UTEP Athletics honors retiring secretary for 31 years of service


Gaby Velasquez

Katie Jensen reacts to the custom-made football jersey that Athletic Director Jim Senter gave her.

Jake Deven , Entertainment Editor

Dozens of tables decorated with track and field centerpieces filled the Foster Stevens Center on Thursday, July 26, for a retirement luncheon honoring Katie Jensen’s 31 years of working at UTEP.

Jensen, 98, began working with UTEP Athletics as the administrative secretary of track and field back in 1986 after retiring from State National Bank (Wells Fargo), where she also worked for over 30 years.

“It’s just been a wonderful time for me, I have truly enjoyed every minute here,” said Jensen.

At the luncheon celebrating her service, Jensen was awarded a plaque to honor her 31 years of service, as well as a custom-made football jersey.

Miss Katie, as many of her fellow colleagues, friends, family members and athletes call her, said she’s glad to have been able to work at UTEP for so long and will cherish all the friendships she has made over the years.

“I love all the athletes and I will always keep them close to my heart,” Jensen said.

Though many of the guests who attended Jensen’s retirement celebration included current staff and athletes, President Diana Natalicio and former UTEP coaches also attended to honor their long-time colleague.

“For 22 years I had the best secretary you can ever imagine. I respect her, admire her and belove her,” said Bob Kitchens, U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame and former UTEP track and field coach for 42 years. “She loves every athlete that comes through our doors, and they love her; and that’s amazing legacy that Miss Katie is leaving,” Kitchens said

Having lived through Texas Western’s 1966 NCAA Championship, and seeing how UTEP has transformed under President Natalicio, Jensen has surely witnessed and contributed her fair share to the UTEP community.

“I’m going to miss everybody, but when I leave I’m not leaving anyone here, I’m taking you all home with me,” Jensen said.