Documentary tells UNM’s 125-year story

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – In the year 1889, the University of New Mexico wasn’t the sprawling campus it is today and students weren’t getting around by bus or car. The preferred mode of transportation back then was horse and buggy. On it’s 125th anniversary, the university has released a documentary showcasing its history and how far it’s come.

“I’m excited for people to see these old interviews that have never seen the light of day.” said Documentary Maker Arcie Chapa.

Dubbed “The University of New Mexico at 125”, the film focuses on the school’s leaders, the hardships they had to overcome and the impact the university has had on the community.

“All you have to do is go to a graduation and you realize that this university has been enormously responsible for so much that has happened in New Mexico and beyond,” said UNM Alumni Association Executive Director Karen Abraham.

Centered around Hodgin Hall, the documentary shows how UNM went from a tiny plot of land, just 20-acres, to a 600-acre campus. Chapa says she made the documentary so people will appreciate the university’s humble beginnings and how hard the administration worked to become what it is today.

“I think people will really be able to see the university in a new light,” said Chapa.

Alumni officials agree.

“This documentary as far as I’m concerned not only helps the university tell its story, but understand who it is, what it is and why it has become,” said Abraham.

The film will premiere Tuesday night at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The 125th year celebration for UNM continues throughout the year and will include other events open to the public. For a list of those events, visit the school’s website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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