Photo of cheerleaders

Josilyn Benavidez, center, of the HU cheer squad cheers for the Cowboys during the homecoming football game. Photo: Margaret McKinney/University Relations

August 29, 2019

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University’s homecoming festivities kick off Sept. 13 and continue through Sept. 21. The theme for homecoming this year is “The Heart of Highlands – Inspiring diversity, pride and legacy.”

“Highlands is about the diversity of people from many backgrounds coming together to form a family,” said Juli Salman, Alumni Affairs director. “Homecoming is a time for people to feel connected and joyful.”

Some homecoming highlights include the Sept. 21 homecoming parade at 10 a.m. and the homecoming football game at 1 p.m. with the Cowboys taking on Dixie State University. The location is the Levéo and Patricia Sánchez Family Stadium at 906 Baca Ave.

The parade route begins at 5th Street and Friedman Avenue and ends at the historic Las Vegas Plaza. To enter a float for the parade, contact the Office of Campus Life at 505-454-3590.

“Our Las Vegas community loves parades, and we’re excited that our Highlands homecoming parade is early in the football season because the weather should be wonderful,” said Margaret Gonzales, Campus Life director. “It’s always fun to see how creative the campus and community are in tying their parade entries to the homecoming theme.”

A community decorating contest begins Sept. 13 with a Sept. 18 deadline to register. Judging will be Sept. 20. To enter, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 505-454-3248. The winners will be announced during halftime at the homecoming football game.

The annual homecoming pageant is Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Ilfeld Auditorium at 900 University Ave.

Another homecoming highlight is the Cowboy Lounge and Silent Auction Sept. 20 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center, 800 National Ave. The caterer is The Skillet Restaurant of Las Vegas. Borracho’s, also of Las Vegas, will serve beverages. Tickets are $10 per person. Call 505-454-3248 to reserve tickets.

“We’re anticipating this Cowboy Lounge and Silent Auction will be a very popular event where alumni and other friends of Highlands can come together for delicious food, beverages and music,” Salman said.

The silent auction fundraiser benefits Alumni Association initiatives that support student success.

Salman said a special homecoming activity this year is the Sept. 20 guided tour of the recently renovated historic Castañeda Hotel in Las Vegas. The tour is free to a limited number of guests by reservation. Call 505-454-3248.

Some other Sept. 21 homecoming activities include:

  • A Cowboy 5K Gallop and Trot fun run through campus with registration at 7 a.m. for the 8 a.m. run. Meet at Kennedy Alumni Hall, 905 University. There is a Cowboy stick pony trot for children at 8:45 a.m. Register online at or call 505-454-3248.
  • Tailgating at the Champ Tyrone Music Building parking lot at 1052 11th from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. There will be Cowboy-themed crafts for children.
  • The Highlands Vatos Rugby Club alumni game immediately follows the football game.
  • The Cowgirl volleyball game v. Colorado Mesa University at 6 p.m. is in the Wilson Complex, 1241 9th Check for other Cowgirl soccer and volleyball games during homecoming week at

A listing of other homecoming festivities is online at

The Highlands Albuquerque Center and the Rio Rancho Center are collaborating to celebrate Homecoming. For information, call Joseph Moreno at 505-891-6914.

For more information about Highlands Homecoming 2019, contact Alumni Affairs at 505-454-3248 or Campus Life at 505-454-3590.