Centennial Museum encourages the community to be involved with UTEP celebration

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photo courtesy of utep Athletics/ special to the prospector

“Miner Strong: A Century of Sports at UTEP” will be on display until March 18: The Centennial Museum is open Tues.–Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Jose Soto, Staff Reporter

The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens has  launched “The Centennial Exhibit Series.” The series features exhibitions that will help enhance the knowledge of UTEP history and traditions. They have also started a Centennial Tour Series that will provide UTEP students, faculty and staff, as well as the El Paso community, with an insight into the university’s 100 years of existence.

Maribel Villalva, director of The Centennial Museum, said that it has been tough on her and her staff to come together on this immense project, but nonetheless its very exciting.

“It took us about nine months to finalize all of the tours, but it’s been a lot of fun throughout the entire process,” Villalva said. “The Centennial Exhibit Series as well as the Centennial Tour Series are very important and a good contribution to the UTEP celebration, mainly because it will mostly be all about the community’s interaction as a whole.”

The walking tours are intended to give the UTEP and El Paso community a behind-the-scenes look into the different aspects of the UTEP campus, showcasing the rich and beautiful campus. The exhibitions will highlight UTEP’s most important milestones, arts and culture, sports, prolific alumni and the many haunted buildings that have left stories behind.

“This month, the tour highlighted the unique Bhutanese architectural style as well as influences from other different architects. This tour was designed by a former UTEP art director, Max Grossman,” Villalva said. “The theme of the tours will change with each month, allocating different features and areas of the campus.”

Not only is this an opportunity for the El Paso community to learn more about the pride of the city, but also for the students and staff themselves. This is an amazing way to integrate community members to the celebration, Villalva said.

“This is also a great opportunity for students and staff to enhance their knowledge of the campus, especially those new to it,” said Jessica Macias, junior art education major and a tour volunteer.

Macias said she felt lucky to have Stacey E. Schultz as her art history professor this past semester, since she was able to get involved in the museum series. There is so much artwork around campus that is just waiting to be appreciated and remembered, Macias said.

“As students, we walk around campus and pass the artwork around campus a million times a semester without giving it a second glance,” Macias said. “I want to say to my fellow UTEP students to take the time and appreciate the campus.  In doing so, you will receive inspiration to keep you going.  You will find yourself relating to the art, how it was created and the story of how it ended up here. The campus connects us to each other in our experience as UTEP students and as future community leaders.”

The current display, entitled “Miner Strong: A Century of Sports at UTEP”  was designed in conjunction with the UTEP Athletics Department, pays homage to former coach Don Haskins, the 1966 NCAA championship team and gives a look into the university’s prosperous athletic teams and honors. The display will continue to be showcased at The Centennial Museum until March 18. The Centennial Exhibit Series will continue throughout the centennial year, with varied displays such as “UTEP & the Kingdom of Bhutan” Aug. 16-Oct. 24 and “UTEP & The Chicano Movement” June 7-Aug. 3.

For more information, contact Maribel Villalva at 747-6669 or at [email protected]

Jose Soto may be reached at [email protected]