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5K run to generate funds for School of Engineering scholarships

July 7, 2014 - By Kim Delker

The University of New Mexico School of Engineering is holding its first-ever 5K run to raise funds for an endowment for student scholarships.

The "Run Nerds Run! 5K" will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 at the University of New Mexico. The route will begin and end at the Centennial Engineering Center. All are open to sign up for the event. Registration is $25 before Aug. 29 and can be done online. The race is also on the calendar of

The run will raise funds for the Visionaries of Infinite Potential (VIP) endowment. Once endowed, the scholarships will provide tuition assistance to a full-time School of Engineering student with high academic merit and financial need.

UNM alumni Jake Hollowell, Daniel Garcia, Brian Hesch, and Noel King initially created the endowment. Virginia Hollowell, Judson Williams, Erik Neal, and Jason Hartman joined the cause and are helping to raise funds and organize the runs.

The group is also organizing a 5K run at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Herndon Community Center in Herndon, Virginia.

The fund-raising goal for each 5K run is $3,000. Information on both runs will be updated on the event's "VIP Run Nerds Run 5K" Facebook page.

Garcia said he's hopeful that the UNM event will be popular, as 5K runs on the UNM campus are not common. He hopes to have 100 to 150 people sign up, although up to about 300 can be accommodated.

Going along with the theme, participants are encouraged to dress like a nerd during the race. There will be prizes for the best nerd outfit, as well as fastest times, and most money pledged.

"We wanted to raise money in a fun way and chose the theme as a way to stand out," Garcia said.

The UNM alumni leading these events all received scholarships, and this is "a creative way to give more back than was given to us," said Hollowell.

Their goal is to raise a total of $25,000 by October 2015, and the returns will generate scholarships each year.

Those who cannot attend the 5K events can still help generate scholarship money by donating to the Visionaries of Infinite Potential (VIP) endowment. The event is also looking for sponsors. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Garcia at