The University of New Mexico celebrated a significant milestone on Thursday, May 11 with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newly constructed ROTC Education Complex. The state-of-the-art facility, dedicated to the training and development of future military leaders, is set to elevate the ROTC program to new heights. The completion of this $10.8 million renovation project in March of 2023 transformed the original space, expanding it to include additional classrooms, an elevator, and a wealth of amenities.

University officials, dignitaries, and ROTC program members gathered to commemorate the occasion, expressing their excitement and optimism for the impact this state-of-the-art facility will have on UNM's ROTC community.

Ribbon Cutting Ft. President Stokes and General Amanda Azubuike
(l. to r.): UNM Regent and retired Rear Admiral William Payne, UNM President Garnett Stokes. Brig. Gen. Amanda Azubuike and University College Dean Eric Lau cut the ribbon to officially open UNM's ROTC Education Complex.

Stokes emphasized the profound impact that this building will have on ROTC students. “We have been able to bring you all together in a new state-of-the-art facility suitable for your duties and worthy of your proud identities as representatives of the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force.” 

The new ROTC Education Complex spans an impressive 20,600 square feet and encompasses a variety of essential features, including classrooms, offices for ROTC personnel and students, a conference room, and student areas.

“Having a brand new building gives us the ability to recruit and retain new freshmen, parents that come in, people that want to see a professional organization and having a brand new building shows that the university cares about us," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Meinders, the department chair for ROTC. "And it also comes right under the recruiting and retention of the individuals that want to stay and live and work in high-quality workspaces.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony served as a testament to the collective efforts and dedication of all those involved in the realization of this transformative project. University officials, faculty members, students, and the community at large have eagerly awaited the unveiling of the new ROTC Education Complex, recognizing its importance in shaping the future of military leadership at UNM. 

Brig. Gen. Amanda Azubuike said, “This beautiful new state-of-the-art building also represents one of the core tenets of military service teamwork and the value of building cohesive teams that work together to meet a common goal. The ROTC education complex will house ROTC programs for three different branches of service inside these walls. Those three programs will be able to build greater cohesion and cooperation. By joining together in this building the Academy and staff  will be able to effectively promote teamwork and service collaboration by living and modeling it daily.”

ROTC members stand outside UNM's new ROTC Education Center.

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of New Mexico offers students the opportunity to develop the skills and qualities necessary to excel as leaders in the United States Armed Forces. UNM ROTC provides a comprehensive curriculum that blends academic coursework with practical training, preparing cadets for commissioned officer roles in the Army, Navy, or Air Force.

In addition to providing a top-notch facility for UNM's ROTC program, the new building will house programs for all three service branches - Army, Navy, and Air Force. This will allow for greater collaboration and cooperation between the different branches, promoting the values of teamwork and service that are at the core of military service.