University of Texas at El Paso

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Coordinates: 31°46′12″N106°30′18″W / 31.77000°N 106.50500°W / 31.77000; -106.50500

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The University of Texas at El Paso
University of Texas at El Paso seal.svg
MottoScientia et Humanitas
Motto in English
Knowledge and Liberal Education
Type Public research university
EstablishedSeptember 28, 1914;106 years ago (1914-09-28)
Parent institution
University of Texas System
Endowment $241.7 million (Fall 2017) [1]
President Heather Wilson [2]
Academic staff
1,303 (Fall 2016) [3]
Administrative staff
1,519
Students25,151 [4]
Undergraduates 21,341 [4]
Postgraduates 3,810 [4]
Location,
United States
Campus Urban, 366 acres (1.48 km2)
Colors Orange, Dark Blue, and Silver Accent [5]
     
Nickname Miners
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FBSC-USA
Mascot Paydirt Pete
Website utep.edu
University of Texas at El Paso logo.svg

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a public research university in El Paso, Texas. It is a member of the University of Texas System. UTEP is the second-largest university in the United States to have a majority Mexican American student population (about 80%) after the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. [6] It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity." [7] [8] The university's School of Engineering is the nation's top producer of Hispanic engineers with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. [9]

UTEP is home to the Sun Bowl stadium, which hosts the annual college football competition the Sun Bowl every winter.

The campus is one of the few places in the world outside of Bhutan or Tibet to have buildings created with the Dzong architectural style. It sits on hillsides overlooking the Rio Grande river, with Ciudad Juárez in view across the Mexico–United States border.

History

Early history

College of Mines seal TCM copy.jpg
College of Mines seal

On April 16, 1913, SB 183 was signed by the Texas governor allocating funding for a new educational institution that would later become UTEP, making it the second oldest academic institution in the University of Texas system. The school officially opened on September 28, 1914, with 27 students in buildings belonging to the former El Paso Military Institute on a site adjacent to Fort Bliss on the Lanoria Mesa. The school was founded in 1913 as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy, [10] and a practice mineshaft survives on the campus. By 1916, enrollment had grown to 39 students, including its first two female students, Ruth Brown and Grace Odell.

On October 29, 1916, a devastating fire destroyed the main building of the school, prompting its relocation. In 1917, the new school facility was constructed on its present site above Mundy Heights at the Paso del Norte, with the land donated by several El Paso residents. In a period when United States architects were designing in styles adopted especially from Europe, Kathleen Worrell, wife of the university's dean, was attracted by photographs of the Kingdom of Bhutan in a 1914 issue of National Geographic magazine, which showed the dzong architecture style of its Buddhist monasteries. [11] The resemblances between the local terrain and mountainous features of Bhutan inspired her to propose designing early buildings of the mining school in the dzong style. Liking its distinctiveness, administrations have continued to choose that style for additional facilities, including the Sun Bowl football stadium and parking garages. Dzong architecture has characteristics such as sloping sides, markedly overhanging roofs, and bands of colored decoration. [12]

The University of Texas Board of Regents changed the name of the institution in 1919 first to the Department of Mines and Metallurgy and then to the College of Mines and Metallurgy of the University of Texas (TCM) in 1920. The school's name was changed again in 1949 to Texas Western College of The University of Texas (TWC).

Notable events at UTEP include 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 1966 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The University of Texas at El Paso

When the 60th Texas State Legislature designated the University of Texas as The University of Texas System in 1967, the name of the school was changed to The University of Texas at El Paso. [13] While the 1967 law designated "U.T. El Paso" as the school's official abbreviated name, the school is more commonly referred to by its trademarked name of "UTEP". [13] Known as the Miners since the school's opening in 1914, TCM's students painted a large "M" for Miners on the Franklin Mountains in 1923; this was later moved to a site adjacent to the Sun Bowl Stadium in the 1960s where it remains today.

Buildings modeled after Bhutanese monasteries, or dzongs. To the left is the College of Business Administration, to the right the College of Engineering UTEP CampusBldngs1.jpg
Buildings modeled after Bhutanese monasteries, or dzongs. To the left is the College of Business Administration, to the right the College of Engineering

The school has had achievements in academic and sports areas. In 1969, 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 1974, UTEP won the first of seven NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships. In 1975 UTEP won both the NCAA Men's Outdoor and Indoor National Championships. UTEP is only one of a handful of universities to win at least 21 NCAA national championships in multiple sports.

The campus expanded in 1976 with the completion of the Engineering-Science Complex. That same year, the College of Nursing was founded. 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. When she stepped down in August 2019, she was the longest-serving sitting president of a major public research university. In 1989, 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. Doctoral programs in international business, civil engineering, and rhetoric and composition were started in 2003.

