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Memories & Condolences

Diana was my closest friend; we were very close throughout our lives. We not only shared many happy memories growing up in St. Louis, but she was my eternal travel partner, often traveling the world together. My sister loved El Paso, and she chose to retire here. She loved the weather, the mountains, the food, and the wonderful people. She had a great and accomplished life. She loved UTEP and most of all, she loved UTEP’s students. They are what drove her life’s work, and what provided her greatest satisfaction. She always said, “Talent is everywhere,” and Commencement brought her the greatest joy, recognizing the achievement of those walking across the stage, as she proudly shook each of their hands. She was very happy here, and I thank the El Paso community for embracing her all these years, and for all the love she always received. - Bill Siedhoff Dr. Natalicio’s Brother

It is a sad day for El Paso. Dr. Natalicio was an incredible human being who dedicated her life to UTEP and to the thousands of students whose lives she changed for the better. I will always be grateful for her friendship and her counsel. She made UTEP the tier one university it is today, and she made El Paso shine bright throughout the world. She will be greatly missed and always remembered. Thank you, Dr. Natalicio. I can imagine you in Heaven now going: Go Miners. - Oscar Leeser El Paso Mayor

I am deeply saddened at the loss of Dr. Natalicio. For 32 years I had the privilege of seeing first-hand her passionate commitment and deep caring for the students of this region, as well as the positive impact that her decisions had on their lives. Her legacy will be reflected in the accomplishments of all the students she helped succeed. She stood up for them no matter the odds, and you knew the odds were in your favor if you had Dr. Natalicio in your corner. She was funny, self-deprecating, and always still surprised at the many awards and recognitions bestowed on her. I will miss her very much and will forever hear her saying, ‘Go Miners.’ - Richard Adauto Former Executive Vice President for President Diana Natalicio

It was an honor to work for Dr. Natalicio for 18 years. She was all the wonderful things people knew of her and more. No matter how many awards or accolades she received, she always remained true to who she was at heart. Always striving to make UTEP the best, always steadfast in her vision of access and excellence, and always making every decision - big or small - for the benefit of the students we served. She loved baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals, root beer floats, brats, El Paso, the beautiful Franklin Mountains and UTEP and its students most of all. I am devastated, but deeply grateful to have been part of her family at UTEP and her life. I will miss her very much. Rest in peace Dr. Natalicio, thank you for everything, and Go Miners. - Estrella Escobar Senior Chief of Staff to Mayor Oscar Leeser and former Associate Vice President for President Diana Natalicio

I really admired Dr. Natalicio's dedication to UTEP and to the students of the university and the visits she made with the San Francisco Bay Area alumni. She was loved and admired by so many. - Francisco Briones

Diana and I traveled around Brazil and neighboring countries while on a Fulbright scholarship, 1961-62. We had the kind of adventures that young women write books about, sharing fun, joy, and at times discomfort, illness and danger, all of which brought us very close to each other. We had made plans to meet again, but then COVID struck. Rest in peace, Baby. - Nijole Etzwiler

Dr. Natalicio will always hold a special place in my heart. She was the epitome of a modern leader; her poise, curiosity, willingness to learn and always striving for more helped guide me as a student-athlete and introduced me to new ways of thinking about giving back to my community. Thank you for everything and sincere condolences to family and friends ali ke. - Kia Dowell

Dr. Diana Natalicio was a humble, encouraging and hard-working leader. Dr. Diana was with us during one Project MOVE all day and encouraged all the student group leaders that were directing students. She still joined us after we came back to campus to turn in the reports. I requested if I could have a photograph with her and humbly I was welcomed. This really gladdened my heart as a black African. - Olufemi Adeniji

Fue un honor para mi poder tener la oportunidad de trabajar de cerca con la Dr. Natalicio. Tuve la oportunidad de entrevistarla 2 veces y hacer varios videos para ella. Sin duda dejo una gran enseñanza en mi vida y puedo decir orgullosamente que su firma esta en mi diploma, y que siempre estare orgullosa de ser una minera. Que Dios de paz en los corazones de sus familiares y sus seres queridos. - Daisy Aragon

