Rosemont Realty CEO Dan Burrell met with New Mexico State University President Barbara Couture and University of New Mexico President David Schmidly in Albuquerque today to sign a memorandum of understanding outlining a partnership with the Rosemont Leadership Institute that will benefit New Mexico high school and college students.

The Rosemont Leadership Institute, a Santa Fe-based non-profit organization founded by Burrell, is intended to increase the leadership capacity in New Mexico by better preparing students to compete in the global market place. The institute's goals include decreasing the high school drop out rate, increasing college graduation rates and creating graduates who are career ready.

"Significantly improving high school graduation rates should be the number one strategic goal of New Mexico over the next decade," Burrell said. "With one third of the state's high school students dropping out, New Mexico is struggling to realize its full economic potential. That is why I am launching Rosemont Leadership Institute, an innovative new program that in conjunction with our state's two largest universities, NMSU and UNM, will provide exceptional high school leaders from across New Mexico with the financial resources, global awareness, and professional networks required to succeed in a competitive and knowledge-based economy."

In one of his final acts as president at UNM, Schmidly said, "The University of New Mexico is proud to become a part of this initiative, along with the Rosemont Leadership Institute and New Mexico State University, designed to increase educational opportunities, graduation rates and strengthen leadership among New Mexico students. Improving our state's educational initiatives as well as our state's graduation rate is of paramount importance to the economic future of New Mexico. Our students and future leaders will benefit greatly through public and private partnerships with organizations like the Rosemont Leadership Institute."

NMSU President Couture concurred, "Partnerships between higher education and leading businesses and corporations in the private sector are vital to growing our economy and providing future leaders who are equipped to deal with the ever-changing dynamics of society. Improving graduation rates and strengthening partnerships for the economic development of New Mexico are among NMSU's strategic priorities. The Rosemont Leadership Institute is a forward-thinking example of how public higher education and the private businesses throughout the state can work together. We are honored to join UNM in this opportunity."

The MOU establishes a plan for NMSU and UNM to partner with the institute, which will launch in summer 2013 with its first class of 30 high school students, to be known as Rosemont Fellows. The fellows will be selected by a joint committee, with representatives from NMSU, UNM and Rosemont.

The summer before their senior year of high school, the fellows will participate in leadership training sessions at both UNM and NMSU that will focus on critical thinking skills and leadership qualities. After returning to their communities throughout the state, the fellows also will work through leadership challenges issued by the Rosemont Institute.

Following their graduation from high school, the Rosemont Fellows will receive a $25,000 scholarship to attend NMSU or UNM. The scholarship will be spread over four years and require the students to maintain a 3.0 GPA, take at least one leadership course per year, belong to a student organization on campus, participate in a program to shadow a leader and mentor high school students who are following them in the program. In addition to their initial $750,000 investment for the first class of fellows, Rosemont indicated that it is committed to the program for the long term and will seek to grow the number of participants per year, which will result in millions of dollars in scholarships for New Mexico's future leaders.

Rosemont Realty is a fully integrated market leader in commercial property acquisition and asset management operating in more than 28 states. The company is headquartered in Santa Fe with regional offices in Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Denver and Atlanta. Founded in 1991, Rosemont's team has acquired more than 30 million square feet of commercial space in the U.S., deployed more than 900 million of investor equity, and completed transactions in excess of $3 billion in gross real estate value.

UNM and NMSU are the two largest state public institutions of higher education, who between the two have more than 67,000 students statewide.

Media Contacts: NMSU, Julie Hughes, (575) 646-1953; email:, UNM, Steve Carr, (505) 277-1821; email: or Rosemont Realty, Javier Gonzales, (505) 670-7495; email: