The University honored 86 people, programs, organizations and institutions during a trio of events Sept. 30 starting with an afternoon convocation ceremony in Magoffin Auditorium, a reception at the Centennial Museum, and a VIP dinner at Hoover House. Approximately 400 people attended the ceremony and received a history lesson of the many varied partners who helped the University and its students to achieve artistically, culturally, economically and academically.
People, programs, organizations and institutions recognized at Convocation:
1966 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Team
Twelve players – Jerry Armstrong, Orsten Artis, Louis Baudoin, Willie Cager, Harry Flournoy, Bobby Joe Hill, David Lattin, Dick Myers, David Palacio, Togo Railey, Nevil Shed and Willie Worsley – together with their now legendary coach, Don Haskins, walked onto the basketball court in College Park, Md., to face the University of Kentucky – and forever changed the face of college athletics in the United States. During a time when America was deeply divided on the issue of race, Texas Western College’s Miner basketball team, with its five black starting players and decisive victory over the all-white Kentucky Wildcats, demonstrated that success, like talent, is color-blind. The Miners’ story was immortalized in the 2006 Walt Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer film, Glory Road.
American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO)
Organized in 1899, ASARCO processed the mineral riches mined throughout Mexico and the U.S. Southwest through the end of the 20th century at its El Paso smelter, once the second largest in the world. In response to the growing demand for mining industry professionals and the opportunity to advance the economic development of the region, the State School of Mines and Metallurgy was founded in 1914. ASARCO proved to be a welcoming neighbor when the School of Mines moved to its current location near the smelter in 1916, donating equipment and land, and providing hands-on learning opportunities for generations of engineering students and jobs for alumni.
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP)
ADP, one of the world’s largest payroll and comprehensive human resources outsourcing service providers, established its Solution Center in El Paso in 2006 after a nationwide site selection process. Central to the company’s decision to locate in El Paso was UTEP’s commitment to impact education at all levels in the community. Dedicated to elevating the communities in which it operates, ADP partnered with UTEP to address the acute shortage of highly skilled secondary math and science teachers locally and nationwide. With support from ADP, UTEP launched the Math and Science Teachers (MaST) Academy, which has become a business-higher education partnership model for responding to this critical national imperative.
Kingdom of Bhutan
The 1917 decision to make Bhutanese dzongs the inspiration for UTEP’s signature architecture has served as a platform for a unique, rich, and increasingly dynamic cultural exchange between the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and The University of Texas at El Paso. UTEP is honored to be the home of the lhakhang donated to the people of the United States by the Royal Government of Bhutan in 2008 for re-construction on the UTEP campus, where it will serve as a centerpiece of the Centennial Plaza. The many Bhutanese tapestries, woodcarvings and other artifacts on display at UTEP, together with two extraordinary performances of Opera Bhutan commemorating UTEP’s Centennial – in Thimphu, Bhutan in 2013 and El Paso in 2014 – have greatly strengthened the bonds between our cultures and people. Especially satisfying for all of us at UTEP is the growing number of Bhutanese students, whose presence on our campus reflects the confidence of Bhutanese parents and government leaders in the high quality of UTEP’s educational programs and whose future success as UTEP alumni will ensure continued and close collaborations going forward.
The Boeing Company
The Boeing Company’s commitment to the preparation of a 21st century workforce and sustained investment in UTEP’s access and excellence mission − enhancing academic and research programs in Engineering, Business and Education; supporting students through scholarship, internship and co-op programs while they are enrolled; and enthusiastically employing them once they graduate – exemplifies personalized corporate and community engagement. Local Boeing Company executives devote their time and talent to serve on advisory boards in the colleges of Engineering and Business Administration and make frequent visits to the UTEP campus to interact with students and faculty. Boeing also played a leading role in helping launch UTEP’s Accelerated MBA Program and continues to seek ways to actively support our overall mission.
As the producer of more than 60 films and television shows over the past four decades, Jerry Bruckheimer has left an enduring legacy on the landscape of movies and television. In 2006, he focused his lens on Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins and the Texas Western College (now UTEP) basketball team that went on to break the color barrier and win the 1966 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The movie Glory Road, produced in partnership with Walt Disney Pictures, resonated with a new audience of sports fans across the U.S. who learned about UTEP’s early role in providing equal opportunity in collegiate competition and in the classroom.
Richard Fenner Burges
In 1913, El Paso attorney and Texas State Representative Richard Fenner Burges was appointed Chair of the Legislature’s Mines and Metallurgy Committee. That important position enabled him to successfully advocate for and guide passage of the legislative bill establishing the State School of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP) despite strong opposition from other members of the House – including his own brother, William H. Burges. As a fervent supporter of the School, Richard Burges served on several citizen committees, including the relocation committee formed after a fire in 1916 destroyed the School’s original campus. He also mediated the process that assigned the Bhutanese designs of Gibson & Robertson to the renowned Trost & Trost architectural firm for the first four buildings on the new campus. In recognition of his contributions to UTEP’s establishment and architectural legacy, Burges Hall bears his name.
President George W. Bush and Laura Bush
• George W. Bush
During his terms both as Governor of Texas and as President of the United States, George W. Bush often aimed a spotlight on UTEP’s outstanding achievements – both old and new – and provided UTEP a platform for promoting the success of our access and excellence mission and its importance as a higher education model for ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness. In 1998, he was the first Texas Governor to speak at a UTEP commencement ceremony, and when he became President, he honored UTEP President Diana Natalicio with an appointment to his Education Transition Advisory Team. In 2006, President Bush also warmly welcomed the 1966 Texas Western College NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship team to the White House for the first time to commemorate there the 40th anniversary of the historic game that accelerated the pace of desegregation in intercollegiate athletics.
• Laura Bush
Laura Bush can claim UTEP alumni status, having attended UTEP (then Texas Western College) for one semester in the summer of 1965. She was inducted into UTEP’s chapter of the Mortar Board Honor Society in 1998, together with her mother, Jenna Louise Hawkins Welch, who from 1939-41 attended UTEP (then the Texas College of Mines). A former teacher and librarian, Laura Bush shared her passion for books and reading with audiences at UTEP and at libraries and schools in the region, and encouraged parents, teachers and librarians to ensure that all children be taught to read. She also helped enhance the visibility of the richly diverse culture and arts of this border region, particularly the works of Tom Lea, José Cisneros and Luis Jimenez, all highly respected artists with strong ties to UTEP.
Gobierno del Estado de Chihuahua
One of UTEP’s most valued partners in the success of Mexican students at UTEP is the Government of the State of Chihuahua, which has developed a robust scholarship program for public university students in that state to enroll at UTEP. Since its inception in 2001, this program has awarded more than $3.2 million in scholarships to 339 Mexican students. To date, 256 of them have already completed their degrees at UTEP, 156 of those at the graduate and doctoral levels. Among them are faculty members from Chihuahuan universities who earned their doctoral degrees at UTEP and are now applying their knowledge and skills to build academic and research program capacity at their home institutions – a remarkably successful example of strategic infrastructure development to improve the lives of residents and enhance the economy on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Community en Acción
Strongly embracing education as the key to the Paso del Norte region’s future prosperity, Hispanic business leaders from all walks of professional life in the community – including many proud UTEP alumni – have been consistently supportive of UTEP’s access and excellence mission. Since 2011, the network of Hispanic community leaders, Community en Acción, has been actively engaged in a variety of education-related activities, including sponsorship of the Young Achievers Forum that annually brings 1,000 sixth-graders and their parents to the UTEP campus to experience college life first hand and to motivate them to raise their aspirations and make a commitment to prepare for and complete a university degree. CEA’s support also encourages students through scholarship awards and engagement in CEA-sponsored community events and through their growing engagement in PK-12 school policy and governance issues.
