Hurt family honors memory, supports NMSU students

Three people standing together smiling.

Tamara Hurt, '83, started the Hurt Endowment to pay tribute to her husband, establish a legacy and make a difference in the lives of students - including her own.

Parents support New Mexico State University because they appreciate its commitment to excellence in research, teaching and public service. By giving, parents not only help their student but all NMSU students to thrive.

Tamara Hurt, ‘83, is a parent and an alumna who cares deeply about NMSU and its students. Her son is an NMSU alumnus and her daughter, Courtney, is an ACES student focusing in agricultural business who wants to pursue a law degree emphasizing natural resources.

Tamara credits learning opportunities and great teachers for guiding her toward the career path and life that she loves. Scholarships helped to fund Courtney’s education, impacting Tamara’s sense of connection with NMSU, and especially the College of ACES.

“I have really positive feelings toward NMSU and the donors who contribute to student success,” she said. “College is a bridge to opportunities and to becoming who you are meant to be. I received many small scholarships that went a long way in helping me get through school.”

At NMSU, Tamara had meaningful experiences that shaped her life. She met her husband, Ernest, and discovered a talent for accounting. Today, Tamara is a business owner, parent and active community member focused on thinking ahead and smart planning. She is dedicated to maintaining her family’s tradition of farming and ranching. Education, she notes, is an important aspect of sustaining agriculture.

Ernest’s degree was in farm and ranching, and Tamara remembers him as a student who persevered in his studies and was very involved in clubs and organizations. Like many NMSU students, Ernest saw helping out on his family’s farm to be as important as scholastic achievement.

When Ernest passed away, friends and supporters sent Tamara contributions in his memory. Seeing an opportunity to remember Ernest and to provide a scholarship that would help more students afford college, she created the Hurt Endowment. Through the endowment, Tamara and her family have been able to pay tribute to her husband, establish a legacy and make a difference in the lives of students. While she never imagined herself as a philanthropist, Tamara is now in a position to invest in the future of education and young people interested in agriculture.

A steadfast proponent of higher education, Tamara views college as a forward-thinking investment, “College is an important step in life, and it should be affordable for students."

The Hurt Scholarship assists a student whose hard work, persistence and active participation in Ag Council or the National Agri-Marketing Association; mirroring and perpetuating Ernest’s commitment to family and ranching and farming. Tamara feels that it is important to help students who are balancing the demands of family, work and the costs of attending college.

“Toward the end of a student’s career, it’s nice to have aid when costs pile up," she said.

The Hurt family has also established the Playas Scholarship, helping local students to fund their education. The decision to support NMSU and students in the ACES community came easily to Tamara; the college has always felt like a close knit family who value higher education and their students and endeavor to help each other.

“I believe that you should give back to those who give to you,” she said.

Tamara and her family’s philanthropy is remarkable and exemplifies that all parents can make a difference by giving. For information about parent giving or to make an annual gift to a program at NMSU, please contact the Annual Giving office at (575) 646-1613 or email