Before New Mexico State University existed, Tortugas Mountain – also known as A Mountain – was a sacred place for the people of the Tortugas Pueblo. At yesterday’sInauguration of Chancellor Arvizu and myself, Patrick Navaez, Cacique of Tortugas Pueblo, affirmed the long-standing foundation of friendship, mutual respect and assistance between the Pueblo and NMSU as he expressed his optimism for the future. It was a fitting way to set the tone for the wonderful ceremony.
Yesterday’s inauguration also featured addresses from other important stakeholders. Emerson Morrow and Tara Young spoke for our students; Mary Prentice, Sonja White, and Michael Ray delivered comments on behalf of faculty and staff; and Leslie Cervantes represented our 130,000-plus alumni who are using their Aggie education to make a difference in their communities around the globe. Their collective messages were welcoming, hopeful, and supportive. The Chancellor and I take to heart your charge to listen carefully, promote our land-grant mission, and lead NMSU with courage.
Faculty Senate Vice-Chair Mary Prentice summed up our land-grant mission perfectly by stating that “The core of a university is the creation and dissemination of knowledge.” The great challenges facing New Mexico, our nation, and our planet require that we collaborate to solve complex, global problems. As Dr. Prentice stated, “Collaboration among creative, intelligent, thoughtful people working together is the only way that solutions arise.” In order to effectively collaborate, we must all listen carefully, particularly to our students. They are our future, and supporting them in their learning – creating a truly student-centric university – is the best way to ensure that we create the capacity to make progress on those global challenges. As pledged by ASNMSU President Emerson Morrow, our students “will change the world for the better.”
The Chancellor and I are deeply committed to listening to and collaborating with all of you, the NMSU community. We understand that as leaders, our best strategy is to empower the people who already contribute so much to NMSU. Yesterday, we heard from faculty, staff, and students who are ready to stand with us. We are honored by your commitment, and we promise to stand with you as we all boldly shape the future together.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
BE BOLD. Shape the Future.