UNM and Mexican Consulate Sign MOU

November 20, 2014 - Dorene DiNaro

Please see related story on Inside UNM

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, UNM President, Robert G. Frank, Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de Leon, Consul of Mexico in Albuquerque, and Henry Nemcik, CEO and president of the UNM Foundation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the fourth consecutive year, signifying their continued collaboration to offer and support higher education initiatives of Mexican migrants in the United States.

The checks will be presented to officials from Santa Fe Community College, San Juan College, Central New Mexico Community College, Catholic Charities, and Northern New Mexico College, during a ceremony and reception on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. in the Student Union Building Lobo A and B on the UNM campus. This is the fourth year that these awards have been presented and the money has already helped several deserving students attain their educational goals. UNM is set to receive $70,000, which is augmented by matching funds and all other institutions on this list are set to receive $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 each. 

The Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the IME-Becas Scholarship Program four years ago with the intent of improving access opportunities for Mexicans and individuals of Mexican origin in all educational levels through higher education programs in the United States.

For the 2014 academic year, the Consulate of Mexico in Albuquerque is contributing $70,000 provided by the Government of the United Mexican States, which will be matched by private funding administered by the UNM Foundation for a total of $140,000 to be granted in scholarships for Mexican or Mexican origin students enrolled at UNM with a specific cultural interest in Mexico.  “This is the largest amount we have received since the scholarship’s inception,” says Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres. 

“This is a great day for UNM,” says UNM president, Frank.  “On behalf of our students, I truly appreciate all that you personally have done to lead the way for these scholarships which benefit UNM students. Students tell me all the time how important the scholarships are to them.”

The objective of the scholarship program is to contribute to the development and advancement of Mexicans living in the United States through resources supporting students in their pursuit of higher education who face complicated economic situations. These resources are allocated to educational and community agencies that are able to match the amounts that the government of Mexico, through its consular network in the United States, provide for the IME Fellowship Program.

“We are grateful and strongly value the partnership we have forged with UNM in support of our community” Ibarra says.  “Bearing in mind the adverse situation youngsters and adults in North America face to finance their education, initiatives such as the IME-Becas  Fellowship Program are highly relevant not only for enthusiastic students seeking a better opportunity in life, but for society as a whole.”

Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, Vice President for Student Affairs has been working with the Consul and the UNM Foundation to enhance financial and educational programs for the students receiving the scholarships and private support.  “This is an excellent investment in the future of New Mexico and will enhance our economic development with an educated workforce,” he said.