Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, president of The University of Texas-Pan American, announced preparations for the upcoming celebration of the University's 75th anniversary at a news conference Monday, May 21.
Nevárez unveiled an anniversary logo designed by Graciela Segura, Office of University Relations publications production manager. Her entry was among 27 designs submitted by UTPA students and others.
The yearlong anniversary celebration, which runs from September 2002 to August 2003, will feature various events and activities.
Nevárez also introduced Margaret McAllen as anniversary committee honorary chair and Dr. Martha Tevis as director.
McAllen is a founding member of the Pan American University Foundation Board in 1982 and a Board of Regents member from 1983-1989. She was instrumental in the merging of Pan American University and The University of Texas System in 1989.
"Margaret has made many contributions to the Rio Grande Valley and The University of Texas-Pan American," Nevárez said. "We are grateful that Margaret has agreed to chair this committee, and we look forward to working together to plan a birthday party for the University that will be remembered by all South Texas for years to come."
McAllen said she was honored to accept the role.
"It is a pleasure for me personally to be involved in this celebration," McAllen said. "I look forward to seeing you on this campus for the most marvelous 75th anniversary celebration."
Tevis, a UTPA professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is a charter member of the UTPA Alumni Association and came to then-Pan American College in 1967.
She currently serves as graduate coordinator for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She also is on the editorial boards of several national journals and is secretary of the International Society for Educational Biography.
"We are the institution of higher education; we are the torch and the light in the Rio Grande Valley," Tevis said. "Our goal is to bring every person onto this campus so they can see how we have developed."
Tevis also introduced the planning committee and the various other committee chairs. The chairs include: Elvie Davis, Student Committee; Dr. Dan Dearth, Faculty Committee; Candi Roxas, Community Committee; Phyllis Hutchins, Alumni, Family and Friends Committee; and Albert Ochoa and Howard Miller, Facilities Coordination.
Julia Benitez Sullivan, director of the Office of University Relations, described the logo selection process and announced the top finalists.
Sullivan said the competition was tough.
"There were some very wonderful designs, ranging from the very traditional to very avant guard," she said.
The names of the entrants were not revealed during the selection process. The top four finalists each received a certificate of appreciation for their efforts and a cash award - $1,000 for the winner; $500 for second place; and $250 each for third and fourth places. Segura also received a plaque featuring the 75th anniversary logo.
The President's Executive Committee - which is comprised of the President, the four Vice Presidents, the director for Institutional Advancement and the president's assistant - made the final decision.
In describing the winning logo, Segura said it represents the proper image for this special occasion.
"It was a personal challenge for me," she said. "In reality, I love to design, and I wanted the University to have a fresher look. I wanted to create an image that would portray progress, history and a legacy."
Other logo finalists included former UTPA student Win Ohn, owner of Ohn Advertising in McAllen, second place; Laura Beth Gregerson, UTPA student from Pharr, third; and Damaso Navarro II, UTPA student from San Juan, fourth.
"To me, it is an honor to be the designer of the 75th anniversary logo," Segura said. "I really respect the University because it is an institution that is growing so fast, and my contribution is now a small part of the growing University."
The University of Texas-Pan American was established Sept. 9, 1927, as Edinburg College, a two-year community college under the direction of Edinburg School District. Today, UTPA is home to more than 12,500 students and 800 faculty and staff members.
Since it opened, UTPA not only has increased its enrollment and academic offerings but also broadened its role and scope to become the gateway to higher education for thousands of Rio Grande Valley residents. It has changed its name six times.