Centennial Commencement to be a Special Celebration

By on May 16, 2014

For Tanya Sue Maestas, graduating during UTEP’s Centennial year is a special opportunity.

“We’re representing 100 years of tradition and excellence that UTEP has strived for, and we’re also making history,” she said. “The Centennial graduation is history in the making. We’re celebrating a legacy that UTEP has created.”

Maestas served as the Student Government Association president in 2012-13 and has been named a UTEP Top 10 Senior for 2014. She will earn her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences May 17 as one of more than 2,800 students eligible to participate in the University’s 132nd Commencement exercises.

The event marks the largest graduating class in UTEP’s 100-year history.

“May 2014 is something very exciting,” said Salvador Fernandez, UTEP cellular and molecular biochemistry major. He will earn his degree at the age of 20 after participating in an Early College High School program. “It’s like an open door, like something special happening; special for UTEP, special for me.”

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 a Top 10 Senior.

Sun Bowl 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, visitwww.utep.edu. The KFOX livestream can be accessed from any home computer, mobile device or tablet.

For more suggestions and tips, visit the University Commencement website athttp://www.utep.edu/commencement.

Published 5/16/2014 at http://news.utep.edu/?p=24858

Veronique J. Masterson is UTEP's public information officer and may be contacted at 915-747-7503 or news@utep.edu.