Condolences to Dr. Natalicio's family, the UTEP community, and El Paso. Dr. Natalicio was a remarkable leader and an inspiration to so many of us. I met her over 30 years ago when I visited UTEP and was privileged to see the transformation at UTEP that was the result of her leadership and wisdom on a second visit 25 years later. She lives on in the University she loved and the people she inspired. - Lydia Villa-Komaroff

I am really saddened to hear the loss of Dr. Natalicio. I would call her the iron lady. Whatever UTEP is today it is all because of her visionary leadership and indefinite efforts. We should celebrate the life of such an exemplary leader whose contribution toward the community is countless. I am truly honored to receive my master’s degree from Dr. Natalicio's hands. Rest in peace. - Anurag Gautam

It is with profound gratitude and admiration that I remember Dr. Natalicio. She was one of the inaugural members of the TIAA Hispanic Advisory Council. Dr. Natalicio's guidance and leadership were instrumental in launching the council that today has broadened its scope to further serve the underserved and underrepresented through the TIAA Inclusion & Diversity Council. We thank you, Diana! - Mauriel Avina

My deepest condolences! She was a great inspiring leader, always saying hello to everyone. Even though I just met her a few times, she always remembered my name. A really nice and excellent human being! - Jesus Rodrigo Campillo

Dr. Natalicio is the reason I decided to major in linguistics which led me to my teaching ESL/English and creative writing for 40 years. She was caring and knew how to draw the best out of individuals. I will forever be grateful for her guidance and encouragement. My deepest condolences to her family and to the entire UTEP community. - Robert Leroy Giron

An unforgettable friend and colleague, and a very special person who will be sorely missed. - Larry Murr

Dr. Natalicio’s demeanor, tenacity, humility and love for our community and students has stayed with me from day one when I met her back in the late 70s when I was an undergraduate social work student. She was my first mentor and helped me in every opportunity to be mindful, be better and remain grounded in purpose and the common good. I admire her and love her essence, her courage and determination. - Eva Moya

It was an honor to have known Dr. Natalico; she was driven by student success and committed herself to prove to the world the power that education has to change lives. She would share her personal stories, which inspired many on how education changed her life and provided social mobility, and opened doors she would have never imagined! That vision transformed the lives of many in our region. - Art Gloria

Diana, so sad that we never had our planned late lunch date. You did mention to us in early September that we would when you felt better. Sorry you got so sick. Praying for your rest, we will love you always. - Rudy and Irene Ayala

I was fortunate enough to break bread with this amazing woman when she visited alumni in Southern California. It was like dining with an old friend. She put our beautiful alma mater, UT El Paso, on the map. She was a kind, gifted and amazing soul. Her legacy will live on through all of us who were there during her tenure. Rest peacefully, grand lady. - Oscar Madrid

Dr. Natalicio was a national leader of public higher education. She changed the lives of thousands of talented and motivated students through high-quality education and affordable access, while contributing to the economic development and quality of life of our region. She will forever hold a place in UTEP and the Rio Grande Region. Thank you for everything, Dr. Natalicio. Go Miners. - Lydia Macias, Research Coordinator, UTEP Office of Research and Sponsored Projects

Dr. Natalicio was very special to me and my family. I met her twice: when I came to UTEP from Honduras for my BSCE degree in 1989, and then in 2014 when I visited El Paso with my family and convinced my son to become a Miner. He is now a junior in the Civil Engineering department there … She is really somebody special to all of us. I know her legacy will continue on with Dr. Wilson! - Hector Chacon

What a great leader, visionary, and most importantly, a great person! We must study her life and accomplishments to understand how a person can help positively shape an institution and community. I am honored to receive my Ph.D. diploma from her hands. May she rest in peace. - Faruk Arslan

When I became president of UTSA in 2017, I was immediately drawn to Dr. Natalicio and the roadmap she drew for UTEP over her 31 years at the helm. As I got to know her, she inspired me with her leadership and passion for putting students first in all strategic endeavors. I will always be indebted to her for the wisdom and guidance she offered me as a new president. She will be greatly missed. - Taylor Eighmy, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio

