Day 41: The Centennial Museum

By on November 21, 2013

Centennial museum exteriorToday is Day 41 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial Year.

The Centennial Museum on the UTEP campus is currently serving as the official welcome center for the UTEP Centennial Celebration. Despite what its name may imply, the museum is not celebrating its centennial.

The museum was constructed in 1936 to celebrate the 100th anniversary, the centennial, of Texas Independence.  It’s the oldest museum in El Paso.

When funds became available for the construction of the museum, the argument over its location became a cause for controversy – the museum almost found its home downtown as part of the library and as part of the Magoffin House.

The campus of the Texas College of Mines was ultimately chosen because the college was better able to maintain the facility.

The Centennial Museum reflects the Bhutanese architectural style of the other buildings on campus, but it was the first building at UTEP to feature an exposed stone exterior.  It should have had a stucco exterior, but budget problems caused those plans to be scrapped.

During the Centennial Celebration, the museum is hosting a permanent exhibit on UTEP’s history, rotating exhibits on university-related topics, a Centennial Photo contest, walking tours of the campus, and much more.

Currently the museum is offering a tour of UTEP Athletics (Football & Track & Field) and will give participants an inside look into Holliday Hall, Kidd Field, the Larry K. Durham Center and the Sun Bowl. Tours are available by appointment at 2:30 p.m. every Monday, October through Jan. 6, 2014.

To schedule a tour, contact Maribel Villalva at 747-6669 or email her at

To read more about the Museum visit the UTEP Encyclopedia.

Jessica Molinar Muñoz is the director of communications for UTEP's Centennial Office.