University of Texas at El Paso


name = The University of Texas at El Paso
established = 1914
type = Public
endowment = N/A [ [ America's Best Colleges 2008: University of Texas–El Paso: At a glance ] ]
president = Dr. Diana Natalicio
city = El Paso
state = Texas
country = US
students = 20,154 [ [ The University of Texas at El Paso Facts ] ]
undergrad = 17,261
postgrad = 3,281
faculty = 1,083 [ [ The University of Texas at El Paso Facts ] ]
staff = 1,597 [ [ The University of Texas at El Paso Facts ] ]
campus = Urban, 366 acres (1.5 km²)
mascot = Paydirt Pete
colors = Orange, Blue, White, and Silver color box|#F4793Ecolor box|#00285Dcolor box|#FFFFFFcolor box|#C0C0C0
free_label = Athletics
free = 14 varsity teams
nickname = Miners
website= [] []
logo =

The University of Texas at El Paso, popularly known as UTEP, is a public, coeducational university, and it is a member of the University of Texas System. The school is located on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, in El Paso, Texas, and is the largest university in the nation with a majority Mexican-American student population. Founded in 1914 as The Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy, a mineshaft still exists on the mountainous, desert campus. It is composed of buildings of Bhutanese architecture, with massive sloping walls and overhanging roofs. In the mid-1950s, UTEP, then called Texas Western College, became the first college in a Southern state to integrate its intercollegiate athletic teams. Although the campus population was less than 1% African-American, in 1966, basketball coach Don Haskins and his Texas Western team thrilled portions of the nation by winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship with an all-black starting lineup, thus breaking an unspoken barrier and transforming the history of college basketball (although Loyola had won the NCAA tournament in 1963 with four African Americans in its starting lineup). By 1967, the Board of Regents authorized that the name of the college be changed from Texas Western College to its present name. Currently there are some 19,842 students enrolled at UTEP. About 73 percent of UTEP's student population is Hispanic. UTEP is the country’s only doctoral research intensive university with a student body that’s predominantly Mexican American.

The historic 1966 Texas Western College win over The University of Kentucky for the NCAA basketball championship was depicted in the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer movie "Glory Road", which was released on January 13, 2006 and in the national bestselling 2005 book "Glory Road" written by Don Haskins and Dan Wetzel. Glory Road lies between the two basketball arenas on the campus, stretching from Mesa Street to Sun Bowl Drive.

Today, the institution is devoted to the ideals of access and excellence, educating the population at a sprawling campus in the westernmost part of the State of Texas along the borders with Mexico and the State of New Mexico.


* The school officially opened its doors on September 23, 1914 with an initial enrollment of 27 students.

* By 1916, the school's enrollment had grown to 39 students and for the first time women were allowed to enroll.

* In 1919, the school's name was changed to U.T. Department of Mines and Metallurgy.

* In 1920, the school's name changed again to the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, or TCM.

* In 1923, the school's students painted a large "M" for Miners on the Franklin Mountains; the "M" is still there today.

* On April 27, 1946, Rho Sigma Tau Fraternity was installed as the " [ Zeta-Epsilon] " chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy.

* In 1949, the school's name was changed again to Texas Western College of the University of Texas (TWC) also on September 10 of the same year the Gamma-Gamma chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity was installed

* In 1961, the nation’s first Peace Corps class was trained at TWC.

* In 1963, Sun Bowl Stadium was constructed.

* On March 19, 1966, coach Don Haskins made history when his Texas Western College men's basketball team that included five African-American starters stunned and defeated the heavily favored, and all-White, Wildcats of the University of Kentucky, coached by basketball legend Adolph Rupp, for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at College Park, Maryland. This became the subject of the 2006 movie "Glory Road".

* In 1967, TWC changed its name to The University of Texas at El Paso.

* On November 22, 1967, The National Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda granted a charter at the University of Texas at El Paso, known as Alpha Rho.

* In 1968, UTEP student-athlete Bob Beamon set a new world long jump record at the Olympic Games in Mexico City; the record would stand for decades.

* In 1969, UTEP won its first of seven NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships.

* In 1974, UTEP's first doctorate degree program in Geological Sciences was approved. That same year, UTEP went on to win its first of seven NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships.

* In 1975, the UTEP men's Track and Field team struck gold again and won both the NCAA Men's Outdoor and Indoor National Championships.

* In 1976, the Engineering-Science Complex was completed and the College of Nursing was also created.

