Alumni Pick-Nic Unites Miners Nationwide

By Jenn O’Hanlon

UTEP News Service

This year’s Alumni Pick-Nic, held July 14, marked the start of what promises to be a yearly event held simultaneously in various cities across the country.

“We decided that we wanted to get together and celebrate UTEP across the country on the same day,” said Margie Adame Brickey, chapter development coordinator for the Office of Alumni Relations.UTEP Alumni in El Paso gathered in Memorial Park for the first Alumni Pick-Nic. Photo by Laura Trejo / UTEP News Service

The University of Texas at El Paso plans to continue the tradition each year, and the Office of Alumni Relations is already busy planning the event for the 2014 Centennial Celebration.

“We anticipate this event being a yearly occurrence with much of our planning concentrating on the Centennial Celebration in 2014,” Brickey said. “It would be fantastic to have a service project develop in each community due to this social event.”

This year, 20 cities participated by holding their own Alumni Pick-Nic. The largest event was held in El Paso with other cities participating from coast to coast and border to border, including Albuquerque, Dallas, Orlando, Chicago, Austin and Philadelphia. Two picnics were held in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Office of Alumni Relations helped host a Pick-Nic in Bhutan, where the inspiration for UTEP’s building architecture originates. The University maintains many partnerships in Bhutan and the addition of the location for a Pick-Nic seemed only fitting.

“We chose key cities where we know there are high concentrations of UTEP alumni,” Brickey said. “We’ve been so pleased with our hosts in all the cities outside El Paso; they’ve been so wonderful. It’s a great experience to see the alumni be tied to contacts across the country.”

After publicizing the event, alumni from many cities and alumni chapters came forward with the desire to host their own events. Each city had a varying number of attendees, all excited to share their Miner pride.

“We just wanted people to show up and enjoy themselves,” said Elizabeth Claudio, UTEP Alumni Association coordinator for membership and marketing. “Our goal was to increase the collegiality of the Miner family.” 

Alumni Relations put together starter baskets for each city’s host to bring to the event complete with coolers, Frisbees, UTEP Miner flatware, nametags and various Miner promotional materials.

The College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering planned the event with their own booths for the alumni of their colleges attending the El Paso Pick-Nic. The UTEP women’s soccer and volleyball teams were also present to help alumni enjoy the event.

“The Pick-Nic was a success and was only the second major event since the College of Business alumni chapter was established in January,” said Krista Snow, Program Coordinator for Alumni and External Affairs for the College of Business. “The event afforded the opportunity for our alumni to get involved with the chapter, obtain updates on our activities and network with other CoBA alumni.”

Picnickers snacked on hamburgers and hot dogs while music played and the sun shone. Alumni and their families wore their Miner gear and took plenty of photos and videos. Participants also sang UTEP’s fight song, “Miner Fight.” 

The Pick-Nic helped build alumni camaraderie and strengthen the foundation for future alumni growth as the Miner Nation continues its march toward a Centennial Celebration in 2014. The goal in the future is to make these picnics “can’t miss” events. 

“We really saw this event as an opportunity to network and build relationships with fellow Miner alumni in the area where they reside,” Brickey said. “It was a great success and we hope to see it continue to grow and become a signature event that happens each year, no matter where you are.”