Whether it’s helping guests at the pro-shop or instructing them on the golf course, Keslee Sherman, a student employee at New Mexico State University's Golf Course, enjoys the experience of working there and teaching others her skill. Now, thanks to a recent gift dedicated to the golf course, a new scholarship will help students like Sherman focus more on their academics and pursuing their passions.
The New Mexico State University Foundation recently received an endowment that will support the Golfer Development program at NMSU’s Golf Course under the name of the Las Cruces Country Club.
“We wanted all of the Las Cruces Country Club’s proceeds to go to NMSU to fund golf scholarships and the junior golf programs,” said Larry Alford, president of Board of Directors of the Las Cruces Country Club. “We have had a great relationship with management at the NMSU Golf Course over the years, and we appreciate that support. In return, we hope this endowment will continue to support golf opportunities at NMSU for a long time.”
The $690,000 endowment had been in the works with the Las Cruces Country Club for the past five to six years and was officially stamped for approval in August 2021. It’s set to benefit students who work at the NMSU Golf Course by providing scholarships for students in the PGA golf management, hotel, restaurant, and tourism management, or turf grass management programs.
“This gift is tremendous for our students, and it will help to elevate a number of our programs,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “I want to extend a special thank you to New Mexico Sen. Joseph Cervantes, who helped facilitate this gift. It ensures the legacy of the Las Cruces Country Club will live on and benefit future generations.”
“Through this endowment, we will be able to support deserving students for years to come in a manner that recognizes the Las Cruces Country Club for its commitment to this community,” said Derek Dictson, president of the NMSU Foundation.
For Sherman, who is a PGA golf management student in the College of Business’s Marketing Department, scholarship support would ease the stress of making ends meet while juggling school and career development.
“I won’t need to be worried about where money’s going to come from next,” said “I can focus on school and that can help me further my golf career – give more of my heart to what I’m passionate about, which is coming to the golf course and helping people find their passion.”
Students from other disciplines who work at the NMSU Golf Course will also be eligible for scholarship funding through the new endowment.
“We also employ students from lots of different areas across campus and those students will have the opportunity to get some of that scholarship money as well,” said Jason White, director of the NMSU Golf Course and a PGA member.
Programs at the NMSU Golf Course include the PGA Junior League, PGA HOPE, and summer camps. This funding unlocks the opportunity to enhance golfer development, provide security to existing programs, and potentially establish new programs in the future for the community, White said.
“Whether it be Junior golf, Military and Veteran programming, diversity inclusion... we really just want to help introduce people to the game of golf who may not otherwise be able to afford to learn the game,” White said.
Through the endowment, another goal is to make the game of golf more accessible for newcomers.
“We want to lessen those upfront costs, whether it’s equipment, programming or access to the golf course,” he said. “They can try it to see if they like it and then go from there.”
The Las Cruces Country Club has a rich history in the community and is known for being the “friendliest club in town.” It was established in 1928 and still has a group of members who gather and play the game they love at NMSU’s golf course. The club’s legacy will carry on through this endowment, with hopes of inviting more people to become a part of the golf community in Las Cruces while giving back to future generations.
“This is a way for that name and that history to continue on, which I think is really special,” said White. "We’re honored as a university that they would want to give that gift to us to continue their name moving forward.”
“If we can introduce more young people to the game of golf and what we all love, then hopefully they will have those same aspirations to be a golfer,” Alford added. “We just want them to remember it came from the Las Cruces Country Club, and it’s for the betterment for the game of golf, but also for the betterment of the individuals.”
Continuing tight-knit friendships and inside jokes on the golf course, Alford shared that the Las Cruces Country Club’s loyalty will stay with NMSU and live on through the endowment.
White said the funding will be managed on behalf of the NMSU Golf Course and will be awarded in the amount of $30,000 per year.
To learn more about the NMSU Golf Course, visit https://golf.nmsu.edu.