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Dedicated, “Luna Natatorium”, in 1918, the future site of the McBride Museum was named in memory of Lieutenant Antonio J. Luna ’13, who died from typhoid fever while fighting in the Mexican Border War.
Pictured right is the yearbook photo of LT. Antonio Luna in his cadet uniform. Pictured behind LT. Luna is the exterior of the new Natatorium featured on a vintage postcard which is housed in the Institute’s Archives.
Construction of the pool began in 1914 and was enclosed by 1917.
This building housed what became the first indoor swimming pool west of the Mississippi River. The natatorium was used for all water activities, as well as formal social events such as the Final Ball.
By 1981 the Luna Natatorium began its transition from a natatorium to the McBride Museum with the grand opening of the Godfrey Athletic Center. Pictured left is the interior of Luna Natatorium as it looked in the early 1930s.
Named in honor of General Douglas L. McBride, pictured far right, the McBride Museum opened to the public in 1985.
Showcasing a blend of the historical heritage of New Mexico Military Institute and its Corps of Cadets, the McBride Museum featured many exhibits of Cadet life, Institute history and a wide scope of military history, both U.S. and worldwide.
In 2006 the building was again renovated to become a dual-use building to include NMMI’s Enrollment and Development Center (EDC) along with the museum. In 2009 the building was renamed to Luna Hall. Luna Hall now houses the offices of the NMMI Foundation, the NMMI Alumni Association and the High School Advisors on the first floor. The McBride Museum is located on the second floor.
The museum exhibits concentrate on the history of New Mexico Military Institute. There are twelve exhibit spaces featuring various aspects of the history of the Institute. Such as, “The Horses of NMMI”, “Women of NMMI”, “Sports”, the “Early-Era Cadet Dorm Room” and “The NMMI Hall of Fame” which is an ever-growing collection of outstanding alumni which recognizes the achievements of NMMI graduates as they live out the motto: “Duty – Honor – Achievement.”
To learn more about the Institute’s past, please visit our virtual Historical Timeline here.
The McBride Museum is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., during regular work days. The McBride Museum may close for special events and holidays.
Call 1-575-624-8384 for more information.