As part of its Centennial Celebration, The University of Texas at El Paso in partnership with the El Paso International Airport unveiled an exhibit on the history and impact of UTEP and the airport on Friday, Jan. 24.
The exhibit’s three kiosks are designed to look like miniature Bhutanese-style towers that reflect the UTEP campus’ distinctive architecture. They stand more than 8 feet tall and are made of a composite material painted to have the same look and texture as UTEP’s buildings.
The kiosks’ 12 panels include photos and text describing UTEP’s arts and entertainment, athletics, community outreach, Centennial Celebration, Campus Transformation projects, architecture and connection with Bhutan. Other panels detail the history of the airport and UTEP and look toward the future of both institutions.
“We thank the El Paso International Airport and the City of El Paso for making their exhibit space available to us this year as The University of Texas at El Paso celebrates its 100th birthday,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “We hope airport visitors from El Paso and across the world will browse the kiosks and learn more about the history and impact of these two great institutions in our community, and their bright futures.”
Both the University and airport began as small, local institutions and over the years have expanded to become international hubs of activity and influence.
“We are honored to have The University of Texas at El Paso display and share with the traveling public their 100 Years Centennial Celebration exhibit,” said El Paso International Airport Director of Aviation Monica Lombraña. “We congratulate UTEP on 100 years of excellence and service to our community.”
Given the unique location of the University and airport on the U.S.-Mexico border, the kiosks present information in both English and Spanish. Beautiful photography provides passersby with visuals to accompany the many impressive facts and figures.
Some of these facts and figures include UTEP’s famous 1966 men’s basketball NCAA Championship win with an all African-American starting lineup, and how the Texas School of Mines (now UTEP) started with 27 students and now boasts an enrollment of more than 23,000 students, more than $83 million in research expenditures and an expanded mission to embrace both educational access and academic excellence.
The airport also has undergone radical changes, starting as a municipal airport and then expanding to have commercial tenants, mail routes and the first “new model” control tower in the nation.
Both institutions have physically expanded, changed their names and served the community by providing 21st century solutions to the growing and thriving Paso del Norte region.
The exhibit is located in the lobby before the security lines, between the check-in counters and baggage claim. It will be on display throughout 2014.
Nearly 3 million travelers pass through the El Paso International Airport annually.