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Members of the New Mexico State University Foundation Board of Directors, Alumni Association International Board of Directors and President's Associates Board of Directors discuss ways to support student success in the first of what will become an annual joint meeting of the three groups. (NMSU photo by Amanda Bradford) APR16

NMSU Foundation, Alumni and Scholarship Boards Work Together for Student Success

Members of the New Mexico State University Foundation Board of Directors, Alumni Association International Board of Directors and President’s Associates Board of Directors met last week to discuss how they can collaborate to support student success in the first of what will become a regular joint meeting of the three groups.

Andrea Tawney, vice president for university advancement, said the meeting was designed to lay the groundwork for these dedicated board members to connect and work toward a common goal.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers praised the cooperative effort and said the members of each board are tireless advocates for NMSU who do important work.

“These men and women contribute countless hours to their board responsibilities, taking time away from their work and families to help transform the lives of our students,” Carruthers said. “They’re also engaged in other activities while they’re here on campus – mentoring in the classroom, helping create new revenue opportunities and networking with our students.”

The NMSU Foundation Board of Directors is responsible for investing and managing the funds raised by the NMSU Foundation, the nonprofit organization tasked with raising private support for the university. The board has about 30 members from across the country, including alumni and business leaders.

The Alumni Association International Board of Directors also has about 30 members, including representatives from each NMSU alumni chapter and interest group, academic college and decade, as well as representatives from faculty, students and administration. The board works to connect alumni and friends to the university and increase alumni engagement and giving.

The President’s Associates Board of Directors raises funds to support the university’s top academic scholarship, the President’s Associates Scholarship, and to attract high-achieving high school students to NMSU. The board revitalized its signature PA Ball event this year as part of a renewed effort to fund more PA Scholarships in the future.

Nick Franklin, chair of the Foundation Board, said all three boards share a focus on supporting students at NMSU in many ways, so it makes sense for the members to collaborate.

“We as organizations have all communicated with each other and shared information and ideas on a regular basis,” Franklin said. “Now we realize we should occupy the same place where we can plan together and act in concert looking for a positive result for our whole NMSU family, which of course includes students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.”

Amy Bigbee, president of the Alumni Board, agreed.

“We often get pretty deep into our own objectives,” Bigbee said. “Having a joint meeting helped all of us see the greater purpose and understand how our group can meet the needs of its specific objectives.”

Diana Seward, chair of the PA Board, said the meeting was an opportunity to learn more about what the other boards were working on, allowing her to be more effective in promoting NMSU to future scholars and donors.

“This meeting created some exciting ideas for how we can all help each other,” she said. “It was wonderful to see such a large group of people working to make NMSU a great university.”

Tawney said the board members discussed how their groups can help raise alumni participation, which is in an important measurement when it comes to the university’s ranking and recruitment efforts. They also focused on how to get millennial graduates more involved and connected with their alma mater.

“We’re planning to do this again periodically, and I think these boards will be more connected throughout the coming year as we work to implement some of these great ideas,” Tawney said. “Ultimately, our goal is to create more opportunities for our alumni, our current students and our future Aggies.”

To learn more about the Office of Advancement and the Alumni Association, visit advancing.nmsu.edu

Author: Amanda Bradford  – NMSU

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