Skip to main content

‘Night at the Museums’ fundraiser to help incoming NMSU freshmen through Aggie Jumpstart

  • By Minerva Baumann and Isabel Darancou
  • Apr 18, 2022
students looking at art, pottery

The College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University is inviting the regional community for a special evening of artifacts, art, astronomy and entertainment with its first “Night at the Museums” fundraising event from 7-9 p.m. Friday, April 29 at the University Museum in Kent Hall and University Art Museum in Devasthali Hall.

Tickets are $20 and include light appetizers. Ice Box Brewing will provide a cash bar. Tickets are available online at

Guests are invited to begin the evening at Kent Hall with food, drinks and music by NMSU students. The Deparment of Astronomy will man telescopes outside to allow guests views of Mercury and the Orion Nebula on the horizon. Later in the evening bright stars in the clusters of Ursa Major, Leo, Cancer, Virgo and Gemini should be visible. The astronomy department also will display its unique collection of various meteorites.

Tours of the two museums are next: the University Museum, located in Kent Hall, has been a repository for ancient artifacts studied by scholars and students for more than 60 years. It also displays various exhibitions about the culture of the Southwest. The University Art Museum is in Devasthali Hall, just a short walk from Kent Hall. The University Art Museum will feature current exhibitions along with student artwork from undergraduate and graduate students as well as a sale room with jewelry and ceramics available for purchase.

“We are incredibly excited to host this event for our community,” said Enrico Pontelli, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This is a way to showcase the amazing work of our students and faculty while also raising money for future Aggies through our Aggie Jumpstart program.”

The Aggie Jumpstart program began in 2019, preparing a group of 20 incoming NMSU freshmen with an five-week program in which students lived on campus, engaged in not only math and English preparation but also training in study skills and leadership to get a head start on college during the summer before their freshman year. During the pandemic, NMSU’s Student Success office created a similar but abbreviated 10-day program called “Aggie Accelerate.”

“The Aggie Accelerate and Aggie Jumpstart programs provide incoming first-time freshmen students with the opportunity to sharpen their math and English skills in preparation for college-level studies,” said Tony Marin, associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “The programs also provide co-curricular activities that support the holistic student learning process that leads to student success.” 

Pontelli hopes the “Night at the Museums” event will help to fund the longer summer session program for these incoming freshmen in the future.

“Ultimately the goal is to set them up for success in the first semester,” Pontelli said. “The first semester is crucial for incoming freshmen. We have a lot of students who come to the university and if their first semester doesn’t go well, they just drop out. We want to set them up for success. Our students are exceptional and they deserve all the support we can provide them to succeed.”

The “Night at the Museums” invitation is also a way to welcome the community to campus activities now that pandemic limitations have been lifted in the state.

“That’s really our goal, to get community members to come and join us,” Pontelli said. “It’s an opportunity to learn more about these two museums that are part of the College of Arts and Sciences – the most diverse and talent-rich college at NMSU. They are located next to each other where people can mix and mingle and stargaze for an unforgettable evening.”

For more information about Aggie Jumpstart visit