* In 1977, UTEP's Special Events Center (now the Don Haskins Center) with 12,000 seats was completed.

* In 1982, an expansion to the Sun Bowl Stadium was completed and the seating capacity was increased to 52,000.

* In 1984, the six-story University Library opened its doors to the public.

* In 1988 Diana Natalicio became UTEP's first woman president.

* In 1989, UTEP's second doctorate degree program was approved for Electrical Engineering.

* The 1990s and into the 2000s brought a lot of positive changes to UTEP academics. In 1991, the Computer Engineering doctorate program, in 1993 the Psychology doctorate program, in 1995 the Environmental science and engineering doctorate program, in 1996 the Pharmacy cooperative doctorate program, in 1997 the Biological sciences doctorate program, in 1999 the History doctorate program, and in 2000 the Nursing cooperative doctorate program, all began enrolling students to further expand the higher educational goals of UTEP.

* In 1997, Don Haskins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Special Events Center was renamed the Don Haskins Center and is also known as "The Bear's Den" as Haskins is affectionately known as "The Bear".

* In 1999, the legendary Don Haskins retired from coaching. Also in 1999, UTEP's MBA online degree program was launched.

* In 2000, UTEP's Miner Village was completed and UTEP was designated as a Doctoral/Research-Intensive University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

* In 2002, the $11 million Larry K. Durham Sports Center opens for the first time and the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies is established.

* 2003 was a busy year for UTEP, the school hired former Washington State University head coach Mike Price to bring new life to the UTEP football team, $44 million in construction projects began for Academic Services and Biosciences buildings and an addition to the Engineering-Science Complex, construction also began on the $1.8 million Helen of Troy Softball Complex, and the International business doctorate, the Civil engineering doctorate, and the Composition and Rhetoric doctorate programs were approved. On Saturday, November 15, 2003, The UTEP Miners beat the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS in basketball "89-88". Billy Gillespie, now the coach at the "University of Kentucky", was the head coach at UTEP at that time.

* In 2004, UTEP celebrated its 90th anniversary and in the 2004-2005 athletic year, UTEP enjoyed great success in both football and men's basketball, the Miner football team, under Price, went on to play the Buffaloes of the University of Colorado in the Houston Bowl, and the Men's basketball team under new coach Doc Sadler went on to play in the school's 15th NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearance.

* On July 1, 2005, UTEP was formally introduced to Conference USA from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). UTEP had been a member of the WAC for 37 years.


The University of Texas at El Paso is subdivided into several colleges, each of which offers a variety of degree programs including undergraduate, graduate and some post-graduate:

* [ College of Business Administration]

* [ College of Education]

* [ College of Engineering]
** [ Civil Engineering]
***Border Intermodal Gateway Transportation Laboratory
** [ Computer Science]
** [ Electrical & Computer Engineering]
** [ Industrial Engineering]
** [ Mechanical Engineering]
** [ Metallurgical & Materials Engineering]

* [ College of Health Sciences]
** [ School of Nursing]
** School of Allied Health

* [ College of Science]

* [ College of Liberal Arts]
* [ University College]
** [ Institute for Policy and Economic Development]
** [ Law School Preparation Institute]

UTEP offers 81 bachelor's degrees, more than 70 master's-level degrees and programs and 14 doctoral degrees. The university ranks second in federal research spending among UT System academic institutions, and in fiscal year 2006 reported $45.7 million in total research spending.

Hispanic Business magazine has twice ranked UTEP as the number one graduate engineering school for hispanics. The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering has called the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) "a model for 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."

The National Science Foundation has designated UTEP as a Model Institution for excellence, one of only six in the country. UTEP is one of only 11 universities nationwide to receive a $5 million Teachers for a New Era (TNE) research grant from the Carnegie Corporation.

Campus Architecture

The campus architecture is a rare example of the dzong style seen outside the Himalayas - the university hosts the Chenrezig Himalayan Cultural Center of El Paso. Initial phases were designed by El Paso architect Henry Trost, and later phases have continued in the same style. [See "UTEP Handbook of Operations" for more details.]

School Colors and Logo

The school's colors were originally made orange and white. However, in the early 1980s, Columbia blue was added so now the official colors are orange, white, and blue. When the new UTEP athletic department logo was introduced in the fall of 1999, a darker hue of blue was incorporated into the logo, as well as a silver accent to go with the customary orange.

