Day 4: A Tradition of Opportunity

By on December 28, 2013

campus_mexico_LT copy 2Today is Day 4 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial year.

We continue The Top 10 Traditions that Form the Foundation of Miner Pride and Success.

4. A Tradition of Opportunity

Providing all students with excellent educational opportunities has long been UTEP’s special mission. The all-male mining school first admitted women in 1916, and in 1955 the college became the first in Texas to desegregate its undergraduate student body. A decade of dramatic enrollment growth in the 1960s shifted the student demographic to reflect the predominantly Hispanic population of the El Paso region and triggered a slow wave of social change across campus. Chicano student activists pushed for greater recognition in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1986 the state’s PASE program permitted students from Mexico to pay in-state tuition rates.

Today UTEP’s student population of more than 23,000 is 78% Hispanic and 54% female, with enrollments coming from all El Paso neighborhoods. Just as our 1966 championship team changed the face of college athletics, UTEP has redefined the pathway to social mobility through higher education. UTEP continues to show the nation that students’ destinies are determined neither by race, ethnicity, gender, nor zip code. All students deserve the opportunity to develop their talents and nourish their dreams.

Keith A. Erekson served as the Executive Director of UTEP's Centennial Celebration from December 2011 through May 2014. Learn more at