UTEP’s Alumni Association assists UTEP graduates

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MinerLink is one of the ways UTEP Alumni can stay in touch with one another and expand your professional network. Photo from the MinerLink website.

Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor

As graduation ceremonies begin to ensue and graduates start to move on to the next step of their life, UTEP’s Alumni Association is ready to assist future UTEP alumni.

The Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with UTEP to celebrate alumni and provide meaningful engagement opportunities for graduates to maintain a lifelong relationship with their alma mater.

The goal is to ensure that graduates maintain a strong relationship with the UTEP community and to help advance the university’s mission.

“Our alumni continue to advance the mission of the university wherever they go,” said Assistant Vice President for the Alumni and Doner Engagement Mairbel Villalva. “They help recruit new Miners to UTEP and help create pathways for students to successfully attend UTEP by either contributing to scholarships or providing internship opportunities for students.”

The Alumni Association provides a variety of services which include celebrations for alumni to commemorate their achievements through many programs like the Distinguished Alumni and Gold Nugget awards, the 35 Under 35 Alumni Speaker Series, and the Golden Grad Reunion.

Other events include Homecoming and the annual Alumni Association Golf Tournament, which is held to raise money for student scholarships. The association also honors and celebrates exemplary students by hosting the Top Ten Senior Awards and hosts Grad Fair.

The association also joined forces with UTEP’s Career Center to create Grow with Google. They also have many programs, which current students can join, including Student Alumni Association, Miner Ambassadors, Bridging the Gap Mentoring Program, and the upcoming College of Engineering Alumni Network.

The alumni association plays a big part in students’ graduation process by sponsoring a grad fair every semester with the UTEP Bookstore. This is a three-day event where graduating seniors can prepare for commencement in one place.

Graduates can register for their graduation ceremony, purchase regalia, official class medallion, class ring, and diploma frames. They can also have their graduation portrait taken as well.

On commencement day members of the alumni association get the honor to present every graduate with a lapel pin, which signifies welcoming them into the UTEP alumni family.

“We would love to build stronger connections without campus partners so that we can begin engaging with students even before they enroll,” Villalva said. “We want to stay engaged with them during their entire UTEP experience to ensure that they’ll remain engaged once they graduate. We already do a great job engaging with our seniors, but one of our main goals is to have all students identify the alumni association as an organization that is here for them while they’re students and will be here for them when they graduate.”

There are many ways for recent graduates to stay connected with UTEP. Some of these ways include joining the Young Alumni Network which is open to all individuals who graduated within the last 10 years regardless of age.

UTEP alumni are welcome to speak and share their stories at the 35 under 35 Alumni Speaker Series and the Leadership After 5 series. Also inform the alumni association when you change jobs, addresses, and email address so they can send you news and to learn of your successes.

Graduates can join the Alumni Association for free. In 2020 the association decided to get rid of the annual membership fee and rather create the free “Picks Ups” membership to every graduate of UTEP.

In order to activate this free membership, alumni need to go to MinerLink and create their alumni profile at minerlink.utep.edu. In addition to the free membership, the association also has a premium lifetime membership for $500. Lifetime Members are invited to year-round members only events.

For information about UTEP Alumni Association or to become a member visit their website at or follow them on social media @utepalumni.

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter.