18.10 – Namings and Other Honorific Recognition

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 18 | Community and Governmental Relations

Responsible Executive: President

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 12/09/2020



RPM 18.00 - Advancement 

Implementing Guidelines  

Minimum Endowment Thresholds

ARP 18.20 - University Advancement – Gift Income, NMSU Endowment, NMSU Foundation, Inc. 
ARP 18.05 - Honorary Degree Awards


Revision History:

09/01/2023 Title change from "chancellor" to "president"
12/09/2020 Major Revision approved by Chancellor 

2017 Recompilation, formerly 2.50
07/12/2016 Major revision approved by Chancellor
10/21/2015 former Policy 2.50 replicated by Board of Regents as initial Rule 2.50
01/30/2012 Amendment to Policy 2.50 approved by Board of Regents


Consistent with direction from the NMSU Board of Regents (RPM 18.00 – Advancement) and the president, this rule provides administrative guidance for the following types of honorific naming opportunities:


  1. Physical Entities;
  2. Academic Entities;
  3. Collections; and
  4. Recognition.



Defined terms are capitalized to denote they are defined for purposes of this rule.

  1.  Academic Entity: A non-Physical Entity, to include: colleges, schools, academic departments, academic centers, institutes, programs,    public information presentations, laboratories, clinics, divisions, research centers, chairs, professorships, lectureships and fellowships.
  2.  Collection: An official collection managed by an academic or administrative NMSU entity with significant scientific, historic, artistic, research   or cultural value. Examples include and are not limited to: University Archives and Special Collections; Arthropod Collection;  Biology and   Animal Range Herbaria; University Museum; Vertebrate Museum; Vertebrate Wildlife Museum; the Paul W. Klipsch Museum (audio   engineering); University Art Museum and Permanent Art Collection and the Zuhl Collection.
  3.  Endowments: A fund established through gifts from private individuals, corporations, foundations, associations, and other organizations for   a particular purpose.
  4.  Physical Entity: All physical facilities and buildings and indoor and outdoor space owned and controlled by the NMSU Board of Regents.       Examples include:
    1.    Laboratories, classrooms, seminar rooms, meeting rooms, lounges, wings, halls, floors, galleries;
    2.    Athletic fields, athletic facilities,
    3.    Wings of buildings or substantial parts of buildings, residence halls, large auditoria, concert halls;
    4.    Plazas, parks, fountains, gardens, lawns, courtyards, walkways, pathways;
    5.    Natural landmarks;
    6.    Parking facilities;
    7.    Roadways
  5.   Recognition: Honorific recognition including electronic bookplates, donor walls, awards, prizes and other named awards (e.g. teaching  awards).  (See Also https://arp.nmsu.edu/18-05/)


An honorific naming may be bestowed to individual(s) or organizations who have made exemplary or meritorious contributions to the university or to society. The recognition afforded the honoree may also include private financial contributions related to the naming opportunity.  To be eligible for an honorific naming of any of the entities described in Part 1 above, the prospective honoree must not be currently employed within the NMSU System or currently hold any appointed or elected office.



Namings which are neither honorific nor involve private philanthropy on behalf of NMSU fall within the reserved authority of the Board of Regents.  Such naming proposals may be proposed for consideration to the chair of the Campus Planning Committee, who will coordinate with the president to appoint an ad hoc advisory committee.  The advisory committee will consider the naming proposal as presented and any responses from relevant stakeholders potentially affected by the naming. The president will consider the advisory committee’s positions and recommendations, and make the final recommendation to the Board of Regents, pursuant to the board’s reservation of authority at RPM 18.00 B. 2. (See Also https://rpm.nmsu.edu/18-00/)



Consistent with this rule, the vice president of advancement, with the concurrence of the president or designee, is authorized to issue and amend guidelines and procedures to facilitate the implementation of this rule for honorific and philanthropy-based namings.  This includes procedures and standardized forms for the associated gift agreements, gift acceptance and receipt, pledges and planned gifts, as well as procedures to take action to remove a name should circumstances so warrant.


  1. Publication of Implementing Guidelines: The implementing guidelines will be published by the vice president of university advancement or designee and linked from this rule for convenient reference at https://support.nmsu.edu/.
  2. Respect for Privacy: The privacy of involved parties, including prospective honorees and donors, will be protected, with confidentiality maintained until the appropriate time for disclosure, if any.
  3. Naming Approval/Removal: The approval of a proposed honorific naming, or the removal of a name based on material change in circumstance, is action within the authority of the Board of Regents or the President, as appropriate, and as they deem to best serve the interests of the institution.
  4. Duration of a Naming of a Physical Entity: Typically, an honorific naming of a Physical Entity is for the life of the specific Physical Entity. Should circumstances relating to the Physical Entity materially change, the Board of Regents, in consultation with administration and donor representatives will first refer to the gift agreement in pursuit of a practicable course of action, to recognize the donor’s naming gift in perpetuity.
  5. Pledges: The terms and conditions for namings which are funded as a total gift pledged to be paid over a period of time will be clearly specified in writing in a gift agreement, which must address the timing of the official naming and the consequences for not fulfilling the pledge.  Generally, the naming occurs after fifty percent (50%) of the pledge has been fulfilled and received by NMSU Foundation, Inc.  If the situation justifies an earlier official naming, there must be a clear, documented understanding and agreement by the donor that the naming will be altered or removed if the pledge is not fulfilled within the agreed upon timeframe.
  6. Planned Gifts: A naming associated with a planned gift will be considered upon realization of the gift or upon receipt of a minimum of 50% of a cash gift.  Any naming requested as a result of a planned gift must adhere to the requirements of this rule, including but not limited to the provision of the requisite documentation.



Pursuant to the authority delegated by the Board of Regents (RPM 18.00 C.), the following, and supplemental implementing guideline, govern naming opportunities for Endowments:

A.  Endowments – General Provisions: The following applies to all Endowments at NMSU:

1. Endowments are invested to allow for the principal to remain intact (nonexpendable) in perpetuity, while a portion of Endowment  earnings are distributed annually to support the purpose designated by the donor(s) through a formal gift agreement with the NMSU Foundation, Inc.

2. Endowments may be designated to benefit academic or non-academic positions, students, programs, physical spaces or specific academic or non-academic departments and units. They are typically named after their donor(s) or a person(s) the donor wishes  to honor.

3.  Endowments may be established by a one-time gift, a series of gifts, a pledge paid over a period of a specific number of years,  wills, trusts, gifts of appreciated assets, or by a combination of these. Gifts can be added to an established Endowment at any time.

4.  In certain instances, which must be outlined in a gift agreement, a specific amount of the gift commitment must be received prior to the actual naming of the position, program, building, space, or project.

5.  For Endowments matched by the State of New Mexico, NMSU must adhere to applicable state law.

6.  Certain terms are commonly used with Endowments. The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) uses the following definitions:

        1.  Permanent Endowment: “Endowment funds are funds received from a donor with the restriction that the principal not be expendable.” These Endowments are only subject to modification as may be allowed by law and NMSU System policies.
        2. Quasi-Endowment: “A quasi-Endowment fund is a fund that functions like an Endowment fund but which may be totally expended at any time at the discretion of the governing board.” This may be gift funds that the donor did not specifically direct for use as an Endowment, or funds available to the institution from other sources that can be designated for an Endowment. The funds are invested in the same manner as a true Endowment and have the same payout provisions.

B. Minimum Endowment Thresholds: A naming opportunity funded through an Endowment (including but not limited to Presidential Chair, Eminent Scholar Chair, Faculty Chair, Faculty Professorship, Graduate Fellowship, Lectureship, or designated Collection) must meet the Endowment Minimum Thresholds set and amended upon the recommendation of the NMSU Foundation, with approvals from the vice president of advancement and the president.  A gift agreement will be signed by the donor’s authorized representative and by the vice president of university advancement or designee. (See Also ARP 18.20 – University Advancement)

C. Endowments- Payment Time Limits: Donor(s) will have a maximum time limit of five (5) years from the date of execution of the gift agreement to meet the minimum threshold requirement. In the event of extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the donor, an exception may be granted at the discretion of the vice president of advancement.