A helping hand: New scholarship helps NMSU Carlsbad students bridge an educational gap

December 20, 2017

A newly endowed scholarship will help non-traditional students at New Mexico State University Carlsbad attain their academic goals. 


The VIP Self Storage Endowed Scholarship at NMSU Carlsbad was set up by Bill and Jo-Ann Vandergriff with an initial gift of $26,250. The scholarship will be matched by a generous donor fund at the NMSU Foundation with an additional $25,000. 

“We believe everyone should follow a dream and develop a skill such that they can be self-sufficient,” say the Vandergriffs. “An endowed scholarship is one way to achieve that goal in perpetuity. An endowed scholarship for students seeking technical skills, including nursing, will help ensure a steady supply of well-trained individuals who are much needed currently and in the near future.”

“The generosity of Bill and Jo-Ann Vandergriff will provide a great opportunity for NMSU Carlsbad to provide financial assistance to students with a gap in their educational sequence between high school and college,” says John Gratton, president of NMSU Carlsbad. “NMSU Carlsbad has embarked on a series of initiatives to assist our non-traditional students and these scholarships will be a key part of our strategies. NMSU Carlsbad is extremely grateful for this gift and for the benefits that will be provided for four non-traditional students, and we cannot thank Bill and Jo-Ann Vandergriff enough for their generosity and support of NMSU Carlsbad.”

The gift will be invested and the income will enable at least four scholarships to be awarded annually in perpetuity. Awards will be made to full-time students at NMSU Carlsbad who are residents of Eddy County and have a minimum grade-point average of 2.9 at the Carlsbad campus. Preference will be given to students who did not immediately enter college after high school, and so are not eligible for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship.

At least one scholarship will be awarded to a student studying nursing and at least one other scholarship will go to a student in the Manufacturing Sector Development Program, whether vocational, degree or certificate program.  

The first recipients of the scholarship are Veronica Salazar, associate in business office technology; Dorina Gomez, associate in general studies; Joshua DeLosSantos, associate in science; and Joel Carlton, associate in industrial maintenance. 

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