Hodgin Hall History

From its beginnings in 1892 to its renovation in 2011 to the U sculpture unveiled in 2012, Hodgin Hall has always served as a home for alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of UNM.

The Opening of Hodgin Hall

On September 1, 1892, the University’s first building, Hodgin Hall opened. There were 108 students in two departments, the Preparatory and Normal departments. For eight years, Hodgin Hall housed all of the University programs. The University grew quickly, adding buildings, faculty, staff, student and new programs. Statehood was granted in 1912 and UNM gained accreditation in 1922.

A Grand Re-Opening!

Renovations were completed in February of 2011. On September 21, 2011, we celebrated the grand re-opening of the Hodgin Hall Alumni Center. During the celebration, we opened the 1908 time capsule that students placed within the cornerstone of Rodey Hall. After gathering and preparing the treasures to be included in the new time capsule, we will bury it in Hodgin Hall in the fall of 2012 with instructions that it should remain sealed until 2111.

The Original Construction

Hodgin Hall

Originally built in Richardson Romanesque style, Hodgin Hall was made of red brick with a pitched roof and arched windows on the upper floors. The total cost of the building was $30,000. But the original design of Hodgin was poor. In 1904 local architect Edward Christy reported to the Board of Regents,

"In my opinion the roof is too heavy for the building… I see nothing at the present moment to cause alarm, but there is certainly room for a reasonable question as to the result if a severe storm should move that main truss that really supports the whole roof.”

This report provided President William Tight with an opportunity to remodel the building, which he was confident would adapt to the Pueblo Style.

Hodgin Hall, 1970Hodgin Hall in the 1970s and 80s

Rapid increase in student enrollment and the increase in building led to the scheduled destruction of Hodgin Hall in the early 1970’s. UNM Architect Joe McKinney succeeded in getting the building listed on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties in 1974 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The newly formed Alumni Restoration and Preservation Committee, in conjunction with the University, raised enough money to renovate Hodgin Hall. In 1983, the Association moved in, sharing the space with staff from the Development and Public Affairs offices

A Grand Renovation!

In January, 2010, the Alumni Relations Office vacated its historic premises, and packed away all of Hodgin Hall's treasures. The treasures were stored during the renovation and the Alumni Association moved into temporary headquarters next door to the UNM Law School. Hodgin Hall renovations began in February, 2010 and were completed in February, 2011. Renovations included:

  • The basement has been opened up to allow for a beautiful reception area
  • Several old offices were transformed into meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology
  • An art gallery will be created to display the works of our talented alumni
  • Interactive exhibits will tell the story of the university and its alums

Hodgin Hall It's Place In History

The Time Capsule

Lobo citizens of 2111 will open the Hodgin Hall time capsule that we buried in September 2011.

We choose one letter each from the alumni, faculty, staff, and students to include in the 2111 time capsule. Students, faculty, alumni and staff shared a few sentences highlighting their memories on and around the UNM campus, giving the future UNM community a chance to remember the sights and sounds of today, and the memories that shouldn't be forgotten.

100 years ago . . . we thought about the future!

In 1908, a time capsule was buried by the UNM graduating class. On September 21, 2011 we found out what students and faculty of the time stashed away for us to view 100 years later. There were items from 1908, and from 1952, when the time capsule was moved and re-buried.

Items included from 1908:

Class Pennant, Albuquerque Citizen newspaper, Albuquerque Morning Journal, UNM Weekly newspaper, Mirage yearbook, 1905 Songs of UNM Collection book, Commencement Exercises schedule, Invitation to Commencement Ceremony, UNM Bulletin of Courses, Program for the Dedication of the 1908 Class Memorial, and a handwritten letter by Fleda Smith detailing the Time Capsule Burial.

Items included from 1952:

Handwritten letter by Fleda Smith, detailing the Time Capsule Re-burial, Mirage yearbook, Albuquerque Journal, and a New Mexico Lobo newspaper.

Check out the photos! Facebook Flickr

For questions or more information:

Alumni Relations Office
O: 505-277-5808
800-ALUM-UNM (258-6866)
E: alumni@unm.edu