by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., April 4, 2003 -- New Mexico Tech's on-campus student apartment complex will officially be designated as the "Ben D. Altamirano Student Apartments" at a dedication ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m on Friday, April 11, on the university campus.

The public and news media are invited to attend the afternoon event, which will take place near the Altamirano Student Apartments on the south end of the New Mexico Tech Athletic Field.

Last year, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents approved naming the three-story, Spanish-mission style apartment complex in honor of New Mexico State Senator Altamirano for his longstanding support and contributions to the State of New Mexico and New Mexico Tech.

Senator Altamirano and several members of his family, friends, and closest supporters are scheduled to attend the dedication and ensuing reception, as are some of Altamirano's colleagues from the New Mexico State Legislature.

Other dignitaries attending the dedication of the Altamirano Student Apartments include New Mexico Tech administrators, state and local officials, and a host of other well-wishers.

"Senator Ben Altamirano has been the most constant and dedicated supporter of New Mexico Tech in our State Legislature," said Tech President Daniel H. López. "He has been a true champion for this university, and his efforts, in large part, have resulted in major appropriations for Tech.

"These appropriations, in turn, have made it possible for New Mexico Tech to add and renovate our facilities, as well as develop new programs," López continued.

"Without Senator Altamirano's support, Tech would not be in the fine shape this university is in today," he added.

Altamirano, a native of Silver City, has represented State District 28, which encompasses most of Catron, Grant, and Socorro counties, for the past 31 years, having served over the years as a member of numerous legislative committees, including a current stint as chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee.

The Ben Altamirano Field, Western New Mexico University's home football field, also is named in honor of Altamirano.