Frank B. Cotton Trust
In 1937, the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy was bequeathed a transformational gift of land – thousands of acres across West Texas – through the estate of Boston industrialist Frank B. Cotton. The trust supported the creation of an applied arts department, helping to usher in a period of extraordinary programmatic diversification. Today, the endowment continues to generate substantial income in support of academic excellence campus-wide. Among the most highly visible expressions of this gift are the Indio Mountains Research Station in Hudspeth County, supporting research and instruction in biology, geology, anthropology and environmental science, and the Cotton Memorial Building, home to UTEP’s Department of Communication and public radio station, KTEP-FM.
Harrison Montgomery “Hal” Daugherty, Jr.
Late El Paso banker, Hal Daugherty, Jr., represented the fourth generation of a highly respected family of El Paso business and civic leaders who were dedicated to the advancement of what is now UTEP – including his grandfather, Charles N. Bassett, one of the original 80 investors who committed funds to establish the State School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1914. Sustaining that enthusiasm, Hal Daugherty worked to support UTEP’s aspirations to expand its doctoral degree program offerings and utilized his position as a member and Chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in the late ’80s and early ’90s to underscore the importance of increasing access to graduate degrees for residents of the Paso del Norte region. Today, UTEP offers 76 master’s and 20 doctoral degrees.
Del Sol Medical Center/Las Palmas Medical Center/Hospital Corporation of America, Inc.
Embedded in the partnership between UTEP and HCA’s Las Palmas and Del Sol medical centers is an enduring commitment to the people of the Paso del Norte region. Together, UTEP, Las Palmas and Del Sol have developed creative new models of university-corporate health care collaboration focused on the preparation of culturally competent health care professionals – confident in their knowledge and skills and compassionate in their service. Numerous joint ventures, including the creation of a state-of-the-art simulation teaching laboratory at Del Sol Medical Center, and funding to recruit and retain doctorally qualified nursing faculty at UTEP, have expanded UTEP’s capacity to increase the number of health care providers and improve access to quality care for the residents of our region.
Larry K. Durham
A 1966 graduate of Texas Western College (now UTEP), Larry K. Durham has had a major impact on his alma mater as a student-athlete, alumnus and generous donor. As a Miner football player in 1963, he scored the first touchdown in the first game ever played in the Sun Bowl Stadium. Later, as a proud and highly successful UTEP alumnus, Larry together with his wife Patricia invested generously in UTEP to help ensure the success of our academic quest for Tier One and sustain our profile as a competitive force in NCAA Division I athletics – providing support toward construction of a state-of-the-art athletic training facility. Today, the magnificent Larry K. Durham Sports Center, which includes strength and conditioning stations, a sports medicine center and a Hall of Champions, stands proudly over the north end of the Sun Bowl Stadium, playing a vital role in athletic recruiting and enabling UTEP student athletes to reach their full athletic and academic potential.
Education Service Center – Region 19
The steadfast collaboration of Education Service Center – Region 19, through the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, has helped elevate the expectations and pre-college preparation of all young people in this region for the successful attainment of a higher education degree. This outstanding partnership has positively impacted the quality of professional development offered to El Paso area teachers and administrators; given life to high standards of performance in classrooms throughout the region; sustained a culture of accountability among all stakeholders for the academic success of PK-16 students; and brought about desired systemic change in El Paso area schools and districts. As this transformative work has succeeded in improving educational outcomes across our regional community, it has also placed El Paso in a national spotlight as a model for successful PK-16 urban school reform and innovation.
City of El Paso
Throughout UTEP’s history, the City of El Paso has helped provide the public infrastructure for the University’s growth and changing needs, supporting its role as a major human and economic development engine for the city and surrounding region. Services and support from the city have ranged from a 1936 donation of land for the construction of the Centennial Museum on the campus, to increased public and private transportation access for UTEP’s largely commuter student population, facilitation of UTEP’s interface with surrounding neighborhoods, and, in 2010, the construction of the Glory Road Transfer Center and Parking Garage. The partnership between UTEP and the City of El Paso, and the vibrant and supportive climate that it has fostered, has increased the capacity of both to contribute more effectively to the region’s prosperity and quality of life.
El Paso Community College (EPCC)
The El Paso Community College and UTEP have forged what is consistently recognized as one of the most successful university-community college partnerships in the United States, effectively achieving a shared goal of increasing higher education aspirations and attainment in the El Paso region. Because more than 75% of UTEP students have taken one or more courses at EPCC, efforts to guide more El Paso area students toward baccalaureate and graduate degree completion clearly require creative collaboration with our community college partners and a strong technological bridge connecting the student information systems of both institutions to support students’ seamless movement between UTEP and EPCC. Recent UTEP-EPCC collaborations on reverse transfer, dual credit and Early College High Schools have taken our work to the next level, enabling us not only to successfully remove barriers to all levels of access, but also to greatly accelerate student degree completions.
El Paso County
The partnership between UTEP and El Paso County, rooted in a shared commitment to the prosperity and quality of life of county residents, dates from the university’s earliest years. Among the campus infrastructure improvements that received support from the county was the construction of Holliday Hall in 1933. El Paso County and UTEP also partnered in the development of the Sun Bowl Stadium, home to the Miner football team and the nation’s second-oldest bowl game, which has brought national visibility to El Paso and the UTEP campus. Construction of the original 30,000-seat Sun Bowl was completed on UTEP property in 1963, expansion to add 20,000 seats was completed with UTEP funding in 1982, and full ownership of the facility was transferred by the County to UTEP in 2001. The County of El Paso has also partnered with UTEP in a variety of other initiatives including support for students’ professional career preparation through internships and clinical education experiences at county agencies.
El Paso Downtown Lions Club
Founded in 1923, the El Paso Downtown Lions Club has long shared with UTEP a commitment to give all students in El Paso the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential. With a firm belief in UTEP’s access and excellence mission and diehard devotion to Miner athletic programs, the Downtown Lions Club has sustained its standing as one of the most active civic groups in support of UTEP. Members established and continue to augment a scholarship endowment for student athletes, and a second endowment to support the long-term success of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The Downtown Lions also sponsor a UTEP campus-based University Lions Club, to encourage student civic engagement, philanthropy and the development of future community leaders.
El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has championed education at all levels and tirelessly promoted diversity in workplaces and classrooms across the community, emphasizing the value proposition of fostering opportunities for El Pasoans of all backgrounds and ages. The Chamber’s support of scholarships and its promotion of creative partnerships with UTEP have contributed significantly to increasing educational attainment for both traditional and returning adult students. Additionally, the Chamber’s strong emphasis on community engagement has enhanced the University’s commitment to expand its outreach to promote economic prosperity for the residents of the Paso del Norte region.
El Paso Independent School District (EPISD)
The El Paso Independent School District’s long history of enhancing the educational preparation of generations of entering UTEP students, and its employment of UTEP-prepared teachers, has helped shape the region’s closed educational loop and shared commitment to academic excellence. The 20+-year partnership of UTEP and EPISD in the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence strongly reflects the district’s continued commitment to increased educational aspirations and attainment among all talented young people across the Paso del Norte region. A recent collaborative effort to encourage and support teachers in earning master’s degrees – a requirement for teaching in dual-credit programs – is a pace-setting initiative to continue building the district’s capacity to offer El Paso’s most highly motivated young people with accelerated educational experiences, and the knowledge and skills to excel in higher education and in 21st century professional careers.
El Paso Junior College
UTEP’s dramatic growth in degree programs over the past century – from a single mining degree in 1914 to more than 160 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs today – was jumpstarted by the 1927 merger of the El Paso Junior College with the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy. Founded in 1920 by the El Paso School District, the Junior College offered teacher education and liberal arts classes. The merger resulted upon the school district’s appeal to The University of Texas and the Texas Legislature to permit the expansion of TCM’s curriculum to include teacher education, as well as liberal arts, business and science courses.
El Paso Opera
The El Paso Opera Company’s close collaboration with UTEP – most recently revealed in the highly acclaimed Opera Bhutan production and in the selection of Opera UTEP as the official chorus for El Paso Opera – has greatly enhanced opportunities for faculty, music students, music lovers and the community to enjoy a wide array of cultural experiences. Through outreach, education, artistic offerings, and the cultivation of rising talent in this area, El Paso Opera has successfully increased appreciation for opera and its rich heritage. The confident staging and performance of the world’s great operatic treasures are not only sources of civic pride, but create a standard of performance and engagement that truly captivates, encourages and enables aspiring performers to achieve their dreams.
El Paso Pro-Musica
El Paso Pro-Musica has delighted and educated audiences in this region since 1977. Featuring world-class musicians including UTEP faculty and student performers, the annual concert season of chamber music and the El Paso Chamber Music Festival have earned national and international acclaim for extraordinary artistic excellence and inspired programming. Now under the artistic direction of world renowned cellist and UTEP faculty member Zuill Bailey, El Paso Pro-Musica continues its tradition of excellence in expanding opportunities for people of all ages not only to enjoy superb musical performances but also to learn more about chamber music through its creative outreach programs.
El Paso Symphony Orchestra
The artistic collaboration between UTEP and the El Paso Symphony Orchestra – the oldest performing arts organization in El Paso and the longest continuously performing symphony orchestra in Texas – is a treasured tradition. UTEP’s Department of Music and EPSO share common goals in continually striving to enhance this region’s cultural vitality and quality of life through exceptional programming, and recruiting and developing exciting new talent. Current symphony members include both UTEP alumni and past and present members of the faculty. Among many facets of our shared history was the joint UTEP-EPSO appointment of the late Maestro Abraham Chavez, Jr., revered Professor of Music at UTEP during his long tenure as conductor and concert-master of the EPSO and now, thanks to EPSO, an endowed professorship to honor Maestro Chavez is established in UTEP’s Department of Music.
Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit information resource on the status of Latino educational achievement, shares UTEP’s commitment to enhance Latino student success across all disciplines and at all levels. Drawing on national data sources and the results of its outcomes-based research on best practices, Excelencia’s initiatives to identify and honor programs at the forefront of advancing educational achievement for Latino students have had national impact. Excelencia’s recognition of UTEP’s Master of Business Administration program as the largest AACSB-accredited producer of Latino/a MBAs in the United States amplifies UTEP’s role as a change-leader on the national stage in successfully fostering diversity in higher education programs at all levels, and in the professional careers for which they serve as preparation.
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch
The El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which also celebrates its Centennial this year, has greatly enhanced the understanding and amplified the voice of the Paso del Norte region by conducting research on regional economic conditions and serving as a resource for those engaged in community and economic development. Bringing together some of the nation’s most critical, creative and strategic minds, UTEP and the El Paso Branch have long collaborated to optimize the flow of ideas and transform those ideas into coherent policies and strategies for the Paso del Norte region’s growth and development, which in turn are serving as building blocks for North American integration and enhanced global competitiveness.
The legacies of the two primary drivers of El Paso’s growth and economic advancement over the past century, Fort Bliss and UTEP, are inextricably linked. Each has brought individuals to El Paso from across the U.S. and beyond to experience new challenges and opportunities, and both have assumed leadership positions in our rapidly changing 21st century global community. UTEP’s original campus, upon its founding in 1914 as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy, was adjacent to the Army post. Since then, UTEP and Fort Bliss have sustained close collaborations on a broad range of initiatives ranging from UTEP courses and programs offered on the base and internships at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, to UTEP’s Army ROTC program, UTEP research at the desalination plant at Fort Bliss, and the Military Student Success Center on the UTEP campus that serves the more than 1,500 currently enrolled military-affiliated students.
Paul Foster, Honorary Chair of UTEP’s 2014 Commission, is well-known for his extraordinary record of results-driven, team-building leadership in the Paso del Norte region. His generous investment and active engagement in El Paso’s economic development and quality of life has included support of academic and athletic excellence at UTEP, including gifts to create endowed graduate fellowships and a distinguished chair in the College of Business Administration, and to spearhead the construction of the Foster • Stevens Basketball Center. In addition, he has been tireless in dedicating his time and talent to representing El Paso in Austin and other key settings across Texas and beyond. A former member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and, more recently, member and chair of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, he has worked diligently to promote both access and excellence, sharing a strong conviction that a quality higher education should be affordable and accessible to all talented and motivated students, whatever their backgrounds or financial means.
Josephine Clardy Fox
Josephine Clardy Fox’s lifelong devotion to the fine arts, scholarship and El Paso culminated in a gift to UTEP that over more than four decades has enriched the educational opportunities and quality of life for tens of thousands of UTEP students and members of the local community. Fox’s estate, bequeathed to UTEP upon her death in 1970, included her collection of fine art objects and rare books and was valued at more than $3 million ($18 million in 2014 dollars) – at that time the largest gift in university history. Her bequest has contributed substantially to the Art Department, Centennial Museum, University Library, Oral History Institute and scholarships. UTEP’s Fox Fine Arts Center was named in her honor in 1978.
Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce
UTEP’s numerous and sustained collaborations with the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce to advance a shared vision for the future of the El Paso community are built on a partnership that dates to the university’s very beginning. In April 1913, Texas Governor O.B. Colquitt signed the bill establishing the State School of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP), but the school could not become a reality without buildings. The Chamber galvanized the community, and 80 businesses and individuals with great vision who cared deeply about the city stepped forward to provide $50,000 – the equivalent of $1.2 million today – to purchase facilities for the school, which opened in September 1914. The Chamber’s early commitment to education as a driver of economic development has been sustained over the past 100 years and is evident today in its many initiatives that support educational institutions at all levels across the El Paso community.
H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop
A tradition of support for UTEP began with the establishment of the H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop family business in 1958. Since then, H&H Car Wash has very nearly become a UTEP institution, with its eclectic and iconic elements of the University’s history always on display in the landmark business near Downtown El Paso. When the business was featured as a local legend on CBS’ The Early Show, H&H co-owner Maynard Haddad proudly wore his UTEP shirt while surrounded by UTEP sports memorabilia. The regular inclusion of UTEP in H&H television ads and Maynard’s booming voice in support of Miner Athletics embody the community spirit that unites UTEP and the people of the Paso del Norte region as an extended family, proud of our history and heritage and confident in our shared future.
