Educators sign MoA with missile range
Representatives from surrounding higher learning institutions visited White Sands Missile Range earlier today to establish a collaborative effort with the range through a Memorandum of Agreement. Dr. Barbara Couture, New Mexico State University president, Dr. Robert Frank, University of New Mexico president, Daniel Lopez, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology president, Dr. Roberto Osegueda, vice-president for Research and Economic, University of Texas at El Paso, and Brig. Gen. John Ferrari, WSMR commanding general, signed the agreement in the WSMR Cox Range Control Center to find ways to implement the collaboration between the range and the universities.
“It’s these university leaders that have helped set the initiative,” Ferrari said. “(They) enable us to do what can’t be done anywhere else in the world. This is just another step forward today the trick will be to drive these relationships further into the future.”
The intention of the memorandum is to create a planning forum that will lead to a greater partnership amongst the parties involved. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) attended the event to express his gratitude to the parties involved. Bingaman said he hopes the memorandum will ensure regular communication between the institutions and the range.
“I think it’s just a great thing, most of the useful work that goes on around the state is a result of collaboration,” Bingaman said. “We’ve always had a strong military presence, that connection to higher education is important for our future.”
Prior to signing the agreement, Bingaman and the parties involved provided remarks in which they expressed their gratitude for having a role in the collaboration initiative. Several of the speakers agreed that WSMR houses several of their alumni and establishing a relationship will further boost the economy for New Mexico.
“You cannot compete in the new world without a strong education,” Lopez said.
After signing the agreement, a short tour of the range and its facilities was provided. This was not the first visit for several of the higher learning institution leaders, several have frequented the range to meet with alumni and find ways to improve their curriculum.
“I am deeply privileged to be here today,” Couture said. “We see these MOA’s as a way to really seal the deal on this longstanding relationship … We will continue to provide top quality graduates.”