The University of New Mexico on May 10 held a ceremony to celebrate the official renaming of a department, which makes the School of Engineering home to the first and only endowed department at the university: The Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

Thanks to the generosity of donor and alumnus Doug Campbell, the department has been renamed the Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Campbell’s $5 million pledge was recently paid in full, which creates an endowment that will continue to generate funds that will benefit students in the department for decades to come.

May is a former professor, dean and UNM president who was a professor of Campbell’s and advised him to go to graduate school, which Campbell says was one of the most pivotal decisions of his life, one that set him on a track of success. Naming the department in his honor is a permanent way to honor May for the impact he had on Campbell and countless students over the years.

Mahmoud Taha, Gerald May, Doug Campbell and Donna Riley stand underneath the new department sign.

Watch footage of Gerald May, Doug Campbell from March 2022 interview.

The event featured remarks from UNM President Garnett Stokes; Donna Riley, Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing; Mahmoud Taha, distinguished professor and outgoing chair of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering; and Jeff Todd, president and CEO of the UNM Foundation.

Campbell, an Albuquerque native, earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from UNM. Campbell had a stint in an engineering job and even as a professional mountain biker, but found his greatest success in the business world, especially as CEO of Solid Power.

May joined the civil engineering faculty at UNM in 1967 and served as dean of the School of Engineering from 1980-86, then as 14th president of The University of New Mexico from 1986-90.