10 million set aside for centennial preparation

“There is no secret inner committee that does everything. We look to students, faculty and staff to give us ideas, too, that we can use.” – – Keith Erekson, executive director for the centennial office

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Lorain Watters, Assistant News Editor

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  • The Old Main building photographed in 1918.

  • January 1, 1922 featured a partial view of the campus and the newly-elected captain of the football team.

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The clanking and hammering of drills resonates off stucco walls across campus, while orange and blue banners hang above concrete rubble. With construction seemingly overtaking campus, UTEP is preparing a new face for the 100th anniversary.

On Aug. 22, 2013, the University of Texas System Board of Regents approved a $10 million allocation that will go towards the campus transformation plan.

“Money comes from different places—state legislature, tuition and private funds. We are getting the money from private donors, who have made donations specifically for the celebration and many people have donated,” said Keith Erekson, executive director for the centennial office.

Throughout the 2014 spring and fall semester, students, faculty and staff will be able to attend centennial-themed lectures, academic events and parties.

“Any type of activity, chances are we will have it,” Erekson said. “We did it on purpose. We can’t just have one event, so we’re reaching out to alumni. Some events will be around the world. The overarching goal is to get everyone involved.”

In 2010, President Diana Natalicio appointed a 100-member commission. Alumni, faculty and staff, residents of El Paso and supporters create ideas for the vision of UTEP’s future.

“They have a creative role. I get (their) dreams and ideas and make them happen,” Erekson said. “There is no secret inner committee that does everything. We look to students, faculty and staff to give us ideas, too, that we can use.”

The winter commencement in December 2014 will be the official ending of the centennial, beginning a new century of graduates.

For more information about upcoming centennial events, visit transformations.utep.edu.

Lorain Watters may be reached at [email protected]