The University of Texas at El Paso raised nearly $39 million last year to support scholarships, fellowships, facilities and faculty.
“This historic level of support will allow us to improve on the things that make UTEP exceptional,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “This means more scholarships for our students so they can afford college with less debt and become the teachers and nurses that will care for us and our loved ones, or the business leaders who will create jobs and grow our economy. The support we receive from our donors enables this work, and we are grateful for the generosity they’ve shown us.”
Wilson made the announcement at the university’s annual fall convocation on Wednesday.
This is the second consecutive record-setting year for the university’s fundraising efforts. This year’s total represents a nearly 50% increase from last year’s contribution total of $26.9 million.
“As the nation’s leading Hispanic-serving university, UTEP does transformative work on behalf of students,” said Jake Logan, vice president for institutional advancement. “This fosters a spirit of philanthropy that surrounds the university and attracts this record-breaking level of investment in our students, faculty and staff.”
Wilson highlighted several major successes for the university during the past year, including record research activity, the largest freshman class in school history, the largest graduating class in school history and renewed student engagement.
She also highlighted two major projects that aim to leverage the university’s expertise to serve Hispanic students on a national scale.
With support from the UT System Board of Regents, friends of the university and former UTEP president Diana Natalicio’s estate, UTEP launched the Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success and hired Anne-Marie Nunez and Jacob Fraire to lead it.
UTEP also is part of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities, which Wilson chairs.
The 21 members are the only institutions that the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education has recognized as top research institutions.
“As America’s leading Hispanic-serving university, it is up to UTEP to lead the way,” Wilson said. “We have a responsibility to show the rest of the country how to open the doors of opportunity – the pathway to excellence, to a better life, to a broader impact – to those who historically have been underserved by higher education.”
Other high points for the university over the past year include:
The approval by the UT Regents of Paydirt Promise Plus, a $55 million endowment to increase scholarships for students from modest means. Thirty-six percent of UTEP undergraduate students had their tuition and mandatory fees fully paid for this fall through a variety of grant and scholarship funds.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced that a team led by UTEP and the city of El Paso is the only one in Texas to earn a Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant. This grant will support and expand manufacturing and aerospace in West Texas.
UTEP graduated the largest class of health care professionals in its history – 1,110 graduates from the College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy. About 90% of those graduates have their first jobs in the region, and 60% of the nurses in the region have been educated at UTEP.