Mayor Oscar Leeser and City Council Join in Celebration of Centennial Year

During the El Paso City Council’s weekly meeting Jan. 14, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and the city council issued a proclamation recognizing The University of Texas El Paso’s 100th anniversary.

“During 2014, we hope to engage everybody in El Paso in celebrating this major milestone in our collective history,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “What better way to launch that engagement than with this proclamation by our mayor and the city council in El Paso.”

After the mayor’s proclamation, the room filled with applause and a standing ovation from the city council. The proclamation declared 2014 as “The University of Texas at El Paso’s Centennial Year,” and highlighted the University’s achievements and contributions to the region’s history, economy and citizenry.

“When you talk about how they have 70 bachelor’s, 75 master’s and 20 doctoral degrees and they have 110,000 alumni; it fits into the growth of our community,” the mayor said. “Our goal is to have the jobs that people want to stay for and they don’t go somewhere else. That’s always important for us that we build the community as a whole. The educational part of our growth is very important to our community.”

When UTEP opened in 1914 it was known as the Texas School of Mines and had only 27 mining students. Now more than 23,000 UTEP students attend a campus that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in seven colleges. Among its 110,000 alumni are accomplished leaders in the fields of science, engineering, health, politics, business, law, entertainment, arts and education.

The University spends more than $83 million annually on research as part of its goal to reach national research university (Tier One) status.

UTEP has an important role on the economy of the region, serving as one of El Paso’s largest employers and generating more than $1.3 billion to the El Paso County economy each year.

In regard to the University’s access and excellence mission, Washington Monthly magazine ranked UTEP as the No. 7 university in the nation for excellence in social mobility, research and service, between No. 6 Stanford and No. 8 Harvard.

“Our Centennial could not have been better timed,” President Natalicio said. “We’re enjoying unprecedented national recognition for academic and research accomplishments, and we’re well positioned to achieve our Tier One aspirations. With the continued support of you (the El Paso City Council) and others across this wonderful community, we will surely and very soon become the first national research university with a 21st century student demographic. You can bet on that. Go Miners!”