A Timeline of the University Created by the Course the History of the University of New Mexico (HIST220)
These are UNM's few buildings as they stood on the mesa in 1907. In the foreground sits Hodgin Hall, the first building built at UNM. In the early years, Hodgin Hall held all the functions of the university inside it, including the library, classrooms, and offices. One year after this image, President Tight renovated it in what would become the distinctive Spanish-Pueblo Revival style. Milton E. Porter, a specialist in images of New Mexico, took the photograph.
THE LOBO MASCOT (1920-Present) became the symbol of the University in respect of the animal's cunning, leadership, and prowess. It was suggested as early as September 1920 to be the mascot for the University football team. The lobo spirit grew within Bruno Dieckmann, an alumnus from the class of 1902, who allegedly caught a wild wolf himself to donate to the University for their football practices. In the 1960's, a human mascot with the name of "Lobo Louie" replaced the live wolf. Later on in the 80's, a female human mascot by the name of "Lobo Lucy" stood alongside Louie as a co-mascot.
MRS. M. ALICE BASSETT HOLLOMAN was the president of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents from January 1927 until her resignation at the end of 1930. For those four years she worked alongside the new President James Fulton Zimmerman, with whom she had a close relationship. Together, they worked to bring a wave of campus development and intellectual progress to the University. She was married to First Judicial District Court Judge Reed Holloman and they lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
HANGING OF THE GREENS (1930-present) is the oldest tradition celebrated at the University of New Mexico. On the first Friday of December, student organizations adorn campus with thousands of luminarias. Luminarias, also called farolitos, are paper bags illuminated with a votive candle, and signal the arrival of Christmas in New Mexico. After dusk, students, alumni, faculty, and community members gather at the UNM Bookstore before caroling around campus. The caroling route ends at Hodgin Hall, where the UNM Alumni Association serve free posole and hot cider.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO FIGHT SONG (1930-Present). In 1930, Dean Clauve, the professor of music education and the Dean of Women, created the rhythm to the Fight Song while Dr. George Clair, professor in the English Department, wrote the lyrics. The original purpose was to raise money to cancel a debt for the school newspaper but it soon turned into the school Fight Song that would unite the UNM community.
During the early years of the University of New Mexico, there were many traditions that were set up. These events were a big deal, and both the faculty and the students were happy to share in the festivities. What marked early UNM traditions was that they did not make a clear distinction between faculty and students. Both groups had a very positive relationship at this point in time, perhaps because of the small numbers at the university.
EJ WORKMAN (1899-1982) worked for the University of New Mexico as a physicist, professor, and Director of Research for the United States Government. UNM hired EJ Workman to be the head of the physics department of the University of New Mexico in 1933, and from there went on to become the Director of Research Projects for the United States Government in 1941. While director, Workman perfected the VT, or proximity, fuse, a fuse that Admiral Lewis L. Strauss credited for saving London from obliteration in World War 2. After retiring from the University, Workman left to study cloud physics at the University of Hawaii.
This is an image of the interior of the old Student Union Building's Ballroom. This building later became the Anthropology Building after the construction of the current SUB. The tin chandeliers and carved vigas were hallmarks of the Spanish-Pueblo Revival style. Laura Gilpin, a renowned western photographer, arranged this photograph. Her work received acclaim at worldwide photography exhibitions, and she had an interest in Native American and Mesoamerican lifeways.
JAMES FULTON ZIMMERMAN ( 1927-1944) Professor of political science and eventually the 7th president of UNM, is remembered as one of the most influential, beloved and impactful leaders that the university has ever seen. During his long tenure UNM underwent exceptional growth. With an increased focus on scholastic programs, including the addition of more graduate studies and research, as well as an "intensive building program" that focused on the campus architecture, Zimmerman helped to shape the university into a modern, unique, relevant power in the southwest, leaving a lasting and extremely impactful mark on the university that resonates to this day.
ELIZABETH HANNAH WATERS (1910-1993), First Lady of Dance in New Mexico. Waters introduced modern dance to New Mexico and founded the dance program at the University of New Mexico. She took inspiration for her choreography from the Native American cultures near Albuquerque and the New Mexican landscape.