I am greatly saddened by the passing of Dr. Natalicio. During my tenure as Director for the ICCAE, I found her to be genuinely supportive of the program. She was committed to help the intel community grow the next generation of intel officers. Needless to say, this is a great loss; I know she will not be forgotten. Her legacy will live on! Praying for strength and comfort. - Noemi Pizarro-Hyman, former director, Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (ICCAE)

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Natalicio. Her passion and commitment to provide access to excellent higher education enable many students, like me, the opportunity to social mobility. Her legacy will continue for many years to come. It was an honor to have worked under her leadership. Muchas gracias Doctora. Descanse en Paz - Sandra Aguirre-Covarrubias, UTEP director of communications and alumni partnerships, Institutional Advancement

I really admired Dr. Natalicio''s dedication to UTEP and to the students of the university and the visits she made with the SF Bay Area alumni. She was loved and admired by so many - Francisco Briones

Diana and I traveled around Brazil and neighboring countries while on a Fulbright scholarship, 1961-2. We had the kind of adventures that young women write books about, sharing fun, joy, and at times discomfort, illness, and danger, all of which brought us very close to each other. We had made plans to meet again, but then Covid struck. Rest in peace, Baby - Nijole Etzwiler

Dr. Natalicio will always hold a special place in my heart. She was the epitome of a modern leader, her poise, curiosity, willingness to learn and always striving for more helped guide me as a student-athlete and introduced me to new ways of thinking about giving back to my community. Thank you for everything, and sincere condolences to family and friends alike. - Kia Dowell

T. E. Lawrence once wrote that there are dreamers of the day and dreamers of the night. The dreamers of the day, he observed, “may act on their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” President Natalicio enacted her vision of what UTEP could and should be. For such a small person, she cast a great shadow ... or perhaps a great light. We are all beneficiaries of that light. - Patricia Witherspoon, UTEP Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita of Communication

A great and honorable lady. - Hubert Griffin

When I heard Dr. Natalicio speak for the first time, I was inspired. As a former educator at UTEP and alumna, she helped me see UTEP and the El Paso community in another light. I appreciate what she has done for us and the legacy she has left that one can aspire to live up to. Being a change agent is hard, but possible!!! Thank you, Dr. Natalicio. - Rocio Alvarenga

Our deepest condolences from Brasilia, Brazil. We have the honor to have Dr. Natalicio among our alumni. She came to Rio de Janeiro in the early sixties to learn Portuguese. Since then, she built a spectacular career, becoming a reference in the higher education arena. We are delighted to see Fulbright had somehow contributed to her career. Deixará saudades entre todos que a conheceram. - Luiz Loureiro, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Brazil

Dr. Natalicio: an inspiration, a mentor, but most importantly, a friend. I mourn her passing dearly. RIP - Alicia Meier

Dr. Natalicio worked tirelessly to expand educational opportunities and ensure access to higher education. She transformed lives. I am incredibly thankful for having worked with Dr. Natalicio for more that 15 years and in particular, our trips to Bhutan. She loved UTEP and most importantly, our students!! She had a tremendous impact on my life and the lives of so many others. - Catie McCorry-Andalis, UTEP Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

My condolences to UTEP and the El Paso community for the loss of a truly great leader. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Natalicio when I was an auditor at UT System. I am still inspired by her leadership and her ability to effectively solve problems and address issues, all driven by her devotion to the UTEP family. - Paige Buechley, former auditor at UT System Administration

Mis condolencias. - Celia Leticia Romero Olivad

As an alum, I wished her well and am so glad she was there at the right time. She did so much, and I thanked her publicly, and do so again privately. I'm home again, and can point with pride at UTEP because of Dr. N. My condolences to the family and to El Pasoans, for our loss. Rest in peace, good and faithful Miner, Dr. N. - Oliver Paredes

