Western New Mexico University
Institutional Advancement

The Office of Institutional Advancement was established in 2005 to meet the need for providing a more focused agenda on University fundraising through an enlarged and stronger alumni base, as well as on the University’s efforts in economic development and community interaction. The office is housed in the Besse-Forward Global Resource Center (GRC). Linda Kay Jones is Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Economic Development, and Community Affairs. Vice President Linda Kay Jones spearheaded the funding for the $5.6 million building through a $1.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration. The funding was completed with G.O. bonds, a legacy from Lennie Merle Besse-Forward, and in-kind contributions from WNMU. Linda Kay and the SBDC staff moved into the new building in the fall of 2002.

Organizational Chart for Institutional Advancement

Institutional Advancement

Alumni Affairs The Indiana and Albuquerque Alumni Chapters are our most active chapters. The new alumni director (as of March 24, 2011), Danielle Moffet, is working on building up the chapters in Grant County, Las Cruces, El Paso, Deming, and Tucson. Initially the Alumni Database had 11,000 records, but when it was used to mail the Alumni Bulletin, many were returned with bad addresses. Vice President Linda Kay Jones initiated an examination of the database and it was discovered only about 20% of the records were correct. She immediately initiated efforts to update the database, and today it has over 7,000 updated records and is constantly being updated and added to. It is used for communicating with alumni throughout the year, and to help determine who might qualify as major donors. When Linda Kay came on board, a part-time Alumni director was not expanding the chapters nor keeping the alumni data base up to date or adding to it in an organized manner. Linda Kay was able to hire a full-time alumni director through the Garrity Group. In March 2011 she was able to increase the Alumni budget so that a full-time director was hired as a WNMU employee. The Alumni Affairs can be reached at 575-538-6675 or

The Group of 20 Friends of Western New Mexico University and alumni each donated $5,000 to help Institutional Advancement efforts. Thanks to Group of 20 dollars, Institutional Advancement has been able to present a Mustang shirt every month to the Staff Employee of the Month, and to special friends of WNMU. These dollars have also been used to participate in the promotion of GO Bonds for education and to help pay for the Alumni Bulletin, as well as for promotional items such as “Go Mustangs” Flags and WNMU pins. Linda Kay established this account in 2006.

Capital Campaign Vice President Linda Kay Jones initiated the first Capital Campaign WNMU has ever had. At this point, we are in the “quiet phase” of the campaign and have raised over $2 million since starting. Add to this a revocable trust in the amount of $3.2 million, and the grand total is over $5 million.

The Public Information Office is under the direction of Institutional Advancement. Abe Villarreal is the Director of Communications and oversees WNMU communication efforts with local and statewide media, social networking and campus events. The Public Information Office can be reached at 575-538-6336 or

Economic Development

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Since 1989 WNMU’s SBDC has worked with clients resulting in the creation of new businesses and jobs, the retention of jobs, and capital investment surpassing $9.1 million. Vice President Linda Kay Jones was instrumental in getting one of the first centers in New Mexico to locate at WNMU. She served as director until 2005, when the program became part of Institutional Advancement. There are 19 centers around the state. WNMU’s area includes Catron, Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna Counties. The New Mexico Legislature funds the Santa Fe Community College, which contracts with WNMU and other state colleges and universities to run the SBDCs.

International Business Accelerator (IBA) WNMU was instrumental in starting this program as an outgrowth of the NAFTA Institute, a conference initially presented in 1995. NMSBDC contracts with WNMU, and WNMU contracts with Global Perspectives Integrated, LLC, to run the IBA as an SBDC initiative under Institutional Advancement. The IBA is a one-stop shop of resources for New Mexico businesses and individuals wishing to introduce their product or service into the global market. Since its inception in 2003 it has established a total of 28 new businesses, created 274 new jobs, and retained 203 jobs. The IBA has facilitated $21.1 million in exports from New Mexico to locations throughout the world, and $3.5 million imports by IBA clients. The IBA presents the semi-annual NAFTA Institute®/Supplier Meet the Buyer Conference. This year’s conference is scheduled for June 16. The Institute is designed specifically to support business development and planning for businesses and individuals from the U.S. and Mexico. In 2009, well over 700 attendees representing 300 companies participated. The IBA also conducts trade missions and trade seminars and training.