Harold Hahn accepted an appointment to serve as a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2010, the year after UTEP was designated one of seven emerging research universities in Texas. Now Chairman of the THECB, his knowledge of higher education issues in Texas and beyond, his confidence in UTEP’s future potential, and his support of UTEP’s national research university goals have accelerated the pursuit of our aspirations to recruit highly accomplished students and faculty, build capacity through major infrastructure investments, compete aggressively for external research funding, respond to regional needs and opportunities, and pursue our vision of a vital, globally competitive Paso del Norte region. UTEP’s progress toward becoming a national research university owes much to the committed leadership of Harold Hahn.
The Heritage Commission
The Heritage Commission’s decades-long commitment to honor and preserve UTEP’s history is embodied not only in artifacts and memorabilia, but in the many hours that volunteers devote to cataloguing and caring for treasured mementos donated by Miners across the globe. The Heritage House, a former campus residence and now the repository of many of the finest and most iconic items from UTEP’s past, is staffed by members of the Heritage Commission who make the displays available to visiting guests in a warm and welcoming environment and serve as valued sources of information about UTEP’s distinguished history.
For nearly 15 years, HispanicBusiness, an online media company, has been recognizing graduate-level programs at U.S. colleges and universities such as UTEP for their success in developing innovative strategies to attract and retain Hispanic students. As Texas and the U.S. continue to experience sweeping demographic changes, efforts to assure higher education access and success for Hispanics have become increasingly critical to our sustained economic competitiveness and quality of life. HispanicBusiness’ important work has helped both to benchmark progress and highlight advancements still required to achieve this national imperative. In the process, it has placed a bright spotlight on UTEP’s national leadership in supporting the advanced educational attainment of Hispanic graduate students in business and engineering.
The Robert and Louisiana Hoover Family
For nearly half a century, UTEP has enjoyed its ties with the Robert Hoover family which began with Louisiana Hoover’s gift in 1965 of their beautiful mansion located in El Paso’s historic Kern Place. Originally built in 1917 by former El Paso mayor Richard Dudley, the home now known as the “Hoover House” has served as the official residence of five UTEP presidents. It has been a welcoming venue for a variety of University events and the hundreds of dignitaries and thousands of UTEP students, faculty, staff, friends and supporters who have participated in them.
Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP)
The partnership between UTEP and the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso has demonstrated over many years that talent can be found across all El Paso community neighborhoods. Affordable housing provided for Texas Western College and UTEP students through HACEP has enabled generations of students to overcome financial challenges, pursue their university degrees and launch highly successful careers. UTEP and HACEP have also collaborated to raise the educational aspirations of school-aged children residing in public housing, inspiring many of them to become the first in their families to pursue a college degree. Through the co-sponsored HOT (Higher Opportunities Thrive) Summer Program, the children are invited to participate in campus programs that expose them to university life, heighten their awareness of the benefits of higher education, and encourage them to believe in and pursue their dreams for a brighter future.
James R. Huffines
James R. Huffines served as a member of The University of Texas System Board of Regents from 2003 to 2010, including two terms as its Chairman. In that role, he strongly supported UTEP’s vision of becoming the first national research (Tier One) university with a 21st century student demographic. The most visible legacy of his commitment to UTEP’s high aspirations is the state-of-the art Health Sciences and Nursing Building, which was completed in 2011 with support from The University of Texas System’s Permanent University Fund, providing capacity to achieve new levels of excellence in nursing and health professions education and research in this historically underserved binational region. In recognition of the extraordinary impact of his commitment to UTEP and its mission, James Huffines was honored with the UTEP President’s Medal in 2011.
In 2010, UTEP created a new award – a President’s Medal – to recognize individuals who display extraordinary service to UTEP’s mission and to the community we serve. The first of these medals was awarded to El Paso business and civic leader and philanthropist Woody Hunt, whose vision for the future prosperity and quality of life of the Paso del Norte region has always rested firmly on heightened educational expectations and attainment. Recognizing the critical importance of El Paso’s increased visibility at state and national levels, Woody Hunt has been extremely generous in dedicating his valuable time and talents – and his relentless passion and work ethic – to play leadership roles in a variety of state and national settings, including The University of Texas System Board of Regents, the Texas Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, and the national board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, where he is contributing significantly to developing a new culture of data-driven public education policymaking. He also has been one of UTEP’s most engaged and generous friends, strategically supporting the key role the University must play in the future of our region, state and nation through such initiatives as the Institute for Policy and Economic Development and the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness.
Hunt Family Foundation
The Hunt Family Foundation has built on the extraordinary foresight, optimism and generosity of three generations of Hunt family members who have believed in the capacity of The University of Texas at El Paso to serve as a valuable resource for research, economic development and enhanced quality of life in the Paso del Norte region. The Foundation’s visionary philanthropy has been a major catalyst in propelling UTEP toward attaining its national research university (Tier One) goal. Gifts to establish the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, the Marcus Jonathan Hunt Graduate Fellows Program in Business, and an Endowed Chair in international business are among the many ways in which the Hunt Family’s support has proved to be both highly strategic and exceptionally generous.
For decades, IBM has been UTEP’s committed partner in research capacity-building and educational outreach to increase the diversity, versatility and excellence of our nation’s engineering workforce. Through such initiatives as IBM’s Shared University Research (SUR) programs, an array of research projects and opportunities have been facilitated that have helped accelerate UTEP’s progress toward achieving our national research university (Tier One) goal. Consistently recruiting UTEP graduates, IBM has demonstrated its strong and continued confidence in the excellence of a UTEP education and in the capacity of our alumni to contribute to innovative research and business productivity with high potential to enhance their – and our nation’s – global competitiveness.
UTEP faculty and staff have had a long and productive history of partnering with individuals and institutions in our sister city of Ciudad Juárez to attain shared goals and leverage mutualities of interest between our two cities and countries. Our many cultural exchanges, educational and scholarship programs, and research collaborations have enhanced economic development and quality of life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Thousands of Juárez students have been offered access to expanded higher education opportunities at UTEP, earning their university degrees and contributing to UTEP’s vibrant global learning environment. UTEP’s unique partnership with colleagues and organizations in Ciudad Juárez has become a model for promoting the potential of U.S.-Mexico-Canada collaboration and will continue to serve as a catalyst for the increased global competitiveness of an integrated North America.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
In 1991, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation joined with UTEP to establish the El Paso Institute for Community Health in partnership with Texas Tech’s medical school in El Paso and the Lower Valley Task Force-sponsored health clinics in underserved areas of El Paso County. The initial investment by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the progress made toward serving poor and vulnerable populations in the Paso del Norte region through the Institute laid the foundation for the establishment in 1998 of UTEP’s Center for Civic Engagement, which has greatly expanded UTEP students’ volunteer service to the El Paso community and their opportunities for hands-on learning in a variety of regional settings. Today, scores of UTEP faculty members have augmented their course syllabi to include projects, reports and other learning outcomes that deepen student learning while responding to the needs of non-governmental organizations, agencies and schools throughout the region.