We are deeply saddened by the passing of UTEP President Emerita Diana Natalicio last Friday, September 24, 2021. The University of Texas at El Paso, founded in 1914 as the state School of Mines and Metallurgy, was established in the far west corner of Texas and has been a part of the Paso del Norte Region for 107 years. The scope of Dr. Natalicio’s work and care on behalf of the students of UTEP and that of our region is a testament to her service to our community for 31-plus years, which is nearly a third of the University’s existence. Dr. Natalicio’s three-decades of service in higher education is just one of the many accomplishments she achieved. Being located in the far west corner of this state, UTEP was often forgotten or overlooked; and Dr. Natalicio saw to it that not only was UTEP recognized as a quality institution, but seen as setting the national standard of what higher education can become. During her tenure, UTEP not only grew the number of buildings on our campus, but also the number of degrees awarded, achieved the Carnegie R1 research designation, and exponentially increased the student population. Dr. Natalicio’s leadership and connection to UTEP students can be best defined using her own words: “How can we justify denying an opportunity by rejecting the admission of a student on the basis of a test? It is immoral.” She believed that ANYONE who wished to further develop themselves through higher education should be granted that opportunity. UTEP SGA members past and present are thankful for Dr. Natalicio’s willingness to challenge the higher education status quo and shape UTEP into the university we have come to love and cherish. Dr. Natalicio’s truest testament as a leader in our community is that she will always be an icon for women around the world. Those who endeavor to lead the next generation and set the example of a university president, or any leader for that matter, should never forget the people they represent. We are saddened to no longer see her white bun as she walked across campus, smiling, talking with students, or even just being a part of the daily events and contributing to our enriched campus life. We are beyond confident as we say goodbye that Dr. Natalicio will not be forgotten; rather, she will be remembered for generations to come. As the Student Government Association, we will continue to uplift our student body and hold true to the University’s mission in being the beacon for access and excellence in West Texas. UTEP will surely continue setting the example for the great state of Texas and our nation in what higher education has the potential to become. Godspeed, Dr. Natalicio, descanse en paz, and thank you for all that you have done for our Miner family. - UTEP Student Government Association

No words can express how hard it was to read that Dr. Natalicio passed away a few days ago. It doesn’t feel like such a powerhouse can ever be gone. On every path I’ve ever taken at UTEP that came across hers, I was always in awe of the amazing person she was. There are so many wonderful words to describe her. Dr. Natalicio was a trailblazer, a beacon of strength for our university and our city. - Kathleen Zurlinden

Thank you, Dr. Natalicio, for your steady and transformative leadership. I owe my success to my UTEP education and will forever be a proud Miner. My favorite memory this summer was showing my girls our beautiful campus and talking about what an absolute gift it was to grow up in El Paso. Descanse en paz, Diana Natalicio. - Obed Varela

Dear Dr. Natalicio, It was … a pleasure to have been taken seriously at the age of 20. A pleasure to have seen your pride in UTEP and felt it, too. A pleasure to have sat in meetings with you and learned about bringing people together. A pleasure to have been influenced by your vision and your dedication. A pleasure to have hugged you at two Commencements. These are the gifts that I carry with me. - Heather Nehring

As a young El Pasoan and UTEP graduate in the late '80's, I was inspired by Dr Natalicio when she became the President of UTEP. She served as a beautiful example grace and professionalism. I will miss her. - Monique Richey Mills

Deepest and warmest condolences from Lima, Peru. As an international student at UTEP, it was my great honor to receive two degrees (BBA and MBA) from the hands of Dr. Natalicio. For the Centennial celebrations in 2014, I flew with my family back to El Paso, and we listened to Dr. Natalicio’s words of pride and affection for our school. God bless her and her family. Long live the College of Mines! - Jorge Licetti

Dr. Natalicio had foresight and emphasized the importance of education, especially in border towns. We immediately saw Dr. Natalicio as a native El Pasoan with her support to who became her students from all backgrounds. I, the first in my immediate family to graduate from college and a first-generation in the U.S, cherish my graduation photo with Dr. Natalicio, Class of 2004. Thank you, God Bless. - Evelyn Aguilera

