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Countdown to 2014 begins with kick-off event

Veronica Enriquez
veronica enriquez/the prospector UTEP commemorated the 100-day countdown to 2014 by unveiling the new Welcome Center on Mon. Sept 23 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. that took place on the Cnetennial Museum’s front lawn.

The university opened a new Welcome Center and hosted a centennial kick-off party Sept. 23 on the front lawn of the Centennial Museum to commemorate the 100-day countdown to 2014.

Students, faculty and staff were invited to attend the event and free food was provided.

In addition to the centennial kickoff party, the Welcome Center had their official grand opening and unveiled a large LED clock, which reflect UTEP’s Bhutanese theme. The clock—that has been hidden behind a large black tarp for the last few months—will count down to Jan. 1, 2014.

Students opened the ceremony with a music mash-up dance routine and wore white UTEP centennial t-shirts. Paydirt Pete, the UTEP cheerleaders and the UTEP band were in attendance.

Jasmine Ramirez, freshman pre-science major and orientation leader, participated in the choreographed dance.

“A bunch of different organizations that wanted to participate came together and we had rehearsals and then we performed today,” Ramirez said.

There was an overall positive reaction to the clock and the kickoff party.

“I think this is awesome,” Ramirez said. “It is a new gift that looks amazing here and it is just awesome.”

Freshman pre-nursing major Keith Barkley cheered with the UTEP cheer squad at the event. He said that he is excited about the centennial celebration.

“I think this is going to be a really good way to show people that we are really celebrating the 100 years and that we are going to have a great time,” Barkley said.

Along with UTEP officials, President Natalicio, students and alumni were invited to share in the celebration. Adorned with blue UTEP centennial shirts, alumni from a variety of graduating classes attended.

Gerry Laird Porter, class of 1951, and Carol Gordon, class of 1954, were dressed from head-to-toe in Miner gear. Both expressed their excitement for the upcoming centennial celebration.

“We are friends and we were Chi Omegas together many years ago and we are still active in the UTEP community,” Porter said. “We also happen to be golden girls, which means that we graduated over 50 years ago, so therefore we come back and help the alumni house.”

Both said that the clock and ongoing campus transformation will be great assets to the campus.

“I think it will be an addition to the campus,” Porter said. “The display inside the museum is marvelous.”

The clock was given to UTEP by GECU. The partnership with the university has led to sponsorship of many events this year, and they plan on continuing their cooperation with UTEP going into 2014.

Crystal Long, president and CEO of GECU, spoke about the credit union’s partnership with UTEP.

“As part of UTEP’s transformation, GECU is proud to be a community-supported business leading the way,” Long said. “GECU’s gift will be a permanent fixture on campus and will be a figure significant to UTEP’s transformation, today and into the future.”

The Welcome Center is now officially open to the public and is located on the corner of University Avenue and Wiggins Road.

For more information on UTEP Centennial events, visit

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Amanda Guillen
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
Veronica Enriquez
Veronica Enriquez, Photo Editor
Veronica Enriquez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in art. Currently, she is working as the photo editor at The Prospector and helps out at her church with the youth. Coming from a family of photographers and journalists she grew an interest for photography from a very young age and during her sophomore year at Franklin High School she began to have an interest for journalism. Veronica simply loves telling people’s stories through photography, print, audio or video. Some of her hobbies include going on overseas mission trips, playing music, helping out at her church, spending time with her fiancée, friends and family.
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Countdown to 2014 begins with kick-off event