Swainson Hawk and Renfrow Gym History Page
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The purpose of this page is to record history of teh narratives and photos of the Swainson Hawk and RenFruw Gym (Location: 3165 Williams Ave - Las Cruces on NMSU campus).
PART I: Rentfrow Future and Past
Rentfrow Gym was built in 1958 and is used as a learning space for the College of Education’s Department of Human Performance, Recreation and Dance. The renovations would improve much needed space for the department, which has seen phenomenal growth. Most of the growth can be attributed to the increased demand for students with kinesiology degrees, but the dance program has also see significant increases. Kinesiology is one of the fastest growing majors in the country and is designed to prepare students who pursue degrees in medical school, physical therapy, education (learning through movement), nursing, and many other allied health sciences fields.
Learn about the Department of Human Performance, Dance and Recreation.
About Era Rentfrow:
Class of 1919
If you ever have the opportunity to look through the 1940 edition of Swastika, the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NMSU) yearbook, you will come across the following caption beneath a photo of NM A&M’s registrar, Era Rentfrow:
One of the most efficient members of the College staff is Miss Era Rentfrow, registrar. Dispatching her duties with a competence mastered by few, she is known for her cheerful disposition. Her duties, in addition to those of college registrar include sending out publicity to prospective students, issuing student activity cards, supervising ticket sales for all college programs, keeping an official list of members of the alumni association. She is also Alumni Editor of the Round Up. Miss Rentfrow has contributed largely to the development of the college.
History proves the last sentence to be a gross understatement of her impact on what is today New Mexico State University.
Born in 1898, Era moved to Mesilla Park at an early age. She attended the college’s preparatory school, graduating as president of her class in 1915. She enrolled at NM A&M the following semester, one of 23 entering freshmen.
Era was engaged to Aggie footballer Joe Quesenberry, the first New Mexico Aggie to be killed in combat in World War I. She never married and, after graduating from college, began a lifetime of service to the students and alumni of NM A&M.
She graduated and began working at the college in 1919. In 1922, Era was promoted to the position of registrar. She developed a special bond with the students, all of whom came through her office. She frequently used personal funds to make loans to them to cover their tuition, board or books. She was justifiably proud of the fact that all students repaid these loans, no matter how long it took. Era found inspiration in student success; this inspired her to continue to make such loans out of her personal accounts.
Perhaps motivated by the loss of her fiancé, Era tracked and chronicled the Aggies that served during World War II. She dedicated herself to preserving the memory of the 126 gallant Aggies who did not come home. Recognizing the need to secure their place in history, she gathered their photographs and biographical information from families and loved ones. The photos displayed in the rededicated Memorial Tower honor their memory.
Life at the college changed considerably as the enrollment expanded to accommodate returning soldiers entering under the GI Bill. Era continued to serve and make an impact on each and every student she touched. An anecdote involving a future governor of New Mexico-he also would become dean of NMSU’s College of Business-illustrates just how much impact she could wield. Governor Carruthers found his life changed forever when, upon entering as a freshman, Era informed him that his birth certificate spelled his first name as “Garrey” not “Gary,” as he routinely used. Era’s advice to him was to make sure he spelled his name correctly in the future.
In 1962, after 40 years of devoted service as registrar, Era Rentfrow retired. No single individual had a greater impact upon the lives of students during this period. Today, her service and dedication is recognized in Rentfrow Gym, named in her honor shortly after her retirement.
Rentfrow has experience Asbestos and its Abatement
Nmsu Rentfrow Gym Asbestos Abatement - Bids in New Mexico
Prebid: 05/21/15 9:00 AM. Solicitation Title: NMSU Rentfrow Gym Asbestos Abatement. Owner Solic Number: 2015010136-EH Status: bidding. Report: 6333185.
Sep 18, 2013 - (Courtesy Photo) New Mexico State University faculty, staff, students and guests dance at the launch of a $1.5 million fundraising campaign to ...
