UNM-LA with Building 2 on the left (includes the Student Center) and Building 7 (library, Adult Basic Education and Community Education) on the right. Photo by Nancy Coombs
UNM-Los Alamos serves Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico as a branch campus of The University of New Mexico, the state’s flagship university.
The University of New Mexico in Los Alamos dates back to 1956, with the establishment of the UNM Los Alamos Center for Graduate Studies. The first significant UNM undergraduate offerings in Los Alamos began with the establishment of the University of New Mexico Residence Center in Los Alamos in the fall of 1970. In 1973, the University of New Mexico Northern Branch College came into existence with Los Alamos as one of its campuses.
But in 1977, as a result of Legislative action, the UNM Northern Branch College was absorbed into Northern New Mexico Community College (NNMCC). This changed again in 1980, when after a local referendum and Legislative approval, the Los Alamos Branch Campus of the University of New Mexico was founded. It began operations July 1, 1980, in the Little Valley School on Orange Street, and subsequently assumed the informal title of UNM Los Alamos, abbreviated UNM-LA.
In October 1980, the Branch campus moved from the Little Valley School to its present site, 4000 University Drive. In January 1981, the staff of UNM–LA assumed, under a contractual arrangement, the daily operations of the UNM Los Alamos Center for Graduate Studies from the Training Office of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Director of the Graduate Center moved his office to UNM–LA. During 1982-83, the UNM–LA facilities were remodeled and expanded.
The new UNM–LA facility was dedicated by the Governor of New Mexico, Toney Anaya, Jan. 6, 1984. In 1989, Mesa Gymnasium was made available from the Los Alamos Schools and was remodeled to provide additional classrooms. This resulted in a new, sixth building, being opened in spring 1990, and expanded twice in later years. The Learning Resource Center, an addition to the existing facility, was completed in early 1996. It houses the Library upstairs and programs related to community outreach downstairs, including the Adult Basic Education Program, the Community Education Program and the Small Business Development Center.
An expansion onto Building 2 in the summer of 2000 resulted in a new Student Center, additional classrooms and offices. A remodel and expansion of Building 5 resulted in the new Jeannette O. Wallace Hall being dedicated Jan. 13, 2013.
UNM-Los Alamos currently offers a number of outstanding programs and services to meet a variety of student needs and interests. In addition to our Associate Degree and Certificate programs, we facilitate bachelor and graduate degree programs through UNM’s Extended Learning program. Our Community Education areas offers a variety of enrichment programs, summer programs for youth, and customized training programs.
Our Adult Basic Education programs include High School Equivalency (HSE) programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. And the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers both seminars and counseling services to both new and existing businesses. We look forward to continuing to serve the diverse educational needs of this community.