Written By: Steve Macy, NM State Associate Athletic Director
Last Saturday night, we had the great pleasure and honor to recognize the victims of 9/11, as well as our men and women in the armed services. This celebration showed that collaboration between the university, athletics, the Pride Band, the community and our military bases is indeed a worthwhile and achievable goal.
You may have heard the term, “town and gown,” which symbolizes the bond between the university
and the city it serves. Here in the Mesilla Valley, we have seen a strengthening of that bond and an
event like last Saturday brings that goal closely to reality. This can be seen in President Couture’s firing of the cannon and being part of the on-field presentations to our sponsors and military leaders. It can be seen in the ROTC and student groups that chalked the names of the 9-11 victims on the concourse. It can be seen in contribution of tickets to our WWII veterans. Most of all, it can seen in the long standing ovation received by our military.
Over 1,000 military personnel and families were in attendance last Saturday night, and our corporate partners and members of the NM State family provided those tickets. But, it is about more than one game. Tickets to our military partners will be provided all season long, ensuring that our bond continues to grow. It also allows us to continue to show an appreciation for the work and dedication of our men and women in uniform. Indeed, it is a small token and in no way can communicate how much they mean to us all.
While I want to send a special thanks to Lt. Col. Andy Taylor and Lt. Col. Steve Groll of the NMSU ROTC and Monty Hill of the Pride Band, I also want to thank all of you that made this event special and to those that continue to ensure that we can provide access to this great university for our men and women in service.
Our salute to our military is not all that will happen this fall. October 2 is family weekend, as we
celebrate the sense of family and belonging that is so prevalent in Las Cruces. October 9 is the fight
against breast cancer and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink game. October 30 is homecoming, when
we ask our alumni from across the nation to come back to Las Cruces. November 13 will be a tribute
to diversity, as we celebrate our rich culture. Finally, November 27 will be fan appreciation day, when hundreds of fans will walk away from the game with something special.
Many take advantage of the great entertainment value of NM State athletic events, but these events
are also an opportunity to serve the Mesilla Valley and beyond. As we continue on the Journey to
Excellence, it is partnerships with the community that make the trip worth taking. So whether you come to the game, support these special partnerships, listen on the radio across New Mexico, or watch the game on AggieVision, please know that you are part of something that is more than the game itself.