"Mining Minds" by Michael Clapper, a 25-foot tall pickaxe sculpture Mining Minds.jpg
"Mining Minds" by Michael Clapper, a 25-foot tall pickaxe sculpture

In 1999, UTEP launched its MBA online degree program. It was designated as a Comprehensive 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. 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 made its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance.

In August 2019, Heather Wilson, Ph.D., became UTEP's 11th president. She previously served as the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force. [14]

Academics and research

Academic rankings
National
ARWU [15] 155-175
Forbes [16] 547
THE/WSJ [17] 501-600
U.S. News & World Report [18] 299-391
Washington Monthly [19] 161
Global
ARWU [20] 601-700
THE [21] 801-1000
U.S. News & World Report [22] 807
A portion of the campus UTEP pano.jpg
A portion of the campus

The University of Texas at El Paso is subdivided into eight colleges and schools, each of which offers a variety of degree programs including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate. UTEP offers 74 undergraduate degrees, 76 master's-level degrees, and 22 doctoral degrees. [23] UTEP follows a semester system with a spring, summer, and fall semester annually, along with a shorter wintermester in the month of January. [24]

UTEP offers the USA's only bilingual M.F.A. creative writing program. [25]

The university's research expenditure in fiscal year 2018 was $91 million. [23] [26] UTEP is classified as an "R1: Research University (Highest research activity)" in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. [8]

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. [27]

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."

In November 2012, it was announced Igor C. Almeida, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences at UTEP, had developed a fully protective vaccine against Chagas disease.[ citation needed ] 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. [28]

UTEP's art gallery, The Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, specializes in site-specific art installations and exhibitions by renowned artists, which have included in the past Teresa Margolles, Tania Candiani, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Under the leadership of its current director, Kerry Doyle, the Rubin Center has been recognized with grants and awards by The Texas Commission on the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Lannan Foundation, The Leonard Nimoy Foundation, and others. [29]

Campus architecture

Academic Services Building UTEPAcademicServicesBldg.jpg
Academic Services Building
University of Texas at El Paso UTEP5.JPG
University of Texas at El Paso
College of Engineering complex area Engineering building area.jpg
College of Engineering complex area

In 1916, only two years after the school opened, the original campus buildings were destroyed in a fire. The school was rebuilt on its present site in 1917. Kathleen Worrell, the wife of the school's first dean Steve H. Worrell, had seen pictures of Bhutanese buildings in an April 1914 issue of National Geographic . Noting the similarity of mountainous Bhutan (which is in the Himalayas) to the location of the campus, she suggested 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 adoption 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. [30]

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.

Since the school was established as a department of the main branch of the University of Texas at Austin, the school's colors were originally 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.[ citation needed ]

Athletics

Larry K. Durham Sports Center UTEPDurhamcenter.jpg
Larry K. Durham Sports Center

UTEP was the first college in the American South to integrate its intercollegiate sports programs.[ citation needed ] This change 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. In 1966, at a time when many claimed black players lacked the mental and emotional "necessities" to compete at a high level, the UTEP Miners coach Don Haskins put his usual starting players in the Championship game. They were the first all-black team to start in a game at that level – and to win. This story was retold in Haskins' autobiography Glory Road (2005) and in the 2006 film Glory Road . Haskins coached his entire career at UTEP and compiled a 719–353 record with only five losing seasons. He 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, and died in 2008. [31] The entire 1966 UTEP team was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. [32]

In 1968, the UTEP Track and Field program revoked the scholarships of eight black athletes after they boycotted a meet at Brigham Young University in protest of perceived racism at BYU and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of the era. This included future Gold Medal winner and world record long jump holder Bob Beamon, who would briefly return to the school after the incident but not graduate. [33] The coach at the time later regretted his actions, and felt that he and the school acted hastily. [34]

UTEP's sports programs have won a total of 21 NCAA Division I national championships. [35] UTEP is tied for 10th overall among schools in Men's Sports Division I championships.

