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Christina Rodriguez | March 25, 2021

UTEP Celebrated TCM Day, the Longest-Running Student Tradition Virtually

UTEP Celebrated TCM Day the Longest Running Student Tradition Virtually


On March 12, UTEP students celebrated TCM Day, UTEP’s longest-running tradition, adapted to a virtual setting. Organizers of the event utilized online resources to safely engage participants in popular TCM Day activities such as serenading UTEP President Heather Wilson and the Team Mining Challenge.

TCM Day is celebrated on campus every March in observance of St. Patrick’s Day. The tradition began in 1920 when UTEP was known as the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, or TCM. It is an annual rite of passage to initiate new engineers and geologists into the Order of St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers. TCM Day activities are open to all students, regardless of their major.

“TCM is a long-standing tradition that unifies our engineering students to those who came before. It’s the event that everyone, who has gone through engineering studies at UTEP, can relate to,” said Patricia Nava, Ph.D., interim-dean of UTEP’s College of Engineering. “That is, curriculum changes, professors change, but TCM transcends it all. I met with an alumnus, class of 1977, who asked if we still kissed the Blarney Stone… that memory stands out as one of his best. It’s a fun activity and I’m glad we can keep it alive.”

Since 1920 when the TCM Day tradition began, all participants who completed the day's activities become part of the ever-growing Mighty Guard of St. Pat. The Guard is the blood line that keeps the tradition alive every year to make TCM Day happen.

UTEP senior civil engineering major, Sebastian Lopez was voted by his peers, faculty and staff of UTEP’s College of Engineering to represent St. Pat, the patron saint of engineers, during this year’s celebration. He was excited to be a part of the University’s time-honored convention and led the Mighty Guard on TCM Day with a grand entrance called The Coming of St. Pat.

“This is a tradition that I always wanted to be a part of. The ability to represent it really makes me happy,” Lopez said. “This is one of those events that you will always remember … Sharing the experience with my peers just gives me a sense of fulfillment that isn’t easily replaceable.”

College of Engineering Communications

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