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NMSU Chancellor Carruthers named Citizen of Year

The Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce selected Garrey Carruthers, chancellor of New Mexico State University, as its Citizen of the Year during a gala April 6.


Two men and a woman
From left, outgoing Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Board President Rick Jackson and 2013 Citizen of the Year recipient Mary Kay Papen congratulate Citizen of the Year award recipient Chancellor Garrey Carruthers.

In the nomination letter that led to the award, Carruthers was praised for his devotion to his family and the sense of community involvement he supports.

“Ultimately, his challenge to each of us is to be involved, and to look for opportunities to make a difference,” said the nomination letter.

“It is rare to find a true hero in this day and age,” the letter continued. “Unfortunately, two-dimensioned media-created heroes seem to be the flavor of the day. However, I submit that we have among us a true hero in every sense of the word. He generously gives his time, financial resources and knowledge to all who seek his assistance. He is a true champion.”

Carruthers was selected to lead the university in 2013. The former governor and successful businessman first took the helm as dean of the College of Business at NMSU in 2003, also serving as the university’s vice president for economic development and director of the Pete V. Domenici Institute. As vice president for economic development, he was instrumental in establishing NMSU’s Arrowhead Center.

The recognition comes as Carruthers nears his planned July 1 retirement.

One of Carruthers’ greatest assets to the university has been his ability as a fundraiser. More than $90 million has been raised during his time as chancellor.

As chancellor, Carruthers has been a driving force behind the development of new and renovated buildings across campus, such as the Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center and Pete V. Domenici Hall.

Throughout his time as chancellor, Carruthers has emphasized that NMSU cares about the students, faculty and staff that make up its unique community. The phrase, “NMSU is a caring community, transforming lives through discovery” was developed and has been used to describe what the university aspires to, and has achieved in areas like student retention and success through programs like the first-year residency requirement; advancements in research in areas that have impact on people’s everyday lives; and the development and implementation of events, such as Founders Day, that help to build and nurture the sense of community at NMSU.

Carruthers has embodied this and lives by example, always taking time to walk the campus and visit with students and donate to their organizations and fundraising for any number of their trips and causes along the International Mall. He takes time to mentor students and the team around him.

“I am particularly pleased with our student recruitment efforts, which will result in a substantial increase in this year’s incoming freshman class,” Carruthers said. “We’ve also been mindful of our students’ success once they arrive on campus. That’s why we’ve implemented a central advising center, early warning indicators, a first-year residency requirement and other efforts to make sure the student experience at NMSU is the very best.”