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KTEP radio station to receive $2 million from Margaret O. Herman

Maria Salette Ontiveros
Production Room “B” at KTEP station at the Cotton Building at The University of Texas at El Paso Feb. 23.

The University of Texas at El Paso received a $2 million donation for NPR affiliate radio station KTEP-FM (88.5) and will provide funding for scholarships for undergraduate students.  

The endowment comes from the late Margaret O. Herman, an heiress of the Hess family, inventors of the steel-toe shoe was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1930. She moved to El Paso in the early 1980s. She later died in 2018, a UTEP Communications news release read.  

An endowment is a protected source of money, said Richard Pineda, Ph.D., chair of UTEP’s Department of Communication Studies 

“With our particular donor the commitment that she had was really based on her love of public radio and her belief that that was an important service that the university offered,” Pineda said.  

KTEP’s Director of Development and Interim General Manager John Carrillo said the $2 million was split evenly between the university and KTEP. The other half will go towards student services, he said.  

“Over the course of a year the $1 million set up in a trust will collect interest, the interest is what KTEP will have access to every year,” Carrillo said.  

The gift KTEP received will be used to pay for programming and equipment, Carrillo said. 

KTEP plans on improving a production facility that has not been upgraded since 1985, Carillo said.  

“The funds in this first wave are going to help transform that studio,” Pineda said. 

An immediate upgrade for the radio station is a mixing desk. Which is used to mix different sound sources, Carillo said. 

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Not only in terms of the infrastructure itself, the acoustics for the room, but also in terms of the actual equipment, which is actually outdated,” Carillo said.  

Donations to a university help cover costs that tuition and state funding could not provide. 

“It’s somebody saying that they believe in the work that you’re doing,” Pineda said.  

Trustee of Herman’s estate Sue Becknell says the endowment will touch many lives and Margaret was an avid reader of KTEP and supporter of education, news release stated. 


Julia Lucero is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected].  


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About the Contributors
Julia Lucero is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism. She is a contributor with The Prospector, member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and writer for Borderzine. She has experience editing/producing audio and visual projects.
Maria Salette Ontiveros is a Graduate Student in The University of Texas at El Paso mastering in Arts of Communication. She contributes at The Prospector as a photographer. She has a Multimedia Journalism Degree with a minor in Creative Writing. She hopes to become a social media manager or join the field of broadcast  covering news,  entertainment, and sports. She plays professional basketball in Ciudad Juarez and likes to play volleyball as a hobby.
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KTEP radio station to receive $2 million from Margaret O. Herman