Inaugural retiree reunion brings faculty and staff back to UTPA
Posted: 04/08/2008
Share |

The University of Texas-Pan American's Division of University Advancement hosted the inaugural Retired Faculty and Staff Reunion, April 4 at the Ballroom.

The reunion served as a way for retired faculty and staff to mingle with old friends and reacquaint themselves with the University through several tours.

UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas welcomes retirees Carl and Jan Seale, who were also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary the day of the reunion.
"This reunion was created to hopefully bring the faculty and staff who impacted the history of UTPA back to the area," said Lydia Alemán, executive director of the Division of University Advancement. "It was also created to give us the opportunity to share with them some of the many important things happening at UTPA, such as new programs and developments in the colleges, student success stories, and introduce them to the president and other administrators and deans."

Peter White, 79, who worked as a lecturer in the English department from 1986-1995, traveled all the way from Hemet, Calif. to attend the reunion.

He said during his time here, he was most proud that he and his wife raised money to take the mariachi and ballet folklórico to perform in Canada.

"For most of those students, it was the first time they had ever been outside of the Valley. I was here a short time compared to some people, but I always enjoyed teaching and I loved my students," White said. "I miss the University. It's the cultural center of the Valley."

For Dr. Hubert J. Miller, who taught in the history department from 1970-1996, the reunion was something he's been waiting for.

"The reunion is long overdue. It's similar to an alumni reunion and I really enjoy those," Miller said, who came from Austin to attend.

Miller said when he thinks of the University he remembers wonderful years in the Valley, but he also loves the cultural activities Austin has to offer, as well as traveling in his spare time.

The more than 70 retirees and guests were greeted and welcomed by UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas who told attendees the day was dedicated to them because of all that they contributed to the University.

"I acknowledge and appreciate the role of each and every one of you in the development of this extraordinary institution," Cárdenas said. "All the ways in which an institution is built is represented in the people here. You have a very special place of respect and admiration because you were associated with this institution that everyone understood was so important to the development of our community and our region. We are eternally grateful."

Alemán, who said the reunion will be an annual event, felt the retirees know the history of the University and should be honored.

"We need to learn some of this history from them and share with them the current and future vision of our University," Aleman said. "They are ambassadors of UTPA and we hope that they will stay connected to this great institution."

For more information about the reunion, contact the Division of University Advancement at 956/381-2971.