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Donors raise $2.1 million on NMSU’s fourth-annual Giving Tuesday

The New Mexico State University Foundation announced Wednesday that Aggie supporters raised more than $2.1 million during NMSU’s fourth-annual Giving Tuesday.

A large group of people standing with a big check.
On Giving Tuesday, the J.R. Stewart Foundation started a new NMSU scholarship endowment in honor of fallen Las Cruces police officer J.R. Stewart. Stewart passed away one year ago to the day, and many members of his family and close friends celebrated the day at Giving Tuesday headquarters at NMSU Corbett Center's Aggie Lounge. (Photo by Renee Gonzalez, NOV 2018)

The final number will take a couple more weeks to finalize while the accounting staff works to ensure the large number of gifts that day are properly documented and matched.

Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving to charities across the world, is celebrated at NMSU every year to invite alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students to give back. Donors contributed to any charitable fund of their choice across the NMSU system, and matching money challenges made it possible to multiply their gifts.

Hundreds joined the NMSU Foundation throughout the day at Giving Tuesday headquarters inside Corbett Center’s Aggie Lounge. Students called to thank 1,250 donors, learned more about philanthropy and celebrated their first gifts to NMSU, while donors shared stories behind their donations with tears and laughter.

Aggie donors created 24 new scholarship endowments, including Frances Williams, a generous friend to the university, who used NMSU’s Giving Tuesday matching funds to start three of those scholarships.

“I just want to say that I love this university,” Williams said. “I’ve lived here a long time, and I always try to support it. For the students here today, please graduate. You are the future.”

Another scholarship endowment created by the J.R. Stewart 141 Foundation will support students of fallen officers or of officers killed in the line of duty in New Mexico. It is named after J.R. Stewart, a retired Las Cruces police officer, who passed away exactly one year ago on Giving Tuesday.

New Mexico Gas Company announced a major gift of $100,000 to Arrowhead Center, followed by Organ Mountain Outfitters, a local business, that presented $6,500 to the NMSU-Las Cruces Aggie Cupboard. These funds were raised through the sale of Organ Mountain Outfitters shirts co-designed by the Associated Students of NMSU and combined with matching funds from an anonymous donor. The Aggie Cupboard provides non-perishable food items to students, faculty and staff.

“We’ve been able to provide hundreds of meals, and it’s because of our community – not because of us,” said Chris Lang, owner of Organ Mountain Outfitters.

Chancellor Dan Arvizu and his wife Sheryl made the largest gift of the day, giving $250,000 to support student scholarships and fellowships in the Aggie Innovation Center.

“The Aggie Innovation Center is incredibly inspiring,” Arvizu said. “It gives students from all of our colleges the chance to be entrepreneurs. Sheryl and I both have a heart for those students who are near the end of their education but run into financial challenges. Hopefully, this gift will perpetuate continued trajectory for this innovative space for the long term.”

Interim NMSU Foundation President Tina Byford says the day produced great success for Aggies everywhere.

“NMSU’s Giving Tuesday is the one day of the year we get to watch hundreds of NMSU supporters come together at once to change the lives of thousands of Aggies,” Byford said. “We are always humbled by the stories that people share and are truly proud of every gift made – from the small to the large. Today is about Aggies taking care of Aggies, and that’s exactly what we witnessed all day long.”