In 1988, a handful of staff members started a scholarship for children of employees. At the time, they didn't believe they could raise even $5,000, but as the donations rolled in, they ended up collecting $6,000 in just five months. Today, the Children of NMSU Employees Scholarship Endowment is valued at more than $120,000 and has supported hundreds of students. In fact, two of them are faculty at NMSU.
Megan McQueen, Assistant College Professor, Department of Theatre Arts
Megan McQueen was steeped in Aggie history when she began her studies in 1996. The daughter of two NMSU alumni with her mother, Janet McQueen, devoting 30 years to working at NMSU, McQueen received the Children of NMSU Employees Scholarship her freshman year. She remembers that the financial support enabled her to focus on her studies.
"When you're 18, you don't realize how valuable a scholarship is and how much it helps," McQueen said. "In retrospect, I see how meaningful it was."
McQueen, who is now an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music and a minor in Theater Arts before obtaining her Master's in Education. Throughout her undergraduate career, she was involved in theater productions and continued her strong connection to the NMSU theater program after graduation.
"It's exciting to know the legacy that I'm continuing - that I'm so familiar with," McQueen said.
Cynthia Bejarano, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Cynthia Bejarano was an entering freshman in 1991. She applied for the Children of NMSU Employees Scholarship during her sophomore year because her maternal grandfather, Jose Maria Escajeda, was a custodian at NMSU during the mid-1970s.
"It was incredibly meaningful," Bejarano said. "My grandfather passed away in 1996, but before then, he was able to learn of the recognition I received because of his employment at NMSU and his contribution to my education."
Bejarano completed her undergraduate degree in criminal justice with a supplemental major in law and society and graduated with university honors before receiving her Master's in Public Administration. She completed her doctorate in Justice Studies at Arizona State University, but returned to NMSU as part of a fellowship with the Commission of Higher Education, Minority Doctoral Loan for Service Program.