KTSM was UTEP’s valued partner in a number of early achievements when broadcast media began to radically change how Americans received their news and entertainment. KTSM helped launch at UTEP one of the first academic programs in radio at a U.S. university and establish what eventually became KTEP-FM, the first public radio station in Texas. On Jan. 16, 1942, the first radio broadcast from UTEP (then the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy) was transmitted by KTSM from a studio located in the Centennial Museum. Shortly thereafter, supported by KTSM, the Texas College of Mines became in 1944 one of only three colleges in the United States to offer radio as a major course of study. KTSM provided the training facilities, instructors and annual scholarships for those students interested in radio as a career. Through rapid changes in media technology, robust growth in enrollment and expansion of academic program options, the reputation of UTEP’s Communication Department rests proudly on the pioneering efforts of KTSM and the many distinguished graduates who have enjoyed highly successful broadcast media careers.
Since its founding in 1970, Las Artistas has been an inspiration to El Paso and southern New Mexico arts communities and a valued UTEP partner. As the organization has grown, its commitment to aspiring art students has grown with it. Through its annual juried art and fine crafts show, Las Artistas raises money for UTEP scholarships and provides a creative venue for artists – including UTEP students and faculty – to exhibit their work and interact with other accomplished artists in a variety of media. Las Artistas has had a significant impact on the quality of life in the greater El Paso community, broadening opportunities for artistic expression and appreciation among all age groups.
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
El Paso’s local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens has a long history of providing academic support for students of all ages in the greater El Paso area. At UTEP, LULAC has provided grant-in-aid scholarships to deserving students and collaborated on outreach events to raise the educational aspirations and attainment of middle-school children. A major turning point in UTEP’s development occurred in the late 1980s when LULAC joined the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) to challenge graduate program constraints and funding disparities at Texas public universities along the Texas-Mexico border. That lawsuit had the effect of opening the door to state authorization for expansion of UTEP’s doctoral degree program offerings – from a single program in Geology in 1990 to 20 programs across all UTEP colleges today.
From endowed scholarships for engineering majors to the superb Lockheed Martin Mechanical Engineering Lab on the UTEP campus, UTEP’s committed partner Lockheed Martin actively seeks ways to sustain and amplify the strengths of the University’s outstanding engineering programs. In addition to the guidance and support that Lockheed Martin executives and professionals contribute to UTEP advisory boards, the company’s participation in the University’s many PK-12 outreach activities helps to ignite pre-college students’ interest and imagination about careers in engineering, and their sponsorship of design challenges, such as the SAE Baja off-road vehicle design competition, enables UTEP students to participate in the creative transition from idea to reality for innovative new methods and applications in engineering.
The countdown to UTEP’s 100th Anniversary in 2014 was launched in 2010 with the public announcement of the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history – the $200 million Centennial Campaign. The response from our alumni, partners and friends has been overwhelming, including the largest gift ever from a UTEP alumnus, Mike Loya, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1977 and now serves as President of Vitol, Inc. His commitment of $10 million to support the integration of engineering and business education at UTEP, through the Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce, will have a powerful and sustained impact on UTEP’s program development and enhance students’ preparation for successful professional careers. With this gift, and the matching funds it generated, UTEP also took a huge step forward in its quest to become the first national research university with a 21st century student demographic.
MAES: Latinos in Science and Engineering
MAES was founded in Los Angeles in 1974 to increase the number of Mexican Americans and other Hispanics in technical and scientific fields. Through a long and valued partnership with MAES, UTEP is setting the pace nationally for achieving the demographic transformation of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce. Three UTEP alumni have headed MAES as national president, including current president Will Davis, and all of them have contributed significantly to the development of a national network supporting the professional development and success of Latino students at UTEP and colleges and universities across the U.S. A number of regional and national MAES conferences and seminars have been held on the UTEP campus, enhancing the University’s image as the leader in producing highly competitive and diverse engineering graduates ready to lead technological advances in industries across the U.S. and beyond.
As a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Regional Education Board, and Chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities during the two-term Presidency of George W. Bush, Adair Margo’s powerful promotion of our unique border region’s assets and her advocacy for its educational needs brought attention to and enhanced UTEP’s development. She and her family’s philanthropic support of UTEP over more than three decades has strengthened teaching, research and creative activity in programs ranging from Art to Nursing to Business. The Tom Lea Graduate Research Fellows Program, named for the noted El Paso artist, and the acquisition of Tom Lea’s papers and selected works of art are but two examples of the fruits of Adair Margo’s very special commitment to UTEP and the community that we serve.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Pioneering research by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in the late 1980s revealed the acute disparity in graduate education opportunities available to residents along the Texas-Mexico border and led to a lawsuit that sought more equitable program options and funding to support them at Texas public universities that enrolled the majority of the state’s Hispanic students. Before the lawsuit, UTEP had been designated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as a single doctoral-granting institution; after MALDEF filed a class-action suit on behalf of LULAC and eight other Mexican American organizations, UTEP was relieved of the policy and procedural barriers that had prevented expansion of its doctoral program offerings. Today, UTEP proudly offers 20 doctoral degree programs in colleges across the campus, confers more than 100 doctoral degrees annually and ranks at the top of all U.S. universities in awarding STEM doctoral degrees to Hispanics.
Mexican Consulate in El Paso
Over many years, UTEP has enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with the Mexican Consulate in El Paso through a shared commitment to creating opportunities for Mexican and Mexican-American students – a commitment rooted in our mutual goal to enhance the quality of life and the global competitiveness in our unique border setting. Since 2010, the Consulate has administered a scholarship program from the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) to increase the educational attainment of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in the United States. The Consulate also co-sponsors with UTEP numerous cultural and arts programs, and collaborates to provide health services via the Ventanilla de Salud program to Mexican and U.S. Hispanic communities in our region. Symbolizing this long and valued relationship, a magnificent sculpture – Esfera Cuántica Tlahtolli – by renowned Mexican artist Sebastián was presented to UTEP as a special gift from the people of Mexico in commemoration of our Centennial.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA)
For more than four decades, MEChA has played a leading role in advocating for enhanced educational opportunities for Latino students in the El Paso community and for an inclusive and supportive learning environment on the UTEP campus. The development of UTEP’s multidisciplinary Chicano Studies Program, now a national academic model, is a sustained outcome of MEChA’s unwavering promotion of enhanced awareness and validation of Hispanic culture. MEChA has also focused on a variety of border and immigration issues, political action, business, the arts, health and the environment. The program also sponsors such student professional and community service organizations as UTEP’s Chicano Pre-Law Society.
