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NMSU College of Business scholarship investors, recipients network at luncheon

Investing in the future begins by giving students the opportunity to build their careers on the solid foundation of a college education.

Older man talking with younger man
Scholarship investor Raul Gomez of El Paso visits with New Mexico State University College of Business scholarship recipient Tristan Goodwin at the college's scholarship luncheon during the 2017 homecoming activities. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)
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College of Business 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Del Esparza with his son, Andrew, and alumni Kyle and Nicole Louvar were speakers at the college scholarship luncheon during homecoming week activities. (NMSU Photo by Jane Moorman)

“We prefer calling our scholarship donors ‘investors’ because they are investing in our students’ futures,” said New Mexico State University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers during the College of Business scholarship luncheon on Oct. 27.

“NMSU is ranked second highest return on investment among universities, Wyoming is first. We are proud of the work we do at NMSU and the success of many of our graduates,” he said.

Scholarship investor contributions totaling $264,720 are providing 115 scholarships for 199 College of Business students for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The contributions, number of scholarships and recipients continue to increase. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the college awarded 104 scholarships totaling $222,205 to approximately 164 students.

“The luncheon is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our scholarship donors for their support and to recognize the recipients,” said College of Business Dean James Hoffman. “Donors are connected directly to the students they are helping to achieve their education.”

“It is very special to meet the recipients of the scholarships,” said Raul Gomez, who established the Jeff Gomez PGA Golf Management Endowed Scholarship in memory of his son. “We enjoy getting to know students who are being supported by our scholarship.”

College of Business 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Del Esparza was honored during the luncheon for his leadership on the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors and his creation of the Del Esparza and Family Endowed Scholarship.

The owner of Esparza Advertising in Albuquerque knows the importance of giving back.

He is the founder of Advocate, a philanthropic organization, and has served on many organizations’ foundation and fundraising events board of directors, including United Way of Central New Mexico, Heart Hospital of New Mexico and the American Heart Association Heart Walk.

Esparza Advertising was among the “Duke City Dozen,” the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce’s recognition for companies that give back.

“Be the best you can be at living a value-based life,” Esparza told the students during the luncheon. “How you live matters.”

Esparza thanked his fellow alumni and investors for giving when they didn’t have to.

“Follow their example, give back by paying it forward,” he said to the students attending the luncheon.

Alumnus and scholarship investor Kyle Louvar, vice president at Merrill Lynch in Houston, shared how receiving scholarships while attending NMSU helped him and his wife, Nicole, obtain their business degrees, and the opportunities they have had in their careers.

Education is important to the couple. They both serve on the NMSU Foundation board and have two endowed scholarships at NMSU.

“As you transition from student to a professional, understand that your greatest power is your power of choice,” Louvar said. “You can choose how you want to write your life story. Opportunities will present themselves every single day. It will be your choice whether to take advantage of those opportunities.

“At some point you will have the opportunity to give back and help others the way that others have helped you. I encourage you to pay forward, so others have the opportunity to write their life stories just as you have this opportunity right now to write yours.”

New Mexico Leadership Institute Fellow Kevin Prieto spoke about how the full-ride scholarship is impacting his life as a first-generation college student.

“The scholarship has allowed me to focus on what is important to me, and not have to worry about finances,” said the president of the NMSU Associated Students and senior majoring in business management. “It has really set me up for a future of success.

“I can’t think of a better investment than investing in the education of a student,” he said. “It’s not only investing in that student, it’s investing in the state, in the country and in the world.”