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New Student Alumni Association promotes school spirit and traditions
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative
381-2741
Posted: 09/30/2008
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Students at The University of Texas-Pan American got a chance to display some rousing Bronc spirit during noontime Sept. 17 at the inaugural Gladiator Day event organized by the Student Alumni Association (SAA).

This new organization, an affiliate of the UTPA Alumni Association, seeks to bring old traditions back to the University while creating new traditions and increased school spirit that will hopefully be cemented within the student population said SAA President John Tamez, a 2008 UTPA graduate in communications now pursuing a master’s in business administration at the University.


UTPA Image
Pharr natives Jorge Gutierrez, a freshman majoring in biology, and Casandra Garcia, a freshman majoring in nursing, are pictured participating in a jousting match during Gladiator Day, the inaugural event held Sept. 17 by the new UTPA Student Alumni Association.
“I feel students on campus are hungry for traditions right now. I want them to believe that when they leave this University that they have had the best college experience that they could have ever imagined. Through traditions and school pride I thing we can accomplish that,” he said.

While Tamez cited bringing back long ago traditional events such as Bronc Rodeo and Cowboy Days, the SAA kicked off the fall semester with a newly conceived Gladiator Day where students were able to participate in such activities as an inflatable obstacle course, joust and bungee cord run. Students also enjoyed free hot dogs, lemonade and popcorn while visiting information booths representing seven campus organizations. Besides the SAA, sponsors of the day included the Student Union, Sodexho, H-E-B, Walmart and All Valley Screen Printing.

Tamez said the organization hopes to offer philanthropic activities and a series of monthly events. By joining, he said, students will have the opportunity to gain leadership skills, develop positive community relations, increase network contact, increase career opportunity awareness and enhance University loyalty and support.


UTPA Image
Pictured left to right at Gladiator Day are Student Alumni Association members Erik Valdez, President John Tamez, Felix Rodriguez, Melany Rodriguez, Krissy Martinez, Omar Estrella and Manny Rivas.
Students interested in being part of SAA can do so for a low, yearly, membership fee of $10. Students must be in good standing with the University and registered for at least two credit hours.

Linda Rios, assistant director for UTPA Office of Alumni Relations and SAA adviser, said the organization’s goal is to start cultivating students now for tomorrow.

“Alumni are the backbone of a university. We need alumni to come back and give back to us, to give the opportunity for more students to come to school. We need their support. They also serve as mentors for the Student Alumni Association. We have so many ideas for this organization and will be working closely with the UTPA Alumni Association,” she said.

For more information, contact the UTPA Alumni Relations Office at 956/381-2500.