Highlands fine arts freshman Pablo Pekoc of Las Vegas, New Mexico is among the fine arts students and Highlands Art Club members who painted the fiberglass Cowboy horse that will be featured in the homecoming parade.

Las Vegas, N.M – This year’s Highlands University homecoming festivities kickoff Sept. 8 and continue through Sept. 17.

Some highlights include the Sept. 16 homecoming parade at 10 a.m. and homecoming football game at 2 p.m. with the Cowboys taking on the Texas Wesleyan University Rams.

The homecoming game will be played at the West Las Vegas High School Herrera Complex at 157 Moreno St. south of Bridge Street. Heavier than usual monsoon rains in July and August, along with drainage issues, delayed the artificial turf replacement project underway at Highlands’ Perkins Stadium.

“We are very grateful to West Las Vegas Superintendent Christopher Gutierrez and Athletic Director Richard Tripp for their phenomenal cooperation and graciousness with Highlands during a time of need,” said Bob Clifford, Highlands athletic director. “This homecoming game is a great opportunity for the community to be supportive and involved with our football program.”

Tailgating for the football game will be at the university’s Industrial Arts Building parking lot at 917 11th St. Contact the Alumni Office by Sept. 13 at 505-454-3448 to register. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We selected this tailgating location because it’s a short walk to the football game at the West Las Vegas field and can accommodate a large gathering,” said Juli Salman, alumni director. “We welcome the community to this longstanding homecoming tradition.”

Bob DeVries, Highlands head men and women’s cross country and women’s track coach, is the parade marshal for the homecoming parade. Since 1992, he has coached 14 cross-country All Americans and led his team twice into the top 10 at the NCAA National Championships. Since being named head women’s track and field coach in 2006, he led the development of more than 50 All Americans and 12 individual national champions. The Cowgirls were RMAC Champions in 2015 and 2016, placing third in both the Indoor and Outdoor 2015 NCAA National Championships.

DeVries’ programs have a tradition of academic excellence, earning Academic All-American honors more than 20 times. The Highlands alumnus, B.A. 1980 and M.A. 1983, was named an RMAC Scholar-Athlete for cross country in 1980.

It’s not too late to submit an entry for the homecoming parade. Call the Campus Life Office at 505-454-3590.

This year, Highlands fine arts professor Todd Christensen and his painting students, along with the  university’s Art Club, painted a life-size fiberglass Cowboy horse that is a public art project for homecoming. The project, now in its second year, will be featured in the homecoming parade and installed on campus after homecoming.

“The theme for the horse this year are the elements of earth, wind, fire and water,” Christensen said. “It includes some art history motifs like interpretations of Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night and Hokusais’ wood-block print The Great Wave.”

David Lobdell, another Highlands fine arts professor and Francisco Cordova, a fine arts senior, built the iron base for the horse. Lobdell also helped coordinate the public art project.

Some other public events for homecoming include:

  • Community decorating contest begins Sept. 8 with judging on Sept. 12. To enter, contact the Alumni Office at 505-454-3248.
  • Glow golf in the university’s Central Park adjacent to Donnelly Library Sept. 12 from 7:30 – 11 p.m.
  • NMHU Alumni Fine Art Exhibition in the Burris Hall Gallery, 903 National, with a closing reception Sept. 15 from 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Cowboy 5K Alumni Gallop and Trot Sept. 16 at 8 a.m. along the Gallinas River Walk followed by a Li’l Cowboy Stick Pony Trot for children. Call the Alumni Office at 505-454-3248 to preregister for the event, which begins at the Highlands Recycling Center at 9th and Raynolds Streets.

The complete list of homecoming festivities is online at

For more information about Highlands Homecoming 2017, contact the Alumni Office at 505-454-3248 or Campus Life Office at 505-454-3590.

Tickets for the homecoming football game are available at the gate or in advance online at