Educators reunite to celebrate UTPA 75th anniversary
Posted: 10/21/2002
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Alumni from Department of Educational Leadership at The University of Texas-Pan American College of Education enjoyed a night filled with memories, smiles and inspirational speeches October 10 during the 75th anniversary alumni reunion at the UTPA Ballroom.

Alumni gather to celebrate UTPA 75th anniversary. Pictured above from left to right are Dr. Col. Carl Carlan; Dr. Jimmy Williamson; Dr. Dennis McCabe; Dr. Hilda Medrano, dean of the College of Education; Dr. Velma D. Menchaca, chair of the Educational Leadership Department; Dr. Fred Cunningham; and Dr. Barry Thompson.

"Tonight we are celebrating as part of UTPA's 75th anniversary. We are celebrating and honoring the alumni that have come through the Department of Educational Leadership," said Dr. Velma Menchaca, chair of the department. "The turn out for this event has been great. A lot of people responded that wanted to be part of this reunion and this celebration."

Dr. Jimmy Williamson, from Baylor University and former chair of the department, spoke about the College of Education's humble beginnings and the long line of eager students waiting to register when the college opened.

"At the first registration there were 400 people who showed up and we only offered about 10 classes. We didn't know what to do with all of them," Williamson said.

Dr. Martha May Tevis - chair of the UTPA 75th Anniversary Committee - spoke about the 75 years of opportunities and growth at UTPA, and introduced The University of Texas-Pan American 75th Anniversary Video produced by Omar Cantu and Nick Taylor of Technology Resources.

Robert Estrada, Board of Regents member for the University of Texas System, also addressed the crowd. A prominent attorney, business entrepreneur and civic leader, Estrada congratulated the educators for tapping into the minds of students and creating the next valuable resource for Texas.

Plans for the new College of Education Building were also shared during the dinner, and blue prints for the $22 million educational facility were on display.

The Most Distinguished Alumnus was presented to Education Commissioner Dr. Felipe Alanis, who was not able to attend. Dr. Roberto Zamora, superintendent of La Joya I.S.D., received the award on his behalf.