Pickaxe Hand Symbol

This hand symbol represents the traditional tool used by Miners, the pickaxe. This is the universal way UTEP Students, UTEP Alumni, and fans of UTEP athletics salute each other. This is also the gesture fans of the UTEP Miners hold up when UTEP players are shooting free throws at basketball games, or any time UTEP kicks off at a football game.

chool songs

"The Eyes of Texas" was adopted by the 1920 student body when the song had been "declared the school anthem for the University of Texas at Austin [] [] ."

UTEP's fight song, "Miners Fight" was also an offshoot from the Austin campus. However, in the late 1980s and with the blessing of the estate of Marty Robbins, the UTEP Music Department wrote a new song to the melody "El Paso."


="The Eyes of Texas"'(UTEP's Official Alma Mater) [] =

The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them,
At night or early in the morn-
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
'Till Gabriel Blows His horn.

"UTEP Fight Song"

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso,
Home of the River they call Rio Grande.
Down on the border the town of El Paso,
Home of the Miners the best in the land.
Fighting to win, the Miners of UTEP,
Long live the College of Mines, GO COLLEGE OF MINES!
Loyal forever, we're standing together,
Onward to victory Orange and Blue, WE WILL BE TRUE!

"Miners Fight"

Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
And it's goodbye to Kentucky.
Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
For we'll put over one more win.
Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
For it's Miners that we love best.
Hail! Hail! the gangs all here,
And it's goodbye to all the rest!

"The Shadows on the Mountains" (UTEP's Band Hymn)

The shadows on the mountains fall,
across the desert sands.
We lift our voices to our home
Along the Rio Grande
With brothers standing ever near
And sisters by our side
Oh Alma Mater always true
Our hearts with thee abide


It is presumed that the nickname "Miners" came from the fact that the school was founded as the "State School of Mines and Metallurgy." In doing research on this project, early mention of "Ore Diggers" and "Muckers" for the nickname was found, but nothing to determine if the name "Miners" was voted upon by the student body, or if a faculty member, John W. (Cap) Kidd, chose the name. Kidd was a big booster of athletics, especially football, and in 1915, when funds were rather lean at the school, Kidd donated $800 to equip the football team. He also assisted with coaching, although he was not the head coach. The present track facility on campus bears Cap Kidd's name.

Notable Athletic Achievements

UTEP's sports programs have won a total of 21 NCAA Division I national championships. [ [ Schools with the Most NCAA Championships ] ] UTEP is currently tied for 10th overall among schools in Men's Sports Division I championships.
*Men's Basketball: 1
*Men's Cross country: 7
*Men's Indoor Track & Field: 7
*Men's Outdoor Track & Field: 6

Mascot - Paydirt Pete

The Miners have had nearly as many mascots for its athletic teams as the school has had names.

Probably the first so-called mascot was a student dressed as a prospector leading a burro named Clyde. Some years after Clyde began making appearances at football games, then-president Dr. Joseph Ray became disenchanted with the animal's appearance.

In a letter to the dean of students, Dr. Ray demanded that something be done about that "sorry-looking, pot-bellied creature, not fit to represent the Miners." Clyde was surveyed out in 1966 and replaced by Henry, another burro.

The name Paydirt Pete originated from a 1974 contest to give a name to the mascot. The name Paydirt Pete was selected from over 500 entries. The first animated Paydirt Pete was given a face in 1974. It was recreated in 1980. This was a lovable little ol' Miner which probably led to his being dubbed "Sweet Pete." At any rate, ol' Sweet Pete was not a very popular mascot and, like Clyde, he made a quick exit in order for the present Paydirt Pete to arrive on the scene.

This Paydirt Pete is meaner looking, has a major-league swagger and has become something of a goodwill ambassador for the school, as well as appearing at UTEP sporting events. This Pete stuck until the late 1990s and was built and designed by El Pasoan Richard Glass. Sometime after Pete made his appearance, he decided to kick the smoking habit and the cigar, which jutted to one side of his mouth, was removed. The next rendition of Paydirt Pete was introduced in the fall of 1999, along with a brand-new UTEP athletic department logo, when again complaints surfaced similar to those against "Sweet Pete". In the spring of 2005, the current rendition of Paydirt Pete was unveiled at a home basketball game.

UTEP Miners

Traveling Trophies

The winner of the UTEP vs New Mexico State University football game receives a pair of traveling trophies; The Silver Spade and The Brass Spittoon. The first spade used for this purpose was an old prospector's shovel dug up from an abandoned mine in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1947. This was the symbol of victory, and the spade was given to the winner of the football game between the Miners and Aggies each year.

