New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu, left, shares a laugh with Nusenda Credit Union President and CEO Joe Christian, an NMSU alumnus. Nusenda announced a $3 million gift to NMSU to support two student-centered projects: the Nusenda FinTech Lab at Arrowhead Center, and the Nusenda Center for Financial Capability at the NMSU Student Success Center. | NMSU photo by Josh Bachman
Nusenda Credit Union is helping to fund two significant projects at New Mexico State University (NMSU) that will help promote student success over the next 10 years.
Nusenda has pledged $3 million over the next decade to establish the Nusenda FinTech Lab at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, and the Nusenda Center for Financial Capability in the NMSU Student Success Center. The gift consists of $150,000 a year for 10 years for each project.
The gift was announced during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Nusenda’s newest branch, located at 1715 E. University Ave., just across the street from the NMSU campus.
“We appreciate the support Nusenda is providing as an investment in our shared vision of NMSU and our students’ future,” said Derek Dictson, president of the NMSU Foundation. “These programs are now growing from concept to reality and will benefit a great many students, faculty and community members over the next decade and beyond.”
The Nusenda FinTech Lab will serve as an incubator of financial technology innovation, also known as fintech, in southern New Mexico, and employ student entrepreneurs and innovators. It will also award funding for competitive innovation and entrepreneurship events, a speaker series and resources to encourage and facilitate the development of new fintech innovations.
“We are extremely grateful for the Nusenda gift, which will allow our students to participate in one of the leading technology innovation fields, financial technology,” said Kathy Hansen, director and CEO of Arrowhead Center. “Nusenda’s FinTech Lab will provide an applied, experiential environment in which students can develop and experiment with the technology transforming financial services.”
At the Student Success Center, the Nusenda Center for Financial Capability will help support student retention efforts through financial capability. The Nusenda Center for Financial Capability will hire undergraduate and graduate staff, host a lecture series and provide workshops for students. Research shows that a college degree improves lives, as college graduates earn higher salaries, are less likely to be unemployed, are healthier and have higher levels of job satisfaction.
“Nusenda’s vision in establishing the Center for Financial Capability at NMSU is greatly appreciated,” said Tony Marin, assistant vice president of student affairs. “The gift provides a 10-year commitment to enhance the financial wellness skills of our outstanding Aggies. In addition, the gift will also serve our future Aggies who attend school in area districts.”
Marin said one factor that negatively impacts student retention is lack of funding. One of the services the Nusenda Center for Financial Capability will provide is working with students to ensure they are aware of the academic requirements of scholarships, and state and federal financial aid. The new center’s undergraduate and graduate staff will assist with the development and deployment of 12 financial literacy activities, including financial wellness workshops and classroom presentations; providing peer-to-peer financial literacy consultations; hosting a distinguished lecture series; launching and sustaining a financial literacy social media campaign; and other evidenced-based services that will strengthen the financial capability of students.
“Nusenda’s mission is to make a positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Nusenda President and CEO Joe Christian, an NMSU alumnus. “We are excited to expand our center for financial capability model to Las Cruces. There is such great talent right here, and so many opportunities to bring technology and finance together for better experiences. The Fintech Lab should be a great New Mexican hub for innovation for years to come. We fully expect to see promising student ideas make it into members’ lives.”