Hawk drawback continues to plague NMSU | SN
This next photo is satellite view before the current renovation projects at Rentfrow Gym began
Above satellite image is taken before the Mulberry Trees (at center) were trimmed, and the construction at the gym began. (Stewart St & Williams Ave).
PART II: SWAINSON HAWKS NESTING AT MULBERRY TREE BY RENTFROW GYM
2016 www.lcsun-news.com, Hawk problem continues to plague NMSU. ... third consecutive year, Swainson's hawks are trying to nest in a tree near Rentfrow Gym
News Coverage began in 2014:
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Hawks protecting their nest on New Mexico State University's campus have been dive-bombing pedestrians — with one being struck so hard that person suffered post-concussion symptoms that included dizziness and nausea.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News(http://bit.ly/1BjNgXw ), five people have visited the Campus Health Center in recent weeks for treatment of injuries suffered when they were struck by the diving hawks.
Dr. Benjamin Diven says most of the patients had cuts or abrasions on their heads.
The Swainson's hawks are parents and they built their nest in a tree outside Rentfrow Gym.
Professor Martha Desmond of the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation says the hawks consider pedestrians threats to the birds' offspring.
The university has posted warning signs in the area.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Hawks go on the attack around gym at NMSU
Sunday, August 17th, 2014 at 12:05am
LAS CRUCES – Anyone walking by Rentfrow Gym on the New Mexico State University campus should beware of dive-bombing hawks, officials warn.
In the past few weeks since a family of Swainson’s hawks took up residence, five people have visited the Campus Health Center after being hit by the birds of prey.
“Most (patients) had small cuts or abrasions on their head and one patient was struck hard enough that he had mild post-concussion symptoms,” said Dr. Benjamin Diven, the health center’s medical director. “He had some dizziness, nausea and a little difficulty concentrating. It was a pretty good blow.”
Al Flores, director of Facilities and Maintenance, said he was walking from his office to the Activity Center about two weeks ago when two hawks swooped down at him near the track.
“I kind of high-tailed it after that,” Flores said. “We had heard about (the hawks) but we didn’t know how aggressive they were in that area.”
The hawk parents, which have built their nest in a tree outside the gym, are being hostile toward pedestrians who they may see as threats to their offspring, according to Martha Desmond, an NMSU professor who specializes in ornithology, the study of birds.
NMSU launches STARS campaign to renovate Rentfrow Gym (New ...
Apr 14, 2016 - For the third consecutive year, Swainson's hawks are trying to nest in a tree near Rentfrow Gym. If the hawks are able to form an active nest with
Reader View: NMSU effort protects hawks, ensures safety
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The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA) has selected Glen Haubold, New Mexico State University assistant vice president for facilities, as a 2013 Pacesetter Award winner. (Courtesy photo) JUL13
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2016 7:00 pm
By Glen Haubold
Three years ago, a family of Swainson’s hawks nesting at Rentfrow Gym on the New Mexico State University campus apparently hatched what were their first chicks. As they were training the young to fly, there were numerous wayward practice runs. The parents watched over their offspring — as one might expect — like hawks. When the curious humans ventured too close, they were promptly chased off.
Last year, the parents became more aggressive, with more than a dozen reported injuries. Warning signs were placed in the area and announcements emailed to the campus community. One head wound took eight stitches to close. The hawk attacks occurred over a range of several blocks in the heart of campus.
We became concerned that the aggressive behavior would escalate with even more severe injuries this year, and consulted numerous experts about the steps we should take. While some experts wanted us to simply continue with warnings, nearly all advised that the hawks should be encouraged to move until the nest became active, which is when it is occupied by either egg or fledgling. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife website states, “You do not need a permit to remove empty migratory bird nests prior to egg-laying or after chicks leave.” (www.fws.gov/pacific/migratorybirds/Permits/dprd.html)
This year, NMSU facilities and services workers removed the beginnings of the hawk nest and the limb that it rested upon in an effort to convince the hawks to build elsewhere. The hawks simply moved higher in the tree. NMSU then contacted officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. They recommended additional measures to encourage the hawks to find a different location. At this time, disks with faces and laser lights are being used to provide an additional incentive to move.
