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Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Collection

Identifier: UNMA-119

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, news clippings, alumni lists, and various reports including annual and financial of the UNM NROTC/Department of Naval Science and AFROTC/Department of Aerospace Studies. There is also a scrapbook containing photographs of the battleship USS New Mexico, information on the Wardroom Society (a social organization of the NROTC), and NROTC publications including Desert Voyage, Drydock, Sunline and Mark.

The V-12 Naval College Training Program was developed during WWII as one way to fill the need for more officers. This program at UNM operated from July 1943 until June 1946. Records pertaining to this program and the V-5 Flying Cadet Program are also in this collection. These records include building remodel expenses, curriculum information, and correspondence with the War Department.


  • 1919-2010

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Historical Note

On May 10, 1941, UNM President J.F. Zimmerman was notified by Frank Knox, then secretary of the Navy, that the University of New Mexico would house a unit of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. Chief Gunner's Mate Raymond Clark, Captain J.B. Will and Lt. Commander Brown were the first military representatives to arrive on campus. The first class of recruits comprised 93 students, and instruction began on Aug. 27, 1941. In the 1950s, the unit produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other organization on campus.

The 1960s and '70s saw women begin to influence the NROTC unit at UNM. In the Fall of 1961, Terry Berkshire and Phyllis Forgan founded the UNM NROTC Women's Auxiliary, also known as the Clippers. In 1966, Ilene Mitchell became the first woman to join the NROTC. But it wasn't until 1971 when Marjorie Litchfield became the first female NROTC student to be commissioned.

As people in the United States changed their attitude toward Vietnam, members of UNM's NROTC faced protest and open harassment. Though the first protest of the unit, Dec. 5, 1967, was peaceful, cadets were beaten in later incidents. Other rivalries with the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Air Force ROTC unit were more genial.

In January of 1991, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Barbara S. Pope sent a letter to then-President Richard Peck informing him of the Navy's decision to close UNM's NROTC unit. Later that year, at a 50th anniversary celebration of the unit, Bill Cunningham of the class of '46 moved that a history be written, and the motion passed unanimously. The history began July 28, 1992.


5.8 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)

Related Material

USS New Mexico photographs and printed material. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.
Finding Aid of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Collection, 1919-2010
Processed by CSWR Staff. Title changed 1/2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131