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DID YOU KNOW....

Campus image of 1914

Ft. Bliss Campus

Paydirt Pete

Paydirt Pete

Seamon Hall

Seamon Hall

M on mountain

"M" on the Franklin Mountains

  • The Texas State School 0f Mines and Metallurgy enrolled 27 students on opening day, Sept. 23, 1914.
  • The College of Mines consisted of a 25-room dormitory and a 34-room Main Building on Fort Bliss.
  • Students majoring in mining or engineering were called engineers, while students majoring in arts or education were called peedoggies.
  • The School of Mines held its first commencement in the assembly hall of the Fort Bliss campus on May 30, 1916, when three miners received their degrees.
  • In 1961, the college was the first in the nation to graduate students from the Peace Corps training program initiated by President John F. Kennedy.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso became the official name of the university on March 13, 1967.
  • Tuition - In 1914, students paid a one-time registration fee of $30, with laboratory fees of $1.50 to $25 per course.
  • Mine Tunnel - The mountain behind the Computer Science Building has a mine tunnel that was once considered a prime location for “making out.“
  • Wild West - A horse stable was located in what is now Memorial Gym, where student rodeos were held.
  • Fire in the Hole - Explosions were common, and “Dynamite, fire in the hole!“ was frequently heard. Blasting continued into the 1960s.
  • Bowling Barbers - The Union Building West once had a bowling alley and a barbershop in the basement.
  • Nicknames -“Ore Diggers“ and “Muckers“ were considered as school nicknames before “Miners" was chosen.
  • Mascots - The first mascot was a student dressed as a prospector leading a burro named Clyde. Clyde was replaced in 1966 by another burro named Henry.
  • Paydirt Pete originated from a 1974 student contest. The lovable old Miner was nicknamed "Sweet Pete." The latest rendition of Paydirt Pete was introduced in 1999.
  • School colors - The original school colors were orange and white, reflecting the close association with the University of Texas at Austin. In the 1980s, students voted to add blue to the school colors.
  • Traveling Trophies - The winner of the UTEP - NMSU football game recieves a pair of traveling trophies—the Silver Spade and the Brass Spittoon. The first spade was an old prospector's shovel dug up from an abandoned mine in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces in 1947.
  • Swimming Hole - The Undergraduate Learning Center is located on what used to be the University Swimming Pool.
  • Spirits and Ghosts - Several campus buildings, including Cotton Memorial and Seamon Hall are said to be haunted.
  • “M“ on the Mountain - Students in Engineering and Metallurgy first whitewashed an “M" on the Franklin Mountains in the early 1920's. In the early 1960's, the tradition was moved closer to campus.
  • Cardiac Hill - The not-so-popular walk begins at the base of the Education Building and connects the main campus with the Memorial Gym and Kidd Field.
  • Beanies - New students were once encouraged to wear freshman beanies during their first semester of study.
  • Streaker Spirit - The 60's at UTEP were a hotbed for political expression and little-to-no inhibition. On several occasions, naked students were seen streaking down University Avenue.
  • UTEP's graduation exercises were held at the Church of St. Clements and the Scottish Rite Temple in the 1940s. UTEP's Kidd Field, Memorial Gym and Magoffin Auditorium housed commencement exercises in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Burrito Bomber - The “Burrito Bomber,” who launched burritos at the public at Miner basketball games, was suspended from one game in 2004 after swatting a referee
  • In May 1974, UTEP named Norma Hernandez dean of the College of Education, the first Hispanic female alumna to become an academic dean.
  • On April 13, 1914, El Paso Chamber President Robert Krakauer announced more than 50 men and firms had secured funding to open the Texas State School of Mines.
  • President George W. Bush, then the 46th governor of Texas, gave UTEP's 100th commencement address in 1998.
  • Former President George H. W. Bush, then Vice President, spoke at UTEP's spring 1987 commencement.


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