We considered the suggestion that sidewalks and parking lots be closed, but that would have to take place over a very wide and thus impractical area. Personally, I thought the idea of umbrellas with a catchy phrase and a picture of a hawk would be novel, but the reality is that many people arrive on campus as guests and are unaware.
While we were evaluating these suggestions last week, another person suffered a head injury during a hawk attack. Unfortunately, the behavior of the hawks has continued to become more aggressive, leaving us with no choice but to physically relocate the hawks if our efforts to discourage nesting are unsuccessful. Should relocation occur, we will make every effort to assure the safety of the hawks. We appreciate the grandeur of these birds and are committed to their safety and preservation.
NMSU takes its leadership role in environmental stewardship seriously. We have implemented numerous sustainability measures that have reduced our carbon emissions. We routinely work around and clean up after the swallows on campus, even going so far as to construct a special habitat by the Spiritual Center. We irrigate during the day periodically, primarily so that misaligned sprinkler heads can be identified early. A sprinkler head is not a precision instrument, and when we can repair an errant head quickly, we achieve a net water savings by watering during the day. We are developing a migratory bird policy.
Nature and the environment are all about balance, and NMSU does its best to take a balanced, proactive and holistic approach. While we enjoy the wildlife too, a safe environment for the people working, studying and visiting our campus must remain our first priority.
Glen Haubold is New Mexico State University associate vice president for facilities and services.
Change our name from Aggies to Hawks???
04/14/2016 Last edited 04/14/2016 by jtnmsu
Here is an article from the Sun News on how NMSU has Hawks on campus near Rentfrow Gym.
It seems that NMSU is not handling the situation too well, and a chance to learn, gain publicity, and gain goodwill is being tossed away. Chopping down trees and branches is not the answer when Mother Nature calls. The answer is to embrace Mother Nature, let her do her thing naturally, and warn humans to stay away and respect Mother Nature.
It would seem like an Ag School could figure this out naturally. I like the idea in the article of encouraging the Hawks to nest, fence off the area, install a camera, learn what is going on, and use it as an educational tool for generations to come.
A similar situation happened over at the NM Farm and Ranch Museum with nesting owls up in the rafters near the entrance. I believe one of the workers mentioned that the female owl was electrocuted somehow accidentally and now the male is left to tend to the nest.
I hope that cooler heads prevail, and that the Hawks are allowed to build a family on the NMSU campus.
Maybe when we change over to the Big Sky Conference we can change our name to the NMSU Hawks?
Just an idea. I thought it was a well written article and to me it just goes to show you that you can't fight Mother Nature and expect to win.
Open an umbrella? Please. Get real.
Go Hawks. Go Mother Nature.
Last night when Kobe retired Shaq was quoted as saying that "Father Time is Undefeated".
I would also echo that for Mother Nature. "Mother Nature is Undefeated".
Diving hawks go after people on New Mexico campus
UPDATED 5:03 PM MDT Aug 15, 2014
LAS CRUCES, N.M. —Hawks protecting their nest on New Mexico State University's campus have been dive-bombing pedestrians -- with one being struck so hard that the person suffered post-concussion symptoms that included dizziness and nausea.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, five people have visited the Campus Health Center in recent weeks for treatment of injuries suffered when they were struck by the diving hawks.
Dr. Benjamin Diven says most of the patients had cuts or scrapes on their heads.
The Swainson's hawks are parents, and they built their nest in a tree outside Rentfrow Gym.
Professor Martha Desmond, of the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation, says the hawks consider pedestrians threats to the birds' offspring.
The university has posted warning signs in the area.