PETE DOMENICI (1932-2017) class of 1954, U.S. Senator and a long time public servant. Pete Domenici, a graduate of the University of New Mexico, served as Albuquerque City Commission Chairman and then as a United States Senator for the State of New Mexico. He was the first New Mexican Republican to be elected to the Senate in 38 years. He was a strong supporter of fiscal responsibility, nuclear energy, education, and working across the aisle. He is known for his charisma, open mindedness, and dedication to his state.
This greeting showcases two UNM landmarks, Johnson Gymnasium and Zimmerman Library. The postcard's back text exclaims that it was a "new $2,000,000 Gym." Johnson Gymnasium housed the men's basketball team for several years, until UNM erected The Pit in 1966. Zimmerman Library opened in 1938, and has remained a fixture here at UNM. At the time of the photograph, it was known as the University Library, but President Popejoy renamed it in honor of President Zimmerman in 1961.
These cheering spectators were at UNM's Homecoming, circa 1959. This photo probably shows the final rally at Zimmerman Stadium, which functioned as the football stadium between 1938 and 1960, when UNM finished University Stadium. At this time the football field sat in the middle of campus, where the Humanities Building and Ortega Hall now stand. That year during Homecoming, the Lobos defeated the University of Denver 42-0, but students continued to lament the ending of the annual parade.
The two photos taken show the similarities as well as the differences between what Johnson Gymnasium was and how it compares to now. The first photo shown is from around the 1960’s when Johnson Gym was the gym where the University of New Mexico’s Basketball team played their home games. The second photo shows the same angle in the present day. There have been major changes since the gym’s construction. Johnson Gymnasium had a parking lot directly in front of the building, right off Central Street, which is now a passage to either side. The UNM Lobo statue that is in front of the building is in the same place as it was when the Johnson Gym opened, despite the drastic change in surroundings. The area surrounding the building has changed nominally, but there has not been much physical change to the actual building itself. Instead, the university constructed other buildings around the original Johnson Gymnasium and attached them alongside the gym. Many of these changes were made to accommodate the increasing population, such as the nearby parking garage that this entrance now primarily leads to. Similarly, when the basketball team moved from the gym on campus to The Pit in order to expand the athletic program, it finalized the change for Johnson Gymnasium to become a facility for students and staff more than a public face for the University.
This is a close-up of University House, where the President of UNM traditionally stays during their tenure. President Zimmerman's family first occupied the house after its completion in 1930. The building has also been used to host prominent guests and events, and not all of UNM's presidents have lived here. Located near the heart of campus, the house is famous for its Spanish-Pueblo Revival style, and the National Register of Historic Places registered it in 1987.
POPEJOY HALL opened in 1966 after years of conflict regarding its creation. It is named after Tom Popejoy, who spent almost all of his twenty years as President of the University of New Mexico trying to get a performance art hall built on campus. Popejoy Hall's founding was a turning point for the University of New Mexico because of its impact on the State by bringing Broadway and other first-rate theatrical productions to its residents. Popejoy Hall seats almost two thousand people and is the largest venue of its kind in New Mexico.
The original picture, taken in 1977, shows the duck pond shortly after its construction. It is taken from over the top of the waterfall, overlooking the rest of the pond area. Its central location within campus is far easier to see in the original image, as iconic buildings (like the Zimmerman library) can be seen on the horizon. Most notably, the pond lacks any kind of vegetation and looks more akin to a barren wasteland then a communal space where students gather and looks nothing like the natural heaven it was supposed to be.
Here is an aerial view of Central Campus. It shows the dormitories, with Johnson Gym under renovation. Numerous other developments have happened on this portion of Central Campus since the 1980s. UNM would later re-open Redondo Court (the road headed east from Mesa Vista Hall) and redevelop the baseball diamond, turning it into the Student Residence Center and the Casas del Rio dormitories. The tennis courts still remain, as a legacy of older campus plans.
MexSA promotes cultural and academic events related to Mexican history, heritage, and culture. The organization encourages, promotes, and furthers the education of Latino, Hispanic, and Mexican students at the University of New Mexico. Through meetings, volunteerism, and events, MexSA members create a community of support for students. MexSA works closely with El Centro de la Raza to empower, transform, and develop underrepresented and Latino students at UNM. Events that MexSA sponsors are Loteria Night, and the Dia de los Muertos altar blessing.