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Celebrate homecoming week with a neon-bright smile

UTEP’s homecoming theme will be neon which will be incorporated in their upcoming events such as the “Glow with the Flow” art contest which will be happening Oct. 9. Photo courtesy of the Prospector archive

As homecoming nears, UTEP finds itself preparing to illuminate the campus with glowing spirit as they prepare to welcome back alumni, Golden Graduates and kick off the celebration during the week of Oct. 29, –Nov. 4, Neon-themed traditions and events will be taking place for all UTEP faculty, staff, students and alumni to help ignite their UTEP pride.  

You guessed it. This year’s homecoming theme is neon. Decided by UTEP students and community, during homecoming week the campus will be bright with spirit as multiple events are planned, starting Oct. 9, with ‘Glow with the Flow’ Art Contest. Other events include the 13th Annual UTEP Miner Dash (5K run/3K walk), Student Org. homecoming games, Neon Carnival, and more.  

Several traditions will be celebrated differently this year. For example, the homecoming pep rally will be held to celebrate Pay Dirt Pete’s 70th birthday. Replacing the annual homecoming pageant will be Mr. and Mrs. UTEP; inviting all students from all classifications to apply for a chance to be named either Mr. or Mrs. UTEP. 

Mallory Payan, Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, expresses her excitement towards the homecoming events planned.  

“It is a cool way for students to see their university on a bigger scale,” Payan said. “[Sprit will be shown] not just [from] the students that are around campus, [but] we have the campus spirit that lives on through all of our alumni, and some of our special awardee’s.” 

Payan states besides fun events, homecoming is a great opportunity to get in touch with fellow UTEP alumni. 

“This is a great opportunity for students to get involved,” Payan said. “There is no better connection than getting current students connected to our alumni who were in their shoes who graduated from the same major [or college].” 

Welcoming home alumni, homecoming week will feature many events highlighting them. For example, the Golden Nugget Recipients. Each year, alumni who have excelled in their profession expanding either locally or nationally become recognized. Through a nomination process, these alumni earn the Golden Nugget Award; recipients can be alumni from any major. Payan encourages application for the Golden Nugget award as it is a great recognition. 

“[Golden Nugget Recipients] are prominent alumni who have received one of the highest awards that is the distinguished alumni and Gold Nugget award,” Payan said. “We are recognizing them with these incredible awards and all of their amazing impact, not just in their field but also to UTEP.” 

Another emphasis during homecoming week is the Golden Graduates. In 1973, many students earned their degree from UTEP, allowing them to excel in their profession. This year marks their 50-year graduation anniversary, and UTEP is encouraging graduates to come back to campus to celebrate. The Golden Graduates Reunion package includes a campus tour, meet-and-greet with fellow alumni, and recognition throughout homecoming week events. The class of 1973 is encouraged to come back to campus and relive some of those ‘golden’ years again, as tickets for the Golden Graduate package are still available for purchase. 

“There are a number of people who graduated in 1973, that are coming back to see the campus and see how much it’s changed in 50 years,” Payan said. “It’s a really special reunion that many people may not know exists, it’s cool for folks to know about.”  

UTEP encourages students to participate in these events, to be a part of exciting experiences, and to meet alumni as well. More information about homecoming events, Golden Nugget recipients, applications for homecoming court, as well tickets for Golden Grads can be found on the UTEP homecoming website.  

“I would really encourage students to celebrate in the spirit of homecoming,” Payan said. “By getting excited about being a UTEP Miner, [and] then connecting with our thousands of alumni both here in El Paso and across the country.” 

To finish homecoming week, UTEP football will be going against Western Kentucky Nov. 4, at the Sun Bowl Stadium. UTEP’s homecoming celebration is welcome towards the community, to help them light the campus up with spirit. 

Sofia Sierra is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]      

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About the Contributor
Sofia Sierra
Sofia Sierra, Web/Copy Editor
Sofia is a junior studying multimedia journalism with a minor in creative writing. She is the web and copy editor at The Prospector. After graduation, she hopes to work outside of El Paso to continue to grow as a writer.
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