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Coordinates: 31°46′12″N 106°30′18″W / 31.77000°N 106.50500°W / 31.77000; -106.50500

University of Texas at El Paso
Established 1914
Type Public
Endowment $151,200,713[1]
President Diana Natalicio
Academic staff 1,309 [2012 Fall][2]
Admin. staff 1,511
Students 22,749[3]
Undergraduates 19,217[4]
Postgraduates 3,532[5]
Location El Paso, Texas, USA
Campus Urban, 366 acres (1.5 km2)
Colors Orange, Blue, White, and Silver                 
Athletics 16 Varsity Sports Teams
Nickname Miners
Mascot Paydirt Pete
Affiliations NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision
Official UTEP Logo
Note: UTEP redirects here. In some universities UTEP may also refer to: "Undergraduate Teacher Education Program".

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a four-year state university, and is a component institution of the University of Texas System. Its campus is located on the banks of the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas. The school was founded in 1914 as The Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy,[6] and a mineshaft still exists on the mountainous desert campus. It became Texas Western College in 1949, and The University of Texas at El Paso in 1967. In Fall 2012, enrollment was 22,749 (19,217 undergraduate and 3,532 graduate students).[7]

UTEP was recently ranked as the 7th best university in Washington Monthly's 2013 National University Rankings, just behind Stanford and ahead of Harvard..[8] The institution was recognized as #1 among all U.S. universities for success in enabling students to achieve the American Dream through affordable and high quality academic programs.[9]

The university's School of Engineering is the nation's top producer of Hispanic engineers with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.[10]UTEP is the largest university in the U.S. with a majority Mexican-American student population (about 70%).[11]

Other notable features of UTEP are its campus architecture (modeled after the dzong style of Bhutan), and its athletic history (UTEP was the first college in the American South to integrate its intercollegiate sports programs and to this date is the only school in Texas to bring home a NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, which was in 1966).[12]


The school officially opened on September 23, 1914, with 27 students in buildings at Fort Bliss. By 1916 enrollment had grown to 39 students and women were allowed to enroll. The Fort Bliss buildings burned down, however, and in 1917 the school was rebuilt on its present site on land donated by wealthy El Paso residents. The distinctive dzong architecture style of the Kingdom of Bhutan was adopted after Kathleen Worrell, wife of the university's dean, spotted photographs of Bhutan in a 1914 issue of National Geographic.[13]

In 1919 the school name was changed to the University of Texas Department of Mines and Metallurgy, and in 1920 to the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy (TCM). TCM's students painted a large "M" for Miners on the Franklin Mountains in 1923, and the "M" is still there today. The school's name changed again in 1949, this time to Texas Western College of the University of Texas (TWC). Notable events at TWC included the training in 1961 of the nation’s first Peace Corps class, the construction of Sun Bowl Stadium in 1963, and the winning of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in 1966.

In 1967 the school's name changed for the last time to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Two years later, UTEP won the first of seven NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships.

In 1974, UTEP's first doctoral degree program in Geological Sciences was approved. Also in this year, UTEP won the first of seven NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships. UTEP won both the NCAA Men's Outdoor and Indoor National Championships in 1975.

The campus expanded in 1976 with the completion of the Engineering-Science Complex. That same year, the College of Nursing was also created. In 1977, the Special Events Center (now the Don Haskins Center) was built, featuring a 12,000 seat capacity for sporting events, live concerts, and other performances. An expansion of Sun Bowl Stadium followed in 1982, increasing its capacity to 52,000. The six-story University Library opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1984.

In 1988, Diana Natalicio became UTEP's first woman president. The next year, UTEP's second doctoral program was approved (in Electrical Engineering). Doctoral programs in Computer Engineering, Psychology, and Environmental science and engineering followed in 1991, 1993 and 1995, respectively. The university's cooperative Pharmacy and Nursing doctorate programs began in 1996 and 2000, respectively. A Biological Sciences doctorate program was started in 1997 and a History doctorate followed in 1999. Doctorate programs in International business, Civil engineering, Composition, and Rhetoric were started in 2003.

UTEP coach Don Haskins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Special Events Center was renamed the Don Haskins Center. He retired from coaching in 1999.

In 1999, UTEP launched its MBA online degree program and was designated as a Doctoral/Research-Intensive University by the Carnegie Foundation the following year. In 2002, the $11 million Larry K. Durham Sports Center opened and the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies was established. Other construction finished the Academic Services and Biosciences buildings as well as the Engineering-Science complex in 2003. UTEP celebrated its 90th anniversary the next year with the Miners football team going to the Houston Bowl and the men's basketball team mad its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance.

