UTEP celebrates 100 day countdown

Monica Cortez(KTSM)

POSTED: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 6:41pm

UPDATED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 1:42pm

For many UTEP students the big black box on campus has remained a mystery for two months now.

But on Monday everyone finally found out what was underneath the black cloth.

The mystery box has been under construction since July 22nd and Monday marked the 100 day countdown until UTEP’s Centennial Year.

Given to the university by GECU, UTEP officials are calling it the GECU tower clock, and it will display the time and date as well as how many days are left before UTEP’s 100th anniversary.

Alumni and students gathered in front of the centennial museum to watch the unveiling.

GECU officials said one of the reasons they show support for UTEP is due to the many similarities the university and the bank share.

“We started with very humble beginnings just like UTEP did,” said President and CEO of GECU Crystal Long. “So it means so much to us to see their growth and prosperity and to be a part of that with them.”

Long said not only are they gifting the tower, but GECU Branches throughout the city will also display orange lights until January 1st 2014.

Miner students and alumni showed their pride during the unveiling celebration but it’s not just the 100 day countdown that makes this event so special, it's the history behind the university.

"We have to honor him somehow because he's been so instrumental in doing things in the university so I am superman of mines,” said Dove Kupfer class of 1981. He said up to this day that award hasn’t been given to anyone else.

"In 1950 there were 12 men to every girl how to do you like that," said Betty Wilkinson class of 1950. She said back then there weren’t many women going to college and was surprised to see how much the university had changed when she went back to complete her master’s in the 1970’s.

"My daughter I know she wants to do her graduate work here at UTEP so I just hope one day to see her here so we can both be UTEP alumni," said Rito Dlegado, class of 1981. He said he left behind a legacy of daughters whom have all gone to his alma mater and hopes to one day all be gathering at the university as alums.

Filled with so much rich history, UTEP alumni gathered around the Centennial Museum where it too will display some of UTEP’s most memorable moments.

“When people come they will be able to see exhibits of UTEP’s history,” said Maribel Villalva Director of the Centennial Museum. “We will have one main exhibit that's going to be up all year and in another gallery we are going to have changing exhibits working with different departments.”

Villalva went on to explain there is also a small theater where they will be featuring films made back when UTEP was barely beginning and visitors will get to see the original campus.

One particular mascot according to Villalva was created by Disney and said she would only reveal more information to people coming in and enjoying the exhibits.

As both UTEP officials and GECU representatives unveiled the tower clock, Dr. Natalicio said it’s only the beginning to many more things to come.
"We are going to have a number of activities between now and January one,” said Dr. Natalicio. “Of course homecoming is coming up and we will be recognizing the fact that we are in countdown to our centennial and then next year of course we are going to have a year of events and activities."

UTEP officials said the tower clock will later be used to display the upcoming events held at the Centennial Museum and Villalva said she encourages the community to come and discover UTEP’s 100 years of history.


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