On the ‘Glory Road’ to the centennial
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
The year 2014 will mark 100 years since the opening of the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy, now known as UTEP. In anticipation for the centennial, UTEP has established a plan called the Centennial Campaign, which will promote UTEP’s rich past, its present and its promising future.
For the 2012-2013 school year, there are a number of events planned as a continuation of the Centennial Campaign, a plan that was presented and put into effect in 2010 by UTEP President Diana Natalicio.
According to a plan book from the 2014 Commission, the goal of the centennial events will be to foster pride in the university’s accomplishments, bring all groups together to celebrate UTEP’s rich history and reinvigorate traditions among other goals.
“We plan on engaging the students by inviting them to a variety of events highlighting the centennial,” said Elizabeth Thurmond, director of institutional advancement. “We are still working on teaser events building up to the kickoff of the centennial next year.”
The first teaser will be through a set of official ringtones. The department of commercial music will be developing and producing 10 ringtones, which will be released throughout the next two years.
According to Thurmond, during Minerpalooza students will be able to start downloading the first two official ringtones of the centennial. They will also be receiving silicone bracelets as a reminder of the important events coming up, and will additionally be reminded of the centennial celebrations through their Facebook accounts.
Erika Mendoza, incoming freshman English major, said she is eager to begin the school year with pride and attending events like Minerpalooza.
“I am very excited for UTEP and its upcoming festivities. What better way to be introduced to Miner life than by celebrating their centennial,” Mendoza said. “With 100 years of dedication and excellence toward its students’ futures, I look forward to seeing what UTEP has in store for me.”
Minerpalooza, however, is not the only event that UTEP will use to get students, faculty, staff and alumni involved in the festivities leading up to 2014.
“On September 21, we will commemorate the first day of class (which took place on September 23, 1914) by showing Glory Road on campus and releasing some new bracelets for the students,” said Thurmond.
The centennial planning not only includes new events, but also new university landmarks.
During the month of July, the transformation phase was introduced with a taste of what the campus will look like once the renovation and construction is finished. The plans revealed a more inviting and pedestrian-friendly campus.
“I’m very excited to see the outcome of all the plans. I’m sure it will look beautiful,” said Cindy Juarez, program coordinator at Professional and Public Programs. “I’m glad it (UTEP) will become a closed campus, but I will miss the inner campus parking, though.”
Some of the major changes involve a Centennial Plaza right in the middle of campus between the Union, Geological Sciences and Psychology buildings that will connect the university and will require the removal of parking lots and streets in that area.
The Bhutan architecture at UTEP will be reinforced as well by the placement of a Lhakhang (temple) at the northwest edge of Centennial Plaza.
The Leech Grove area, which many students and student organizations use as a central point for events and activities, will see improvements as well.
Aside from construction projects and creating awareness events, the Centennial Lecture Series will continue during the fall and spring semesters to expose students and faculty to current issues in a wide range of topics regarding the university.
According to Thurmond, there are also a couple of events in the city of Austin that will possibly include UTEP students to commemorate the day the Texas Legislature made the announcement that community leaders could raise funding to open the college.
“This is an inclusive project, we would like anyone with good suggestions to let us know (of ideas),” Thurmond said. “And this includes students, faculty and staff.”
For more information, visit 2014.utep.edu.
Nidia Flores may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.