I met Dr. Natalicio twice; at my graduation in 1991 and in Dallas in 1997 at a UTEP-SMU football game. Walking to the stadium, I noticed a UTEP tailgate party. A lady waved me over and as I got closer I realized it was Dr. Natalicio. She invited me to both the Dallas alumni tailgate party and to sit with them behind the UTEP bench. Thank you, Dr. Natalicio. Your leadership has made UTEP what it is today. - Martin Rodriguez

Dr. Natalicio had visited the UTEP dorms while I was an RA and she told us all “You're doing great work,” and it stuck with me during my time as an RA that I am doing work that will positively affect my peers and the future leaders of the world. Her kind words and positive influence inspired me to always push forward and that change is inevitable. We love and miss you. - Kayla Clark

I am a first-generation college student, so walking down the streets of the campus in itself was an amazing experience. I initially felt like I didn't belong, but UTEP soon became my second home. I remember walking by Dr. Natalicio and contemplating a greeting. I thought she might be tired of rhetorical greetings, so I didn't think it a good idea. To my surprise, she greeted me; that's who she was. - Nora Abasta

There are really no words for the loss of someone such as Dr. Natalicio! UTEP is what it is now because of her passion and dedication to the students of UTEP and the community! She inspired many and left no one behind! She certainly inspired me! No one will ever hold a candle to Dr. Natalicio! Her shoes will be very hard to fill!! Her light and presence will always shine until the end of time! - Bertha Rodriguez

Dr. Diana Natalicio transformed the landscape of higher education around the globe. She traveled the world and never conceded her message of access and excellence. She believed in the talent that surrounds this beautiful Paso del Norte community. Her legacy gives me hope and inspiration to continue working toward a more just world through education. - Virginia Fraire UTEP Vice Provost for Student Success and Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Natalicio sat next to me on a plane as we both traveled to Atlanta. I greeted her and she asked if I was a UTEP alumni. I told her yes, that I was a recent graduate. She learned that I was an educator. She then asked if she could ask me questions regarding my UTEP College of Education experience. We conversed all the way to Atlanta. I felt her passion and her sincere dedication to UTEP. - Richard Torres

Every so often, we’d get an envelope with photos and a handwritten note from Dr. Natalicio —bonus if there was one with her in it. I love seeing that so many of us had a picture with her, these cherished tokens of thoughtfulness. No more powerful words than “Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.” Access and excellence — our life’s work. Thank you, Dr. N. - Beth Brunk-Chavez, dean of Extended University

As a faculty member in Dr. Natalicio’s home department for almost 20 years, I was able to see first-hand how profoundly she transformed the University. The term “visionary” is used too much, but it truly applied in her case, and her vision continues to inspire me today. I got in touch with her last year, and she remembered me and everything about me, as will surprise no one who knew her. - Grant Goodall, professor of linguistics, the University of California, San Diego

My heart is broken. Dr. Natalicio was an inspiration. She was a supporting hand since 1973 until a week before she retired. I went to thank her for everything she had done for me, for UTEP, and for this border community she much loved. I keep alive every wise and warm advice since I was 17. Dra. Natalicio, guerrera incansable, gracias por todo. La recordaremos siempre. Descanse en paz ¡Viva! - Maria-Socorro Tabuenca, professor of Spanish

I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news! I cannot believe this is true. In 2011, I met her for the first time during my on-site interview for my current position, as a post-doc. She was very kind and supportive. Since I joined UTEP in 2012, I saw the great changes at UTEP led by her. She is a legend! Her loss is a great unmeasurable loss to UTEP and our region! - James Li, associate professor of chemistry

Dr. Natalicio was an outstanding woman, great leader and an amazing soul. I am and will be forever grateful for having the opportunity to meet her. Rest in peace, Dr. Natalicio. - Claudia Dominguez, assistant director, UTEP Career Center

Dr. Natalicio was a beacon, not just to UTEP, but to El Paso. She was a personal role model of mine who showed us all the results of hard work, dedication and integrity! To our community, Dr. Natalicio will always be a staple of UTEP, transcending generations. She will be missed. May her soul be resting in peace. - Nallely Gonzalez

