The University of Texas-Pan American's logo recently underwent an extreme makeover to herald in a new era of advancement for the 79-year-old institution that unveiled its new look during the annual Fall Convocation Aug. 23.
More than 1,000 UTPA staff, faculty and students were the first to see the University's new image revealed by UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas and a host of Bronc cheerleaders and dance team members, who energized the crowd with cheers and threw out T-shirts emblazoned with the new logo to the audience.
The new logo, which was collaboratively designed by a team of UTPA graphic artists, features a white star surrounded by four blocks in the colors of orange and green. The green and white colors displayed in the logo are the school's original colors and the orange stands for UTPA's connection to The University of Texas System.
"The squares represent four points - north, south, east and west. The directions represent access and students coming from every corner of our region and from every corner of the world - they symbolize diversity," Cárdenas said.
The star, which sits prominently in the center, Cárdenas said, has several meanings, including it being a symbol of the state of Texas.
"It is also a design element that ties us to the other UT components ... most of the logos in all the other UT System components have a star," she said. "The star also represents success ... students are shining stars and the faculty are stars ... Students, faculty and staff working to excel and shine in their field of research and study."
The UTPA design team was made up of 10 graphic designers from several campus divisions. The graphic artists submitted their own designs to three marketing committees on campus said Ramiro "Rocky" Lozano, publications production manager at the Office of University Relations, who led the team.
"There is great underlying unspoken message said when so many designers from across the University answered the call to work together to help produce a new logo. About 10 designers participated by submitting their own designs, which included more than 60 original concepts. We are very proud of what was produced," Lozano said.
"Our graphic design team came through with flying colors or at least the colors of orange, green and white. The logo symbolizes guidance, wisdom, strength, unity, creativity, success, and achievement," she said.
Angelo Morsello, UTPA Office of University Relations graphic designer, created the logo that was chosen from the 60 designs. Morsello said he wanted to give UTPA's logo a more contemporary look that would take the University to the 21st century.
"I believe the logo symbolizes the achievements and successes of the University and the new direction it is heading. I just wanted the look to be modern, elegant, bold and powerful," Morsello said.
Candi Roxas, UTPA executive director of marketing, said several committees were involved in the logo process including a Marketing Working Group, eight members; Marketing Advisory Committee, 42 members; and the Graphic Design Committee, 15 members.
"All three groups worked on this project; however, the graphic design committee took the lead. We have students in two of the committees, and we also consulted with some students who indicated their preference for this logo," Roxas said.
The entire logo process began in March 2006 with a final decision being made by Cárdenas in July Roxas said.
"I am very happy with the new logo. Our University is growing by leaps and bounds and this logo reflects our heritage as a member of both the UT System and the state of Texas. It also highlights our future and the diversity and success of our students, faculty and staff," Roxas said.
The new chair of the Faculty Senate, Dr. Dora Saavedra, an associate professor in Communication and director of the University Honors Program, said she thought the new logo was very representative of the direction UTPA is going and what the University has already achieved.
"We are a solid institution with an amazing future," she said, as she fastened on her collar a lapel pin bearing the new logo handed out to convocation attendees at the end of the event.
"It represents the good reputation of the University as an academic institution," De Leon said.
R. David Guerra, UTPA Foundation chair and International Bank of Commerce president and CEO, who attended the convocation, said he was very impressed with the new look of the University.
"The actual logo itself is a very abstract piece. It's bold and very strong. I like the colors. I do believe it will be timeless in a sense that it doesn't have to change. I think it represents that we are part of the UT System. In the food chain of the UT System we are trying to get this University to get as close to the larger universities in terms of funding and with funding comes retention and graduation rates," Guerra said.
The new logo replaces the current logo, featuring a palm tree, which was implemented in 2002. Prior to that past logos included the official logo of then-Pan American College in the 1960s, arches in the 1980s, and the sunburst in the 1990s. For the University's 75th anniversary, a special logo was created to commemorate the yearlong celebration, which lasted September through August 2003.