A high wind weather advisory did not diminish the Bronc spirit which soared Saturday, Feb. 18 as nearly 1,000 students, alums and friends turned out in their green, white and orange to celebrate at The University of Texas-Pan American's 2012 Homecoming tailgate party.
Alumni also got a chance to view and order the first official class ring which was unveiled on Friday, Feb. 17.
Albert Luis, a UTPA staff member in Physical Plant's operation support in the Division of Business Affairs, was one of many employees from various divisions who were serving up food ranging from fajitas and ribs to hot dogs and cookies. He and his wife also attended the Alumni Gala held the night before.
Luis, who went to Texas A&M-Kingsville, said he wants to see more spirit from current UTPA students and alumni.
"It is important because UTPA is a huge part of the community and area. Without UTPA, the Valley probably wouldn't be what it is, so events like this are fantastic," Luis said.
Terry and Dan Martinez (BBA-Accounting '78)drove to participate in homecoming activities from Houston in their 40' motor coach, which was parked amid the festivities.
"We love being here in the Valley" said Terry, describing the couple's enthusiasm regarding the University. "We encourage our friends who have children to come and visit UTPA to see what the campus is like. We definitely promote it. The University has had a great impact on the Valley and the new president has done wonderful things for UT Pan American ... he has really given his heart and soul to the University to make it grow and encourage kids to go to college. We are really excited about that."
Homecoming King Ohireime Eromosele, a pre-med major, wore his crown as he gave out hugs and handshakes to tailgate visitors. Homecoming Queen Stephanie Corte, a mass communication/journalism major, also attended. Eromosele said it was a great honor to be seen by his peers as the person to best represent Bronc pride at UTPA.
"UTPA has so much to offer. We are so family-oriented ... we are close and it is so tight-knit here. I can't go anywhere without seeing somebody I know," he said. "UTPA has also opened so many opportunities to me. In the little time I have been here, I've been able to experience so much and meet and work with so many great people - faculty and students alike. As long as I am here I hope to experience more of that ... that's why I think UTPA is great."
Many tailgaters moved on to the Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. to watch the Broncs men's basketball team whip Chicago State University.
Enjoy more photos of the event at the tailgate photo gallery.