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

In 2005, UTEP moved to Conference USA from the Western Athletic Conference. [36]

Mike Price was hired as football coach in 2003 and announced his retirement in November 2012. [37] On December 10, 2012, it was announced that Sean Kugler would be taking over as the new UTEP football coach. [38]

In 2010, Tim Floyd became the head basketball coach. [39] He was a protege of Don Haskins and is a former coach at the University of New Orleans, the NBA's Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets, and the University of Southern California. Floyd retired in 2017 due to recurring health issues [39] and was succeeded by Rodney Terry, former head coach at CSU Fresno (Fresno State). [40]

Pickaxe hand symbol

The Miner pickaxe hand symbol UTEPPicksUp2.jpg
The Miner pickaxe hand symbol

This hand symbol represents the traditional tool used by Miners, the pickaxe, and is similar to the shaka sign and the letter Y in american sign language. This gesture is made by UTEP Miners fans when UTEP players are shooting free throws at basketball games, or any time UTEP kicks off at a football game. It was first introduced by the UTEP cheerleading squad during the 1976–77 football season. [41]

Nickname

The first reference to the nickname "Miners" is found in the February 1919 (volume 1, number 1) issue of the Prospector, the school's student newspaper. However, an earlier reference can be found in the handwritten bill (Senate Bill 183) that established the school in 1913, where the author, State Senator Claude Hudspeth, mistakenly wrote "Miners" instead of "Mines," and thus referred to the school as the "State School of Miners and Metallurgy." It is presumed the nickname "Miners" came from the fact 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 lean at the school, Kidd donated $800 to equip the football team, though there is no evidence other than anecdotal he contributed this amount. He also assisted with coaching, although he was not the head coach. The present track facility on campus, Kidd Field, bears Cap Kidd's name.

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". [42] [43]

UTEP's fight song, "Miners Fight" was also borrowed from the Austin campus.

With the estate of Marty Robbins, the UTEP Music Department in the late 1980s wrote new words to the melody of his Grammy Award-winning Country & Western hit "El Paso". This gave UTEP a fight song all its own, to a tune recognized across the nation. [44]

Rivalries

New Mexico State University: UTEP has a strong rivalry with New Mexico State University, known as "The Battle of I-10". UTEP and NMSU are just over 40 miles apart.

Notable people

Aerial view of the entire UTEP campus, situated between the US-Mexico border at lower left and the west side and Franklin Mountains of El Paso at the upper right. The Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico, are visible in the distance. UTEP and border aerial Dec 2017.jpg
Aerial view of the entire UTEP campus, situated between the US–Mexico border at lower left and the west side and Franklin Mountains of El Paso at the upper right. The Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico, are visible in the distance.

Faculty

Alumni

See also

Related Research Articles

Don Haskins American basketball player and coach

Donald Lee Haskins, nicknamed "The Bear", was an American basketball player and coach. He played college basketball for three years under coach Henry Iba at Oklahoma A&M. He was the head coach at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1961 to 1999. In 1966 his team won the NCAA Tournament over the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp. The watershed game initiated the end of racial segregation in college basketball.

Don Haskins Center Arena in Texas, United States

The Don Haskins Center, formerly known as the Special Events Center, is the home of UTEP Miners men's and women's basketball. The venue is located in the heart of El Paso, Texas. In addition to hosting sporting events, the Don Haskins Center is also used by many area schools, such as El Paso Community College, for graduation and commencement ceremonies. Due to its large seating capacity, the center is also the city's premier entertainment venue and has hosted big-name acts such as pop star Shakira's Tour of the Mongoose, Oral Fixation Tour and The Sun Comes Out World Tour, Britney Spears during her Circus Tour, comedian George Lopez and rock band KISS.

<i>Glory Road</i> (film) 2006 American sports drama film by James Gartner

Glory Road is a 2006 American sports drama film directed by James Gartner, based on a true story surrounding the events leading to the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Championship. Don Haskins portrayed by Josh Lucas, head coach of Texas Western College, coached a team with an all-black starting lineup, a first in NCAA history. Glory Road explores racism, discrimination, and student athletics. Supporting actors Jon Voight and Derek Luke also star in principal roles.

Velvet James Barnes, also known as Jim "Bad News" Barnes, was an American basketball player, who was an Olympic Gold Medalist and the No. 1 overall pick of the 1964 NBA draft. He played college basketball Texas Western College.

UTEP Miners Athletic program of the University of Texas at El Paso

The UTEP Miners is the name given to the sports teams of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). They are informally referred to as the Miners, UTEP, or Texas–El Paso. UTEP was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1967 to 2005, when they joined Rice, Tulsa, and SMU in leaving the WAC for Conference USA. The UTEP Miners are best known as the first team in Texas to win an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. UTEP's colors are orange and blue and the mascot is a miner named Paydirt Pete.

Battle of I-10

The Battle of I-10 is the name given to the New Mexico State–UTEP football rivalry. It is a college rivalry game between New Mexico State University (NMSU) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). It is called the Battle of I-10 because the two universities are located along Interstate 10 connecting Las Cruces and El Paso. The teams compete for the Silver Spade Trophy and the Mayor's Cup.

UTEP Miners mens basketball

The UTEP Miners basketball team plays for University of Texas at El Paso in El Paso, Texas. The team is an NCAA Division I men's college basketball team competing in the Conference USA. Home games are played at Don Haskins Center.

