UNM Alumni History

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The University of New Mexico was founded on February 28th, 1889 by The Territorial Institutions Act, written by Albuquerque lawyer Bernard Rodey. UNM opened its doors as a Normal and Preparatory School on September 1st, 1892, holding all University operations in the first building on campus, Hodgin Hall.

UNM alumni have been attached to their alma mater for more than a century.

Early UNM students weathered much more than sandstorms and poor budgets. They defied critics who thought the University wouldn't survive in a territory without a public high school. For four years they shared a common goal – education. For a lifetime they shared an affection for their alma mater.

Forever and Fondly

UNM was created by Territorial Act on February 28, 1889; the first students graduated in 1894. On March 30, 1897, seven of the University's 18 graduates formed an executive committee of the Alumni Association. Charles Hodgin (Class of 1894), for whom Hodgin Hall is named, was the first president.

Charles HodginThe only alumni event in the early years was an annual dinner in honor of new graduates, which included speeches by Board of Regents members, music recitals, poetry readings, and a history of the graduating class. Some years, this history included humorous predictions of students' futures – including starvation and tooting their own horns.

The student newspaper, UNM Weekly, refers to additional alumni meetings and plans to help the University. By World War I, the Association was inactive except for its recording of alumni at war.

Although there was no annual alumni meeting in 1920, the Association managed to raise $12,000 for the Domestic Science department to construct a new building. That same year, alumni gave football players sweaters with "UNM" in cherry and silver.

-By Terry Gugliotta, UNM Archivist

Important Events
  • 1889 UNM founded, February 28
  • 1892 Hodgin Hall constructed
  • 1892 First football game vs Albuquerque High. Two game season. UNM lost both games 0-5 and 0-8.
  • 1894 First UNM class graduated
  • 1895 UNM Weekly (Daily Lobo) published
  • 1897 UNM Alumni Association founded
  • 1898 First women's basketball team formed
  • 1899 First baseball game vs Goss Military Institute - UNM 18, Goss 9
  • 1903 First track and field meet vs Albuquerque Indian School
  • 1906 First dormitory (Kataka) built
  • 1908 First tennis match vs NM Mines, UNM 2, Mines 0
  • 1924 Students vote to cancel yearbook due to lack of funds