In 2005, UTEP moved to Conference USA from the Western Athletic Conference and was classified "RU/H" by the Carnegie Foundation.

Mike Price was hired as football coach in 2003 and announced his retirement in November 2012.[14] On December 10, 2012, it was announced that Sean Kugler would be taking over as the new UTEP football coach.[15]

A major centennial celebration is planned for UTEP's 100th birthday in 2014.[16]

Academics and research

Template:Infobox US university ranking/NationalTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/GlobalTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/LiberalArtsTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/BaccalaureateTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/RegionalTemplate:Infobox US university ranking/Masters
University rankings

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

UTEP offers 70 undergraduate degrees, 75 master's-level degrees, and 19 doctoral degrees.[17] The university ranked, in 2006, second in federal research spending among UT System academic institutions, and in fiscal year 2006 reported $45.7 million in total research spending. From 2011-12, UTEP spent nearly $70 million in research, while it anticipates an expenditure of $76 million for the 2012-13 academic year.[18]

Leading research is currently being conducted on campus. In November 2012, it was announced that Igor C. Almeida, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences at UTEP, had developed a fully protective vaccine against Chagas disease. UTEP also holds the rights to a patent (# 5,798,392) for the use of methanesulfonyl fluoride (MSF) as a central nervous system selective cholinesterase inhibitor for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease developed by Donald E. Moss Ph.D., in the department of psychology. A Phase I human clinical trial of MSF as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease was recently successfully completed in Germany.[19]

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 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.[20]

UTEP follows a semester system with a spring, summer, and fall semester annually, along with a shorter wintermester in the month of January.[21]

Campus architecture

In 1916, only two years after the school opened, the original buildings were destroyed in a fire. The school was rebuilt on its present site in 1917. Kathleen Worrell, wife of the school’s first dean Stephen H. Worrell, had seen pictures of Bhutanese buildings in National Geographic. Noting the similarity of mountainous Bhutan (which is in the Himalayas) to the location of the campus, she suggested that the new buildings be in the style of Bhutanese dzongs (monastic fortresses), with massive sloping walls and overhanging roofs. This idea was enthusiastically accepted by all.

Prominent El Paso architect Henry Trost designed the first four buildings. All buildings since then have followed this style, including a fifth by Trost in 1920, and three more by his firm in 1933-1937. While the early structures only copied the general appearance of a dzong, recent buildings incorporate internal elements of the dzong form as well.

The Kingdom of Bhutan has honored UTEP's appropriation of their country's style. Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuk has visited the campus, and in 2009 the Kingdom presented UTEP with a hand-carved wooden temple to be erected on the campus. [22]

The "Himalayan" style of UTEP's campus made it an appropriate site for the Chenrezig Himalayan Cultural Center of El Paso, a Tibetan Buddhist facility.

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 Citation.

School songs

"The Eyes of Texas" was adopted by the 1920 student body after the song had been "declared the school anthem for the University of Texas at Austin".[23][24]

UTEP's fight song, "Miners Fight" was also borrowed 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."


"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!

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

[25] 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.

"Miners Fight"

Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
And it's goodbye to (opponent).
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 gang's 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.


Main article: UTEP Miners

UTEP was the first college in the American South to integrate its intercollegiate sports programs. This breakthrough was made in the 1950s. When Don Haskins became basketball coach in 1961, he aggressively recruited black players. In 1966, Haskins' Miners won the NCAA Basketball championship, defeating an all-white Kentucky team in the final game.

This success story was retold in Haskins' autobiography Glory Road (2005), and in the 2006 movie Glory Road.

UTEP's sports programs have won a total of 21 NCAA Division I national championships.[26] UTEP is currently tied for 10th overall among schools in Men's Sports Division I championships.

UTEP owns the two largest venues in El Paso, Texas:

  • 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 Sun Bowl 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. It is also known as "The Bear's Den" as well as "The Don." The arena is also used for concerts by mainstream artists.

Notable people




See also


External links

  • University Communications
  • Student Newspaper of The University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Texas El Paso
  • Horizons Online News, electronic news site
  • UTEP Magazine
  • UTEP Research Guide
  • Official UTEP Athletics site
  • ESPN NCAA Basketball Tournament History for UTEP
  • MinerDigs UTEP Basketball & Football Discussion Boards
  • Kyyote's Den UTEP Sports Message Board
  • UTEP Basketball & Football Talk
  • UTEP Marching Miners
  • University of Texas at El Paso Film Studies Program
  • 2007 UTEP football preview
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