New Student Center
New Mexico Highlands University’s new student center is the living room of the campus and includes a dining facility for the residence halls, a flexible theater space that can also be used for lectures and dances, offices, computer lab, conference space, campus bookstore, campus post office, café, copy center, game room, and an executive boardroom for campus governance groups.
Felix Martinez Student Services Center
For most new students, your first stop on the New Mexico Highlands campus will be the Felix Martinez Building, which houses financial aid, admissions, the Registrar’s Office and Student Support Services. The building was named for the man who sponsored legislation establishing New Mexico Normal University (Highlands) and the State Hospital in 1893. Martinez, who was referred to as the “Father of the Normal School,” was territorial councilman, a successful developer, bank director, railroad executive, political leader, hotel owner, and international statesman. In 1886, he won a close race for county assessor and he was elected to the territorial House of Representatives in 1888. In 1890, he purchased a small Santa Fe newspaper, La Voz del Pueblo, and moved it to Las Vegas. It became the foremost Spanish-language newspaper in New Mexico. At about this time, he was beginning to take notice of a fast-growing populist party in San Miguel County, el Partido del Pueblo Unido (the United People’s party). He soon assumed leadership of the party. In 1893, Martinez became clerk of the United States and Territorial Courts for the Fourth Judicial District of New Mexico, located in Las Vegas.
The Diversity Flagship and Alumni Tower
One of the most unusual landmarks on New Mexico Highlands’ campus is the Diversity Flagship and Alumni Tower. The flags surrounding the Alumni Tower represent the nations of current Highlands students.
Rodgers Hall Administration Building
Named in honor of Thomas C. Rodgers, a professor of mathematics who also served as academic dean of the Normal University. He guided hundreds of students over the years who found his council good and his friendship an inspiration. Once used as the campus library, Rodgers Hall now houses the offices of the president, vice presidents and the cashier’s office.
The oldest building on campus was named for Adele Ilfeld, wife of Charles Ilfeld, a prominent Las Vegas businessman who donated $25,000 to the building project. Charles Ilfeld was a civic leader and served on the Board of Regents of the Normal School. The board subsequently named the building after his deceased wife, Adele. He and his brothers were pioneering businessmen in New Mexico and representatives of a thriving German-Jewish community in Northern New Mexico. Ilfeld is the entertainment venue for the campus. In addition to concerts and theater productions, the building is home to Cineflix at Ilfeld, which features free movies each week.
Thomas C. Donnelly Library
Named for Thomas C. Donnelly, the 10th
and longest-serving president of Highlands (1952-1970). His administration, which began in 1952, was marked by the vision to see futures, the courage to sustain purposes and the resourcefulness to supply means to expand the university’s educational programs and its physical facilities. President Donnelly was responsible for the implementation of several new academic course offerings. While the goal of educating teachers still took precedence, Donnelly promoted development of the general academic curriculum so that teachers and other degree-seeking students would receive a strong background in the liberal arts and sciences.
Ivan Hilton Science and Technology Building
Ivan Hilton was a former member and president of the Board of Regents at Highlands. He was founder and long-time president and chief executive officer of the First National Bank of Las Vegas. Hilton owned the property on which the building stands and donated it to the university in 1985. He also served as mayor of Las Vegas and state senator.
Victoria D. de Sanchez Teacher Education Center
Victoria D. de Sanchez was recognized internationally as an education pioneer in a career spanning nearly five decades. De Sanchez was a 1939 Highlands graduate, earning her master’s in 1944, and became one of the first two Hispanic native New Mexicans to serve as a Highlands professor. She was best known for becoming the highest-ranking woman in the international Alliance for Progress and her work to develop Spanish textbooks and teacher training materials in six countries, affecting millions of students who had not previously had such materials. She worked as a teacher, administrator and adviser in New Mexico as well as various Latin American countries, establishing a teacher training school in Guatemala. She retired in the 1970s and published her memoirs, “In the Footsteps of an Educator,” in 1989.
New Residence Hall
Opened in 2009, the state-of-the-art residence hall houses 276 students in 89 spacious apartment-style suites that feature private bedrooms, a kitchenette, living room, and bathrooms. Two outdoor landscaped plazas and a third-floor terrace are also part of the design. The new student housing has numerous green features, and is the first campus residential building in New Mexico to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, a high-level measure of sustainability for water and energy efficiency, materials and resource use, and indoor environmental quality.
The residential hall was built in 1942 and named for Margaret Kennedy, English professor and dean of women. Kennedy also served on the committee that established West Las Vegas High School. She was a world traveler and served on a pre-World War II committee that lectured on education in China.
The residential hall is named for James E. “Colonel” Connor, who joined the Highlands community in 1940 as comptroller and who assisted then president Thomas Donnelly in campus expansion.
Harold Brandt Baseball Field
Originally from Michigan, Harold Brandt came to Highlands in 1938 when he was offered the position of chair of the Industrial Arts Department. He held this position for 36 years. During World War II, he coordinated the Navy V5 program at Highlands. Under this program, many Navy pilots learned to fly at the Las Vegas airport. In 1954, he was instrumental in starting the first two-year technical institute in New Mexico. Associate degree programs were offered in electronics, electrical and machine technology. For 25 years, Brandt served as chairman of the Highlands’ Faculty Athletic Committee. In 1972, he was elected city councilman and in 1976 was elected mayor of Las Vegas.
L. Michael Messina Field
Former Highlands Board of Regents member, L. Michael Messina, is a prominent Albuquerque attorney. Messina is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. After practicing with a Wall Street firm, he worked with legal Services of Albuquerque and then became director of the national health law program, litigating health issues across the country. Messina has had a private law practice for more over 30 years. He has taught at New Haven College, the UCLA School of Law, the UCLA School of Public Health and, on an adjunct basis, at the University of New Mexico Law School. He has served on the board of the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation and the New Mexico Council on Crime and Delinquency.
John A. Wilson Physical Complex
Wilson, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Color Tile, Inc., a subsidiary of the Tandy Corporation, received his bachelor of arts degree from Highlands in 1948 and his master’s in 1950. He was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by the university in 1983. Wilson also served as president of the HU Foundation. He started his career in 1951 as a leather craft store manager then served as district manager, regional manager and vice president for both Tandy Leather and American Handicrafts and vice president of the Tandy Corporation. In 1974-75, he was president and chief operating officer of the corporation, and with the spinoff of Tandycrafts, Inc., in 1975, was named president, chief executive officer and a director of the new subsidiary. When Color Tile, Inc., was made a separate company, he became its CEO and board chairman, as well as president of Color Tile Mart, and serving on all Tandy Product boards.
Named for Ivan Perkins, a football player who died as a result of an accident during football practice in 1937.
State Land Office
New Mexico Highlands University is a beneficiary of the state trust. There are 22 beneficiaries of the state trust that include public schools, universities and hospitals. Ray Powell, Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, as well as special schools and hospitals that serve children with physical, visual, and auditory disabilities. The State Land Office strives to maintain a balanced approach in its administration of these lands, maximizing returns to the trust’s beneficiaries while preserving the lands, and the plants and animals that inhabit them, for future generations of New Mexicans. In fiscal year 2010, the trust lands and permanent funds produced more than $420 million in income for the beneficiaries. “When we take care of our land, our land takes care of us!” Click on the link to learn more about the New Mexico State Land Office. www.nmstatelands.org.