Southwest Office of Regional Data (SWORD) Institutional Advancement produced a CD promoting WNMU and the five counties in WNMU’s service area. It includes the web site that has statistical and demographic information to help increase awareness of the significant economic development opportunities available in our four southwestern counties. Both projects were funded with Cooperative Advertising matching funds from the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Copies of the CD were distributed to economic development organizations, area chamber of commerce offices, and other interested parties. The statistical website,, is available to anyone who may be answering inquiries from businesses, writing grants, or conducting research for any project. Linda Kay initiated this project in 2009. She knew it was an important and needed resource for the southwest area of the state, and wanted WNMU to be the “one stop shop” for that resource.

New Mexico Economic Development Course (NMEDC) In May 2011 the 19th annual course was presented. People from throughout the state and other parts of the country, as well as attendees from China attended the course. The week-long program is held in the GRC. WNMU and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network have partnered with the New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) to present the Course every May since 1993. Linda Kay is the director of the course and was instrumental in bringing it to WNMU. The Course is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the only international organization that certifies professional economic developers. The NMEDC is one of only 19 accredited courses in the United States. The director and the majority of the faculty are Certified Economic Developers. Registration fees are charged and the NMEDD gives WNMU a contract each years to present the course.

Mexico Basic Economic Development Course Starting in 2008, WNMU, through Institutional Advancement, partnered with a private university in Mexico, CETYS, to present accredited basic economic development courses around the country. Forty-five people attended the first course in Veracruz in October 2008, and over 60 people attended the second one in Mexicali in March 2010. A third course is scheduled for November 6-10, 2011, in Mexicali. In return for WNMU providing faculty and curriculum, our partner covers all expenses of each course. Any amount over the expenses is shared by each university. Linda Kay initiated this as a natural outgrowth of the NMEDC and the work she had been doing with Mexico for several years: the NAFTA Institute and sister city relationships. She arranged for seed money ($10,000) for the first course to be provided by the New Mexico Rural Alliance.


Town and Gown Committee As part of Vice President Linda Kay Jones’ efforts to promote WNMU and to reignite and foster the connection between the town and the University, the Town and Gown Committee was formed and is used as a vehicle for communication between the two communities. Thanks to Group of 20 dollars, “Go Mustangs” flags have been distributed to businesses in the downtown area, and other businesses and members of the community have bought flags. University Fridays is a time for everyone on campus and in town to wear University shirts or at least something purple. Wells Fargo Bank bought shirts for their employees. University Friday coffees are a quarterly effort for VPs and other University staff/faculty to meet with communities around the area to hear concerns and find out needs.

Silver City Arts and Cultural District The District, of which WNMU is a part, has received recognition in adopting its Arts and Cultural District boundaries and ACD ordinance. Businesses and organizations in the District are now able to take advantage of the doubling of the state historic tax credits for renovation of eligible buildings and cultural properties, and tap LEDA economic development funds for their projects. A Cultural Plan was developed to help guide activities and progress in the future. Vice President Linda Kay Jones was the chair of the SCACD Coordinating Committee from the time the District was created in 2008 until this year. Linda Kay wanted WNMU to be part of the District and worked hard to get that accomplished.

Brancheau Photo Gallery Institutional Advancement has been working on the Brancheau Photo Gallery Project since 2006. Pictures of athletic teams and individual players arranged in years from 1893 to present decorate the halls of the Brancheau Physical Education Complex. Alumni and University friends sponsor individual years at a one-time rate of $150. Very few of the years are left open for sponsors. Part of the Brancheau Photo Gallery includes an area for WNMU alumni veterans. Currently there are 113 plaques in this area commemorating alumni veterans of World War II. Each plaque has been bought by the veteran or, more usually, by a friend or a family member. As of June 2011, this project has had contributions of $16,694 and expenses of $13,818.