SOCORRO, N.M., August 8, 2002 -- New Mexico Tech's main library building will officially be designated as the "Joseph R. Skeen Library" at dedication ceremonies scheduled for 5 p.m. on Monday, August 19, on the university campus.

The public and the news media are invited to attend the event, which will take place in front of the library on the northeast corner of the New Mexico Tech campus.

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents voted earlier this year to name the university's 54,000-square-foot, three-story library building in honor of U.S. Representative Joe Skeen (R-NM) for his longstanding support and contributions to the United States, the State of New Mexico, and New Mexico Tech.

Congressman Skeen and an entourage of his staff, family, friends, and closest supporters are scheduled to attend the dedication and reception, as are some of Skeen's congressional colleagues, including Rep. Jerry Lewis of California (R-Calif.).

Other dignitaries attending the dedication of the Skeen Library will include New Mexico Tech administrators, state and local officials, and a host of other well-wishers.

Skeen announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election and was retiring from his congressional seat after more than 22 years of service in the elected post. He was first elected in 1980 after a write-in campaign, becoming only the third person in U.S. history to win a seat in Congress without actually being on the ballot.

Last month, Skeen announced that he will make his Congressional and campaign papers available to the public when he leaves office at the end of this year by housing them at the Skeen Library on the New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro. (See related story.)