Scott Martin is wondering if any of his former classmates from the Class of 1942 are still around. That's why he is planning on returning to his alma mater, now known as The University of Texas-Pan American, next weekend during its Homecoming 2011 festivities.
This year, UTPA is welcoming back all graduates from the University and its previous incarnations with all sorts of activities Feb. 18 and 19, from campus tours to tailgate parties.
"I'm going to find out if anybody's there, said Martin, who received a degree in business from then-Edinburg Junior College.
Festivities will kick off with the Alumni Gala Feb. 18 at the Social Club, 217 Conquest, Edinburg, from 6:30-11 p.m. The event will start with cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dinner, an awards ceremony and a dance. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (956) 665-2500.
On Saturday, Feb. 19 the University's admissions office will offer campus tours for alumni and a reunion luncheon will be held at the Health and Physical Education II building for graduates of the Class of 1961 and earlier.
Alumni can also reconnect with former classmates and meet new friends during a tailgate party Feb. 19 from 3-5 p.m. that will include music, free food and drinks from Wienerschnitzel and Valley Coca-Cola Bottling Co., a classic car show and activities for children including face painting and inflatable jumping toys. Everyone from the community is welcome to attend as well.
The car show will feature 20-30 vehicles from the past 10 decades, some belonging to UTPA alumni, including a 1957 Chevrolet Bellaire owned by UTPA alumnus Geronimo Weber ('59).
Participants of the tailgate party are encouraged to dress in fashions from the year they graduated school and are also welcome to bring their grills and prepare some of their favorite dishes.
The Saturday celebration culminates with Bronc Madness where the Lady Broncs and Broncs basketball teams compete against the women's and men's teams from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Lady Broncs will play at 5:30 p.m. and the Broncs' game begins at 7:30 p.m.
"Homecoming 2011 is really going to be special," said Debby Grant, director of alumni relations. "We want to make sure we get the invitation out to all of our alumni, so if you know of someone who has lost touch with us, please share their address or phone number so we can contact them. We like to say that the only constant in the life of a university is its alumni, so we want to make sure all of our graduates and former students know how important you are to us."
Martin, who lives in Mission, said the skills he learned in typing and shorthand helped him greatly when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was assigned to be a yeoman. Now 87 years old, Martin said he continues to advise young people to pursue higher education.
"I tell them, 'It is absolutely imperative you get your education ... you deserve a good life, but you're going to have to work hard for it,'" said Martin, who became an agent for an independent insurance agency after his military service.
For more information about Homecoming 2011, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (956) 665-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.