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Where Is the West Point of the West?

You can find it in Roswell. New Mexico Military Institute is one of the nation’s leading co-ed military boarding schools.

By Teree Caruthers on December 9, 2022

For feature about the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM
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Roswell is home to the New Mexico Military Institute, one of the nation’s leading co-ed military boarding schools. Known as the “West Point of the West,” NMMI is the only state-supported co-educational college preparatory high school and junior college in the U.S.

The school, which ranks among the top public high schools and STEM high schools in New Mexico, welcomes students from across the U.S. and more than 30 countries.

Did You Know?

Notable alumni include actor Owen Wilson, journalist Sam Donaldson and pro football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach.

Founded in 1891, New Mexico Military Institute offers both high school diplomas and associate of arts and associate of science degree programs. “Classes at New Mexico Military Institute are focused on relevance and rigor. Our programs are college-prep-focused with a strong emphasis on STEM,” says Col. Orlando Griego, dean of academics.

Graduating cadets score 16% higher overall on their ACT than the national average. In math, they score 14% higher and in English/reading, they score 18%, Griego says.

While 95% of NMMI graduates go on to complete a four-year degree, the school’s focus on leadership and character development help prepare students for immediate success in their careers. Recently, the school received a $50,000 grant from the New Mexico Higher Education Department to support its Leadership and Character Development program.

“Should cadets choose a career instead, the program teaches discipline, dedication, ethics, teamwork, communication and critical thinking,” he says. “Each of these areas is measured as part of our strategic plan and accreditation.”

Griego says NMMI makes it a priority to introduce students to local, in-demand career pathways.

“We have college and trade fairs annually to introduce students to academic and vocational opportunities,” Griego says. “We have a strong relationship with the Roswell community, alumni, and other stakeholders. They provide feedback on what knowledge and skills are needed for the community and workplace.”

Griego says in addition to talent transfer, NMMI also positively impacts the Roswell and Chaves County economy.

“In our last economic study, NMMI contributed $42.7 million to the local economy,” he says. “These include everything from maintenance to the purchase of goods. This helps to bolster both the economic and workforce development of the area.”

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