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New Mexico State University

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NMSU's arid lands building named for Skeens

The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University on Monday, Nov. 20, approved naming the university's new center for sustainable development of arid lands Skeen Hall in honor of U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen and his wife Mary Skeen.


Skeen was important in securing federal funding for the building, which is home to teaching, research and extension service activities related to agriculture and natural resources in arid lands, Executive Vice President John C. Owens said in proposing the name. Mary Skeen is the longest-serving New Mexico delegate to the national Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching, Owens said.

A formal dedication will be scheduled, possibly on Dec. 15, the day before NMSU's fall commencement ceremony, depending on the Skeens' availability.

The vote by the five-member Board of Regents was unanimous. "The Skeen family has made a great contribution not only to southern New Mexico but also to the university," Regent Larry Sheffield of Las Cruces said.

Joe Skeen, who has served more than 20 years in Congress, is chairman of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. Mary Skeen runs the family ranching enterprise, the Buckhorn Ranch in Lincoln County, and is active in the New Mexico Wool Growers Association.

The $22 million arid lands center, recently completed at the corner of College Drive and Knox Street on the NMSU campus, was made possible by state and federal funding.

Karl Hill
Nov. 20, 2000