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering has been UTEP’s staunch partner in providing scholarship and program support for more than 30 years and enabling hundreds of underrepresented minority students to earn their engineering degrees. In addition, NACME effectively promotes UTEP’s major contributions to diversifying the engineering profession nationally, endorsing UTEP as a model for countering the claims of “other engineering institutions who say that today’s minority young people from low-income families can’t succeed in a rigorous math- or science-based discipline.” NACME has also recognized and given national visibility to the UTEP College of Engineering’s outreach, recruitment and retention programs as among the “best practices” nationally for helping ensure America’s future competitiveness.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA has partnered with UTEP for many years in the exploration of new frontiers of innovation in aerospace technology and in achieving the University’s – and this nation’s – goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities employed in aerospace industries. In 2012, this collaboration led to the establishment of the world-class Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR), through a cooperative agreement with NASA’s University Research Centers program – an initiative that NASA praised for enabling the agency to tap into the “incredible intellectual capital of UTEP for the development of new technologies.” Another recent NASA partnership spawned UTEP’s Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research (CASSMAR), which involves students in research on debris specimens from the Space Shuttle Columbia under the direction of former NASA astronaut and proud UTEP Distinguished Alumnus, Dr. John D. “Danny” Olivas.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) El Paso Chapter
The NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, founded in 1909 by a multiracial group of men and women who shared a vision of America as one nation in which all citizens were ensured educational, political, social and economic equality. In 1955, the NAACP’s El Paso chapter – which joins UTEP in celebrating a Centennial this year – united with Thelma White in challenging the Texas State Constitution’s segregation clause that prohibited her from enrolling at Texas Western College (now UTEP). The NAACP accompanied Thelma White throughout her courageous legal journey for equality that ended in the courtroom of Federal District Judge R.E. Thomason, who ruled the clause unconstitutional.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The NIH was an early investor in UTEP’s capacity-building efforts to conduct competitive biomedical research and promote the participation of Hispanics in the biomedical sciences through the establishment of the Border Biomedical Research Center. The BBRC, one of the first centers to be funded under the NIH Research Centers in Minority Institutions program, is dedicated to innovative pathobiology research on biomedical and health issues relevant to the Paso del Norte region in such areas as cancer, toxicology, infectious diseases, and neuroscience and metabolic disorders. Today, more than 80 faculty members in departments ranging from chemistry, psychology and sociology to the biological, geological and mathematical sciences conduct research in state-of-the-art laboratories housed in UTEP’s Bioscience Research Building, and compete successfully for grant funding, with nearly $13 million in research expenditures annually.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The National Science Foundation’s sustained support of UTEP’s research infrastructure capacity-building, through programs such as RIMI, RCMI and LSAMP, has been transformational, raising the aspirations of faculty and students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines, emboldening and enabling them to compete successfully for highly competitive mainstream research and student support funding and contribute significantly to increasing the participation of Hispanics in STEM professions nationally. On the STEM education front, NSF support of the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence was instrumental in building one of the most successful PK-16 educational partnerships in the U.S. With strong and sustained commitments from UTEP, the El Paso Community College and all school districts in El Paso County, the Collaborative has raised educational aspirations and attainment among all young people across the historically undereducated Texas-Mexico border region, especially in high-priority STEM fields. Through its sustained and strategic investments in both PK-16 educational collaborations and research support at UTEP, NSF has greatly increased our capacity to contribute to STEM diversity and global competitiveness goals at both regional and national levels.
Paso del Norte Health Foundation
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s multifaceted and steadfast collaborative support of health research, education and service is a hallmark of its sustained partnership with UTEP. The Foundation has worked with UTEP to conceptualize and support numerous initiatives in health-related service, research and education, including building community-wide coalitions for tobacco cessation and enhanced nutrition, as well as leadership development programs in the health professions. A region-wide health information website, developed in collaboration with UTEP and a diverse group of community leaders, offers an accessible source of population data and community health information, expanding opportunities for strategic planning and enhanced collaborations that will increase the impact of research and interventions and improve health outcomes both in the Paso del Norte region and across the globe.
In 1928, Nichols Copper Company built a refinery in El Paso that two years later became the Phelps Dodge Refinery and, in 2007, Freeport-McMoRan. The refinery established El Paso as the “Copper Capital of the Southwest.” From its beginnings, the refinery maintained a strong relationship with the Texas College of Mines (now UTEP), becoming a major employer of the College’s mining graduates. Since then, Phelps Dodge/Freeport-McMoRan has made important investments in what is recognized as one of the finest metallurgical engineering departments in the nation. The Freeport-McMoRan Distinguished Chair in Metallurgical Engineering together with decades of scholarship support for graduate and undergraduate students has had significant impact. Today, UTEP offers the only accredited metallurgy program in Texas and the third largest traditional metallurgical engineering program in the United States.
Rotary Clubs of El Paso County
The first Rotary Club was founded in Chicago in 1905 and its ideals quickly spread to six continents, launching clubs dedicated to advancing communities and growing local economies. In 1914, the Rotary Club of El Paso was founded as one of the earliest clubs in the U.S. Over the decades, hundreds of UTEP students have fulfilled their greatest aspirations with scholarship support from Rotary Clubs and foundations across El Paso County. Through mentoring, student development activities and community building experiences, the clubs have also helped instill in UTEP students a commitment to community service and civic leadership.
Stanlee and Gerald Rubin
In 2002, Stanlee and Gerald Rubin became the first couple in University history to be honored together as UTEP Distinguished Alumni, in recognition of their extraordinary contributions both to UTEP and the El Paso community. Helen of Troy, which they founded in 1968 in El Paso, has become a globally recognized billion-dollar personal care products company, and one of only three publicly traded companies headquartered in El Paso. Embodying the term “good corporate citizens,” the Rubins and Helen of Troy have touched almost every corner of the UTEP campus, from athletics to the arts, and from engineering and business to political science. Their generosity, including major gifts to create the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts and Helen of Troy Field, home of the UTEP women’s softball team, stands as a testament to their deep Miner pride and great alumni and community spirit.
Emma H. Schellenger Foundation Trust
Since 1953, the Emma H. Schellenger Foundation Trust has supported research in electrical engineering at UTEP. The Trust was established to commemorate and advance the scientific achievements of Emma Schellenger’s husband, engineer and inventor Newton C. Schellenger. For three decades, the university’s Schellenger Research Laboratories involved faculty and students in nationally and globally relevant research for both the military and private industry. Projects ranged from developing medical breakthroughs for mapping electrical impulses of the heart to the creation of missile tracking and recovery systems for the U.S. Army. The laboratories, which ceased operations in the 1980s, built an early foundation for UTEP’s sponsored research program and emergence as a major global research university. The trust continues to provide infrastructure funding for research in electrical engineering at UTEP today.
Sierra Providence Health Network/Tenet Healthcare Corporation
The 2013 agreement between UTEP and Sierra Providence Health Network to collaborate on clinical and scientific research is the most recent shining example of the longstanding and dynamic partnership between UTEP, Sierra Providence and Tenet Healthcare to build on their respective assets and reciprocity of interests to strengthen health professions programs and enhance the availability and quality of health care in El Paso. The Sierra Providence Health Network, a component of Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the largest hospital network in El Paso, has provided clinical training experiences for generations of nursing and allied health professions students enrolled in UTEP’s broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, and animating a shared commitment with UTEP to develop creative community solutions to address the unique health needs of the surrounding region, Sierra Providence and Tenet have supported a variety of special initiatives to educate, attract and retain well-prepared health care professionals.
In 2008, the Smithsonian Institution invited UTEP to participate in its annual Folklife Festival held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as a complement to the Festival’s featured country, Bhutan, whose architecture has had a profound and sustained influence on the design of UTEP’s campus buildings. At the conclusion of the Festival, UTEP was greatly honored to be selected as the permanent home for a beautifully hand-crafted building (lhakhang), which was gifted to the people of the United States by the Royal Government of Bhutan. One of the largest structures ever erected on the National Mall for a Folklife Festival, the lhakhang has been re-constructed as a focal point of a new Centennial Plaza on the UTEP campus and will serve as a legacy of UTEP’s 2014 Centennial commemoration.
Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
In 1973, only 1% of U.S. science and engineering doctoral degrees were awarded to Hispanics and Native Americans. It was then that a group of the nation’s leading Latino and Native American scientists – including UTEP Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences Eppie Rael – founded SACNAS to promote the study of science and encourage pursuit of doctoral degrees and advanced research in STEM fields among students of Native American and Mexican descent. SACNAS has sponsored national conferences at UTEP and actively supported leadership development to increase the numbers of Latinos and Native Americans in all fields of science. In 2002, the National Science Board recognized SACNAS as the nation’s premier organization for promoting diversity in science careers. UTEP faculty, staff and students have been especially active participants in SACNAS programs over the organization’s 40-year history, and several UTEP faculty members, including Aaron Velasco and Kristine Garza, have played national leadership roles.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers promotes the study of engineering within the Latino population. UTEP’s SHPE students attend conferences, raise awareness of the excellent engineering education opportunities available on this campus, serve as judges at local science fairs, and validate UTEP’s quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in a variety of settings across the U.S. SHPE has broadened awareness of UTEP engineering nationally, helped engage investment by a broader range of agencies and corporations in the education of UTEP students, and been a catalyst in drawing recognition and resources to the College of Engineering, as well as to UTEP overall, by highlighting our major role in increasing the representation of Hispanics in STEM education and careers.
Socorro Independent School District (SISD)
The Socorro Independent School District’s confidence in this region’s talented young people led to an exemplary collaboration to streamline the PK-16 educational pathway. In partnership with the El Paso Community College and UTEP, SISD played an especially important role in leading the development of accelerated learning opportunities for high school students in the El Paso area with its establishment of Mission Early College High School in 2005. The very positive outcomes achieved through innovative strategies designed to fulfill the highest potential of MECHS students – including the concurrent enrollment as UTEP juniors of MECHS seniors who had already completed their associate degrees – enabled SISD to pave the way for major ECHS expansion and raise the educational expectations of students and their parents across the region. Today, more than 2,300 students are enthusiastically participating in this highly successful program of accelerated pre-college preparation in seven Early College High Schools across El Paso County.
Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT)
UTEP’s aggressive growth over the past quarter century – in enrollment, academic programs and research – brought increased traffic congestion to both the center and perimeter of the campus. In response to safety and transportation concerns, a Campus Transformation initiative was begun over a decade ago to achieve several goals, including the creation of a vehicle-free, pedestrian friendly campus core. UTEP’s strongest partner in the development of this enhanced campus environment has been the Texas Department of Transportation, chaired by Commissioner Ted Houghton. TXDoT initiated and invested in a number of projects designed to enhance safety and create easier access to the University and surrounding neighborhoods, businesses and health care facilities, including the extension of the I-10W off-ramp to the campus, the creation of a roundabout at the new west entrance to the campus with its iconic “Mining Minds” sculpture, the widening of Sun Bowl and the pedestrian bridge across it, the Spur 1966 connection to Paisano/Loop 375, and the roundabout and related improvements on Schuster.
Texas Instruments has a long and distinguished history of promoting education at all levels. At UTEP, TI’s generous support for research, scholarships and endowed faculty positions; participation on advisory boards; and sponsorship of engineering and senior design competitions have contributed substantially to elevating UTEP’s Electrical Engineering program to one of the most robust and highly regarded programs of its kind in the nation. Among TI’s investments in cutting-edge research at UTEP was its major support for the development of a Nanotechnology Fabrication Center, or Clean Room, a sterile environment constructed where faculty and student researchers study materials so small they cannot be seen with a microscope.
Robert Ewing Thomason
Perhaps no one individual had a greater influence on the city that El Paso has become than R. Ewing Thomason. A lawyer, state legislator, mayor, congressman and federal judge, he established El Paso’s first municipal airport and recruited some of the city’s largest industries, including El Paso Natural Gas, Standard Oil and the Nicholas Copper Refinery that was later purchased by Phelps-Dodge (now Freeport-McMoRan). Two of his contributions were of special importance in shaping the future of UTEP. In 1916, after fire destroyed the State School of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP), it was Thomason’s tenacious advocacy in the Texas Legislature that secured the funds to rebuild the school. In 1955, as a federal judge, he was responsible for the ruling that struck down the state’s segregation laws, opening UTEP (then Texas Western College) and all Texas public higher education institutions to African American students.
United States Consulate in Ciudad Juárez
The U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, has been a strong advocate for international student exchanges and a valuable supporter of UTEP and our mission to provide access to excellent higher education for all residents of the surrounding U.S.-Mexico border region. Following several years of instability in Juárez and elsewhere in Mexico, the U.S. Consulate has been an especially valuable ally in helping re-energize the longstanding partnerships between UTEP and universities and organizations in northern Mexico, and creating opportunities to spread UTEP’s message of access and excellence to students and their families across the state of Chihuahua and beyond. The U.S. Consulate’s commitment and energetic efforts to encourage higher education for residents of this unique binational border community have contributed significantly to the region’s growing prosperity and enhanced quality of life.
The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
UTEP has played a leadership role in preparing students to meet the critical need for health care professionals in the traditionally underserved Paso del Norte region. In the mid-1990s, UTEP partnered with a valuable ally, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, to develop a cooperative Doctor of Pharmacy degree program with a goal of addressing the chronic shortage of pharmacists locally and nationwide. Since the first students entered the Pharm.D. program in 1999, 78% of the graduates, many of whom were recruited from area high schools, have remained in El Paso, providing the community with highly skilled and culturally competent pharmacists. Growth in the number of pharmacy graduates has greatly enhanced patient education and drug therapy management, and created new opportunities for pharmacy-related research in this region.
The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work
In the early 1990s, when there was a growing demand for advanced practice social work professionals in the Paso del Norte region, UTEP stepped up to meet the community’s need by entering into a partnership with The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work to offer a M.S.S.W. program on the UTEP campus. This program’s availability in El Paso enabled UTEP’s baccalaureate graduates to complete their professional preparation without relocating to Austin, and helped ensure that a majority of its highly skilled graduates would remain in this community to contribute their talents toward improved outcomes for the region’s residents. With continued demand for this graduate degree program, the collaboration with the UT Austin School of Social Work also laid the foundation for the establishment in 2010 of UTEP’s own M.S.W. degree program, which today provides students with specialized training to prepare them for service as culturally competent social work professionals in border communities.
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
In response to requests from local hospitals for assistance in addressing their health professions staffing needs, UTEP and The University of Texas Medical Branch initiated in 1993 an inter-institutional collaboration to establish on the UTEP campus Physical and Occupational Therapy programs under UTMB’s guidance and accreditation. This partnership enhanced UTEP’s role in advancing rehabilitation science, expanding opportunities for residents of this region to pursue health professions careers, and addressing the severe shortage of health care professionals in this region and nationwide. In 1998, the two programs were formally transferred to UTEP and are now independently accredited. UTMB’s early support for the launch of these two important programs has enabled UTEP to become a national leader in multicultural and multinational physical and occupational therapy education.
