Alumni and supporters network and celebrate UTPA's past and future at holiday mixer
Posted: 12/06/2013
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Hundreds of alumni gathered Dec. 3 to celebrate Bronc spirit and the holiday season during The University of Texas-Pan American's Second Annual "Jingle. Jingle. Let's Mingle." event at the Art Village on Main in McAllen.

UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen (sixth from right) and UT System Regent Ernest Aliseda (fifth from right) are pictured with a group of young UT Pan American alumni who attended the Jingle. Jingle. Let's Mingle holiday event on Dec. 3.
As alumni and guests enjoyed music, food and drinks, and door prizes, they met with and heard from Robert S. Nelsen, UTPA president, Ernest Aliseda, local attorney, judge and Rio Grande Valley native recently appointed to The University of Texas System Board of Regents, and State Representative Bobby Guerra (Dist. 41), a member of the Valley delegation that facilitated the formation of the new university and medical school approved by the Texas Legislature earlier this year.

Alumni association officials hoped the event, hosted by the UTPA Alumni Association Board of Trustees and sponsored by IBC Bank, will help kick start the formation of a Hidalgo County alumni association chapter. There are active regional chapters in Houston, North Texas and Austin. The formation of chapters in Starr County and Washington, D.C., is underway.

"Alumni are crucial to the University," said Alumni Association Board of Trustees President Arnoldo Mata (BA '81), who described how the money raised through alumni association memberships helps students by providing them scholarships and other important support services to facilitate college completion.

Mata said alumni contributions as small as $1 count toward the University's alumni participation rate. A high alumni participation rate is considered highly desirable by foundations when reviewing grant applications from higher education institutions that are seeking funding for programs and services. Active alumni will also play an important role in the formation of the new university and medical school, Mata said.

Nelsen talked about the positive impacts of the formation of the new university and medical school will have on students and the Valley and asked for more alumni involvement and support.

"Come to the basketball games, come to the golf tournaments ... be part of the new university. Whatever the new name is, it doesn't matter. In your hearts, you will always have Pan Am. It doesn't matter because we will have a new university and representation like we have never had before," Nelsen said.

Other "Jingle. Jingle. Let's Mingle." event supporters included L & F Distributors, The Social Club, and the McAllen band "Clueless."

Learn about the membership options and benefits of becoming a UTPA Alumni Association member at the Alumni Association website. Those non-graduates who wish to support the University are also invited to join. For more information, you may also call (956) 665-2500 or email

Go to the Jingle. Jingle. Let's Mingle. UTPA Alumni Holiday Party photo album at the UTPA Alumni Relations Facebook to view photos of the event.