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Troubled NMMI alumni break rank

June 21, 2013 • Local News

A grave internal struggle brewing amid two camps inside New Mexico Military Institute’s banished Alumni Association threatens to pull apart what’s left of the embattled group that already faces a legal lock down by the Institute.

But despite the conflict, a small band of Association board members continue to plow ahead, spending as much as $300,000 in alumni contributions to pay for a newly rented office, a lawyer, a new executive director and a public relations firm.

Some Association members are concerned rogue members are quickly spending $1 million in unrestricted money meant to benefit cadets and NMMI without the support of their peers.

The Institute sued the Association June 10, asking the Chaves County District Court to immediately freeze all Association accounts until a receiver is appointed, including the unrestricted funds and an additional $5.2 million in restricted funds meant to be allocated to cadet scholarships, NMMI programs specific to donor requests.

“I estimate they’ve spent already $200,00 to $300,000 in unrestricted funds,” said one alumnus, Jerry Phifer, of northern Virginia. “They’re spending so much money each month that they’re going to exhaust the unrestricted funds if they keep spending at the current rate and I don’t want that to happen.”

The Alumni Association, now headed by appointed President John Phinizy, was banned from its on-campus office in late April after it failed to meet a deadline to meet financial reporting standards it had agreed to in order to operate. NMMI Login to read more

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