UTEP Alumni Association
Since 1923, the UTEP Alumni Association has enthusiastically supported the University’s development, contributing to its transformation from a tiny mining school with big dreams to the nationally recognized public research university that UTEP has become today. With their generous commitment of time, talent and financial resources, members of the Alumni Association contribute to all aspects of UTEP’s work, from serving on advisory boards and committees, endowing scholarships, and actively supporting UTEP athletics to sponsoring and participating enthusiastically in Homecoming and other UTEP programs and activities. Expressing their sustained pride and fondness for this university, they help us tell UTEP’s story through their words and their many extraordinary successes over the past 100 years. It’s often said that the best possible reflection of the quality of any university are the accomplishments of its graduates. By that measure alone, UTEP has earned its growing national reputation.
Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia
UTEP appeared on Victoria University’s radar screen more than a decade ago as VU searched the Web for peer institutions across the globe: public, urban and serving a majority first-generation, low-income student population. After an exchange of visits confirmed our similarities in missions, challenges and opportunities, UTEP and VU began what has become an exemplary international partnership that has piloted such initiatives as work-study exchanges which promote student success, as well as faculty teaching and research collaborations across a range of disciplines. Our shared commitment to cultural diversity and inclusion, innovative use of web-based technologies to link students and staff in real-time videoconferences, and the facilitation of dialogue to expand students’ horizons has created unique opportunities for student and faculty development at both UTEP and Victoria University.
Carlos “Charlie” Villa
During the 1990s, UTEP alumnus and El Paso County Court at Law No. 5 Judge Carlos Villa served as an active member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, where he worked energetically to ensure more equitable state investment in higher education in the El Paso area. His understanding and articulation of the disparities in human and economic development that resulted from historic underfunding of public education in this border region contributed significantly to expanding the range of opportunities available to El Paso’s talented young people who aspire to pursue quality higher education locally, at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
In 2001, Washington Monthly magazine audaciously developed a new set of criteria to rank colleges and universities, challenging the traditional practice of using prestige and exclusivity as measures of value and quality. Instead, Washington Monthly focused on institutions that deliver world-class education in robust research-oriented environments where public access is a priority and affordability is a reality. UTEP’s commitment to access and affordability and our success in graduating low- and middle-income students, whose preparation in a research-rich setting enables them to pursue distinguished careers in the global marketplace, have been recognized in Washington Monthly’s rankings. It is a source of enormous pride to all on our campus, and our alumni and friends across the world, that for the past two years, Washington Monthly has ranked UTEP among the top ten research universities in the United States and, for the third consecutive year, the #1 university in fostering student social mobility. We are especially grateful to Washington Monthly for its successful efforts to challenge the traditional college ranking systems and stimulate a major shift the U.S. higher education narrative.
In May 1954, Thelma White stood before the graduating class at El Paso’s Douglass High School graduation ceremony to present the valedictorian address. Less than a year later, she would stand in front of a U.S. District courtroom, courageously asserting her right – and the right of all African Americans – to pursue higher education at a Texas public university. Denied admission to Texas Western College (now UTEP) by the Texas State Constitution because of her race, she filed the lawsuit that paved the way for the first 12 black students to enroll at TWC in 1955. Although she continued to pursue the degree program she began in 1954 at what is today New Mexico State University, Thelma White forever cemented her legacy in UTEP’s history as a torchbearer for access, equity and equality. She also solidified UTEP’s place in history as the first higher education institution in Texas to desegregate its undergraduate programs.
Thelma White Network
Leaders in El Paso’s African American community, including graduates of Texas Western College and UTEP, organized the Thelma White Network in the 1980s to highlight and celebrate the contributions of black students, faculty and staff to UTEP’s vibrant campus learning environment. The Network honors the legacy of Thelma White, who in 1954 courageously challenged state policies on segregation in Texas public colleges and universities. Her lawsuit succeeded in opening the doors to African American students at Texas Western College (now UTEP) – the first Texas undergraduate institution to admit black students – and all higher education institutions statewide. The Thelma White Network advocates for issues of importance to UTEP’s African-American community, and vigorously supports the African-American Studies Program.
Robert “Bob” Wingo
CEO and President of the ninth-largest African American owned advertising agency in the United States, Bob Wingo is a 2013 UTEP Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, thought-leader and change-maker whose personal dedication to providing opportunities for young people is evidenced by the many professional development activities he champions for UTEP students each semester. A 16-year member of the UTEP College of Business Administration’s Advisory Council, Bob Wingo helped shape a formal internship program in which several leading El Paso businesses offer UTEP students an opportunity to gain firsthand experience in the world of commerce. This dedication is also reflected in his generous commitment of time and talent to representing El Paso on countless state boards, including the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, on which he served from 2007-2009.
The Wolslager Foundation
For more than a decade, The Wolslager Foundation has generously provided support for UTEP’s El Paso Community College Transfer Scholarship program, offering 70 scholarships annually to students transferring from EPCC to baccalaureate programs at UTEP. Since the scholarship program’s inception, nearly 500 students have received more than $4 million in renewable scholarships, and nearly all of the funding has been provided by The Wolslager Foundation. The successful UTEP degree completions of the Wolslager scholars and the number of them who have continued on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees is impressive and a powerful testament to the effectiveness of strong community-based partnerships, such as this collaboration between UTEP, EPCC and the Wolslager Foundation, to prepare a diverse and highly competitive workforce, expand regional capacity for economic advancement, and enhance individual and community quality of life.
Woman’s Auxiliary of The University of Texas at El Paso
The silver pick that many of us proudly wear on our lapels was first introduced by the Woman’s Auxiliary of UTEP, which for the past 90 years has been a staunch and tireless partner dedicated to the overall success of the University. From providing faculty support during the early lean years of the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy to sponsoring scholarships in today’s 21st century research setting, the UTEP Woman’s Auxiliary has always been vigilant in identifying high-priority areas of student, faculty and staff needs that were likely to benefit most from their generous commitment of time, talents and financial resources. In addition to enhancing academic programs and funding scholarships, the Auxiliary has supported activities ranging from KTEP-FM to Miner Athletics and the Heritage Commission.
Ysleta Independent School District (YISD)
An early proponent of educational reform, the Ysleta Independent School District partnered with UTEP in the transformation of PK-16 education in El Paso County, setting high expectations for all young people in this region and for the performance of the schools that serve them. UTEP and YISD, together with other members of the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, developed and implemented a research and data-driven, student-centered approach to education; raised standards and accountability for student achievement; increased community and family engagement; and elevated educational expectations and attainment of all students. The pioneering contributions of YISD, whose goal of serving the public interest through access and excellence in education echoes UTEP’s longstanding mission, will continue to have a lasting impact on the quality of life and future prosperity of the Paso del Norte region.
YWCA El Paso del Norte Region
The YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, the largest and most comprehensive YWCA in the U.S., has offered steadfast support to the UTEP community through a broad range of initiatives and outreach programs that reflect its long commitment to removing barriers to access and promoting prosperity – goals that mirror UTEP’s own. Among the many YWCA programs that have touched the UTEP campus are financial literacy training for students; housing support for students in transition; and raised educational and career aspirations of Hispanic girls and their mothers via UTEP’s nationally recognized Mother-Daughter program. More recently, in response to a critical need for on-campus child care at UTEP, the YWCA responded to our request that they bring their extensive expertise and experience to the management of UTEP’s Child Care Center. The result has been the creation of a safe and healthy child care environment on the campus that has improved the quality of life for many UTEP student, faculty and staff families.