2012–13 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2012–13 UTEP Miners basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2012–13 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Miners, led by third year head coach Tim Floyd, played their home games at the Don Haskins Center and were members of Conference USA. They finished the season 18–14, 10–6 in C-USA play to finish in third place. They advanced to the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament where they lost to Southern Miss. Despite the 18 wins, they did not participate in a postseason tournament. UTEP averaged 8,490 fans per game, ranking 52nd nationally.

2013–14 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2013–14 UTEP Miners basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2013–14 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Miners, led by fourth year head coach Tim Floyd, played their home games at the Don Haskins Center and were members of Conference USA. They finished the season 23–11, 12–4 in C-USA play to finish in fifth place. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament where they lost to Southern Miss. They were invited to the College Basketball Invitational where they lost in the first round to Fresno State. UTEP averaged 8,088 fans per game, ranking 58th nationally.

2014–15 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2014–15 UTEP Miners basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2014–15 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Miners, led by fifth year head coach Tim Floyd, played their home games at the Don Haskins Center and were members of Conference USA. They finished the season 22–11, 13–5 in C-USA play to finish in a tie for the second place. They advanced to the semifinals of the C-USA Tournament where they lost to Middle Tennessee. They were invited to the National Invitation Tournament where they lost in the first round to Murray State. UTEP averaged 8,458 fans per game, ranking 53rd nationally.

2016–17 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2016–16 UTEP Miners basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Miners, led by seventh-year head coach Tim Floyd, played their home games at the Don Haskins Center as members of Conference USA. They finished the season 15–17, 12–6 in C-USA play to finish in a tie for third place. In the C-USA Tournament, they defeated Rice in the quarterfinals before losing to top-seeded Middle Tennessee in the semifinals. UTEP averaged 6,400 fans per game, ranking 83rd nationally.

2017–18 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2017–18 UTEP Miners basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Miners, led by interim head coach Phil Johnson, played their home games at the Don Haskins Center as members of Conference USA. They finished the season 11–20, 6–12 in C-USA play to finish in a tie for 11th place. They lost in the first round of the C-USA Tournament to UTSA. UTEP averaged 6,155 fans per game.

2017–18 UTEP Miners womens basketball team Intercollegiate basketball season

The 2017–18 UTEP Miners women's basketball team represents the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Miners, led by first year head coach Kevin Baker, play their home games at Don Haskins Center and were members of Conference USA. They finished the season 17–14, 7–9 in C-USA play to finish in a 3 way tie for seventh place. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the C-USA Women's Tournament where they lost to UAB.

2018–19 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2018–19 UTEP Miners basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Miners, led by first year head coach Rodney Terry, played their home games at the Don Haskins Center as members of Conference USA. UTEP finished the season 8–21, 3–15 in C-USA play to finish in last place. They failed to qualify for the C-USA Tournament. UTEP averaged 4,677 fans per game.

2018–19 UTEP Miners womens basketball team Intercollegiate basketball season

The 2018–19 UTEP Miners women's basketball team represents the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Miners, led by second year head coach Kevin Baker, play their home games at Don Haskins Center and were members of Conference USA. They finished the season 9–22, 5–11 in C-USA play to finish in eleventh place. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the C-USA Women's Tournament where they lost to Middle Tennessee.

The 1988–89 UTEP Miners men's basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso in the 1988–89 college basketball season. The team was led by legendary head coach Don Haskins. The Miners finished 26–7, won the WAC Tournament championship, and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 1989–90 UTEP Miners men's basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso in the 1989–90 college basketball season. The team was led by legendary head coach Don Haskins. The Miners finished 21–11, won the WAC Tournament championship, and gained an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The 1985–86 UTEP Miners men's basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso in the 1985–86 college basketball season. The team was led by legendary head coach Don Haskins. The Miners finished 26–7, won the conference tournament title, and reached the NCAA Tournament.

The 1991–92 UTEP Miners men's basketball team represented the University of Texas at El Paso in the 1991–92 college basketball season. The team was led by legendary head coach Don Haskins. The Miners finished 27–7, reached the finals of the WAC Tournament, and gained an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as No. 9 seed in the Midwest region. After defeating Evansville in the opening round, UTEP knocked off top-seeded Kansas to reach the Sweet Sixteen. The run would end there, as the Miners would lose by two points to Cincinnati in the regional semifinal.

2021–22 UTEP Miners mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2021–22 UTEP Miners men's basketball team will represent the University of Texas at El Paso during the 2021–22 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team will be led by fourth-year head coach Rodney Terry, and plays their home games at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas as a member of Conference USA.

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