The anticipation is building as thousands of UTEP students prepare to cross the graduation stage May 17 and start a new chapter in their lives.
“May 2014 is something very exciting,” said Salvador Fernandez, UTEP cellular and molecular biochemistry major. “It’s like an open door, like something special happening, special for UTEP, special for me.”
More than 2,800 graduates and candidates are eligible to participate in the University’s 132nd commencement exercises, marking the largest graduating class in UTEP’s 100-year history.
“It’s pretty neat to be a part of history for the school,” said Jennifer Korkosz, who will earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at UTEP’s 7 p.m. Spring Commencement ceremony at Sun Bowl Stadium.
In honor of UTEP’s Centennial year, all graduates and candidates are invited to participate in a special single Commencement ceremony that will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 17 inside Sun Bowl Stadium.
In a break from tradition, the UTEP Marching Miner Regiment will lead the procession of graduates from the Don Haskins Center to Sun Bowl Stadium, where they will enter the field through the south tunnel.
Graduates, candidates and their families will be joined in the stadium by special guests including The University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, M.D.; UT System Board of Regents Chair Paul Foster; and UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Pedro Reyes, Ph.D.
Pre-Commencement entertainment will include videos of some of the outstanding graduates narrated by UTEP alumna and local news anchor Estela Casas. The new documentary by Hank Cohen, called UTEP: The First 100 Years, also will be shown. Children will receive Paydirt Pete coloring books.
The Commencement ceremony also marks the first time graduates will receive a larger-sized diploma. The new diploma format will replace the smaller-sized diplomas going forward.
A fireworks display will conclude the ceremony.
“It’s UTEP’s birthday, we need to make it very fun, exciting and, of course, memorable for the next 100 years,” said Paulina Lopez, UTEP organizational and corporate communication major and Top Ten Senior.
Stadium gates will open to the public at 5:30 p.m.
Free parking with shuttle service beginning at 4:30 p.m. will be available on the south end of campus in the P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-4 lots and the Sun Bowl Parking Garage. The Glory Road Parking Garage will have spaces available for a fee. Guests also may park for free in lots S-3 and S-4 along Sun Bowl Drive near the University Avenue roundabout.
ADA parking with shuttle service beginning at 4:30 p.m. will be in lot R-6 near the Helen of Troy softball field. ADA parking also will be available in lot P-8 near Glory Field.
UTEP has partnered with KFOX-TV 14 to stream the ceremony live from Sun Bowl Stadium. To view, visit news.utep.edu/?page_id=19951. The KFOX livestream can be accessed from any home computer, mobile device or tablet.
For more suggestions and tips, visit the University Commencement website at http://www.utep.edu/commencement.
Media parking will be available for live trucks in the P-5 lot south of the Sun Bowl tunnel. Other media vehicles may park in lot P-7 near the stadium press box off Sun Bowl Drive, or across Sun Bowl Drive in P-6.
Pre-Commencement check-in for graduates will be held from 4-6 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center. Candidates will be available for interviews at that time.
6 p.m. – Glory Road will close to traffic for candidate procession.
6:15 p.m. – Candidates will begin to walk from the Don Haskins Center to Sun Bowl Stadium via Glory Road. The UTEP Marching Miner Regiment will lead the procession.
7 p.m. – Candidates will enter Sun Bowl Stadium through the south tunnel to begin the ceremony.
Before Saturday’s ceremony, nearly 70 spring and summer doctoral candidates will be hooded during a ceremony from 2-3:30 p.m. Friday, May 16 in Magoffin Auditorium. The ceremony will be followed by a reception at the Centennial Museum from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Graduates will be available for interviews at 1:30 p.m. at Magoffin Auditorium or at the reception afterward.