while taking a biology class.

“Attending college taught me a different way of thinking, which I appreciate,” said Patty, who was the first in her family to attend college.

“My time at NMSU taught me to look at things from all kinds of different angles,” Ross said. “To not just go down straight paths, but to think about things differently.”

That “out of the box” thinking helped the McCallisters create their real estate development firm, McCallister Company, in 1985, and then to partner with Ken McElroy to create MC Companies in 2001.

Through MC Companies, the McCallisters have spearheaded development, construction and acquisitions of multi-family communities in Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma valued in excess of $750 million.

MC Companies has a philosophy of giving back to the community, making personal connections and having a positive impact. The McCallisters are bringing that philosophy back to NMSU, where they started their life together.

“We feel very strongly that our experiences at NMSU were integral to our success with the business and company,” Ross said. “Now we want to give back in a small way to help others strive for their dream.”