The idea of the present Silver Spade was from UTEP student Don Henderson, the student association president and now a very successful El Paso businessman and former mayor of the city. In 1955 Henderson secured the present spade and each year the score of the game is engraved on the blade.

Perhaps the idea behind the spade is the fact that at the time the prospector's spade was uncovered, both schools' major field of study had use for the tool, mining and metallurgy for the College of Mines and agriculture at then New Mexico A&M. The Brass Spittoon, officially known as the Mayor's Cup, came into existence in 1982 when the mayors of the two cities; Jonathan Rogers of El Paso, and David Steinborn of Las Cruces decided to present another traveling trophy to the winner of the UTEP vs New Mexico State University game. This game is more commonly known as "The Battle of I-10".


ports Venues

UTEP owns the two largest stadiums in El Paso:
*Sun Bowl Stadium, seating capacity 52,000, opened its doors in 1963 and is currently the home to the UTEP football team and to the annual Brut Sun Bowl game. Sun Bowl Stadium is also now home to the Texas vs. The Nation Game, a college football all-star game.
*Don Haskins Center, seating capacity 12,222, was built in 1976 and is primarily used by the men's and women's basketball teams.
*University Field (UTEP), seating capacity 500, was built in 1991 and hosts the women's soccer team.

Notable people


*Urbici Soler y Manonelles, Spanish sculptor
*Steven Best, professor of philosophy and co-founder of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.


*John D. Olivas – First UTEP alumnus to be selected as an astronaut by NASA and currently a member of Space Shuttle Mission STS-117 crew aboard the "Atlantis", launched on June 8, 2007
*Seth Joyner – 1991 NFL Defensive Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated, one-time Super Bowl champion
*Sam Donaldson – ABC News veteran
*Antonio Davis – NBA All-Star, president of the National Basketball Players Association
*Bob O'Rear – One of the founders of Microsoft
*Nolan Richardson – Former NCAA champion collegiate men's basketball head coach at the University of Arkansas.
*Nate Archibald – NBA Hall of Famer, chosen as one of the Top 50 Greatest NBA Players
*Tim Hardaway – NBA All-Star, 2000 Summer Olympics gold medalist
*Shoshana Johnson – U.S. Army Specialist, former Iraq POW
*Roger Argenis, lead singer of the alternative rock band Aerial
*Ana Alicia – Actress
*Bob Beamon – Olympic gold medalist, world record holder in track and field
*Hank Cohen – President of MGM Television Entertainment
*Daniel W. Foster, M.D. – Former chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas
*Greg Foster – Former NBA player and one time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers
*Edrar Sosa – Former athlete and Community Activist in Saint Louis, Missouri.
*Hector Guerrero – Professional wrestler, performed on WWF and NWA
*Jack Handey – Best known for his "Deep Thoughts" on Saturday Night Live
*J. P. Hayes – Professional golfer
*Ed Hochuli – National Football League referee
*Lee Mays – National Football League SteelersFormer football & track standout.
*Suzanna Hupp, former Republican state representative from Lampasas County and Second Amendment advocate
*Don Maynard – Pro Football Hall of Fame
*Rafael Martinez, Jr., P.E. – UTEP Civil Engineer Graduate, Former Football Official, voted Best in the Country, and Successful Consulting Engineering Business
* Tony Tolbert- Three time world champion with the Dallas Cowboys.
*Hector M. Sanchez – Academic Pioneer; became the first deaf student to enroll in 1992 and first graduate in 1996; despite barriers, he pioneered a system that broke the educational barrier that enabled him and other high achieving deaf students to enroll in this university as far away as Michigan. Since 1996, deaf students have been awarded these degrees: Bachelors-Criminal Justice, Education, Engineering and Masters in Business Administration.
* Chris Jacke: BBA 1989, All-American place kicker, Super Bowl champion with Green Bay Packers
*Manny Leon- Writer, Educator,Filmmaker, Musician, and Humorist.
* Brian Regan - Successful stand-up comedian. see Epitome of Hyperbole

ee also

*List of largest Texas universities by enrollment
*"The Prospector" (school newspaper)


External links

* [ University of Texas El Paso]
* [ Horizons Online News, electronic news site]
* [ NOVA Quarterly university magazine]
* [ Official UTEP Athletics site]
* [ UTEP Marching Miners]
* [ University of Texas at El Paso Film Studies Program]
* [ 2007 UTEP football preview]

* [ Thematic Mapper infrared image of 3 states and two nations. The red region follows the Rio Grande]

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