Honored to have broken bread with her when she visited alums in Southern California. She was always a great inspiration to me and I loved her for that. She put UTEP on the map! Rest in peace, dear heart, and know that your legacy lives on in each of us. Go, Miners! - Oscar Madrid

At one of my assignments, my interpreter placement had moved. When asked if I was OK with it, I responded with, “Of course, I’m just the interpreter.” As Dr. Natalicio walked past me to take her place, she told me I wasn't just an interpreter and asked me to take my spot, stand tall and proud, and continue to bloom. Everything she did, everything she said, was always intentional. - Nena Rios, coordinator of American Sign Language Services

An educator never dies. They will impact their students, colleagues and future generations of aspiring minds. I am grateful for President Natalicio’s effects on me when I studied at UTEP. - Yowei Kang

Since 2003, I started working in the Continuing Education department. I saw the University develop through her hard work. I will always remember her for her great smile, intelligence and dedicated passion to help students with their education. Her two dedicated words and vision that stand out to my mind are access and Excellence. Rest in peace, Dr. Natalicio. Our love and thoughts are with all. Go, Miners! - Socorro Herrera, program manager, Professional and Public Programs

Twenty-nine years ago, President Natalicio welcomed me to UTEP. Since the first day I met her, I was impressed with her charisma and the gracious way she treated everyone. She would often talk to me about her vision, and I now realize that everything she told me, she was able to achieve and more. We will never forget the legacy she left for the Paso del Norte region and the Hispanic community. - Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, professor of chemistry and environmental science and engineering

Diana Natalicio was an inspiration to many of us at UTEP over many decades. She was a crusader for educational opportunity and social justice, whether that meant changing the undergraduate student demographic, developing research initiatives, promoting career opportunities or advocating for doctoral programs. I will deeply miss her friendship and counsel. Her powerful legacy remains. - Chuck Ambler, professor emeritus of history and former associate provost and dean of the Graduate School

The sad passing of Dr Diana Natalicio, immediately prompts us to reflect on the decade long partnership we formed between UTEP and Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia and the significant impact this partnership had on students and staff from both institutions. Even though we were on opposite sides of the world Dr Natalico’s leadership and her passionate commitment to equitable student opportunity and success provided us with inspiration to learn from each other, building an excellent student experience for all students. It’s hard to think of a world without Diana but her legacy continues to impact on all of us who have had the good fortune to have had her in our lives. Our thoughts are with Diana’s family and friends and the entire UTEP community at this very sad time. - Professor Peter Dawkins AO and Susan Young Melbourne, Australia

Our sincerest condolences to the Natalicio family as well as the Miner family. The community of El Paso mourns with you. Dr. Natalicio dedicated her life to the success of The University of Texas at El Paso, and left a remarkable legacy of resilience and hope that will never be replaced. - Jesus Ramos

It was an incredible honor to join the UTEP family and work with Dr. Natalicio for almost a decade. Her vision, leadership and support opened opportunities to educate much-needed health and rehabilitation professionals for the El Paso region and beyond. I will always hold her dear and her light will shine forever in my heart. - Kathleen Curtis Former dean of the College of Health Sciences

On behalf of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, our thoughts and prayers are with Diana Natalicio’s family and the UTEP community. While Dr. Natalicio’s contributions to higher education reached across the globe, she touched us personally with her smile. Thank you, President Natalicio, for your service to students and for providing so many cherished memories. - Rissa McGuire

I was privileged to work with Diana Natalicio when she chaired the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Advisory Committee on International Issues. I treasure her friendship. She possessed such diverse interests and talent, having once told me the only other job she might consider would be to become commissioner of Major League Baseball! - Bill Jobe Retired director of academic affairs, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

My spouse and I came to El Paso in 1972. We watched the fabulous growth of UTEP under Dr. Natalicio especially through our son who has earned three degrees, including a doctorate, at UTEP. With Dr. Natalicio, we have shared a love of Pro Musica and Zuill Bailey. El Paso is a better place because of Dr. Natalicio. - Robert Starke Retired professor, director and manager, El Paso Community College

Diana Natalicio is probably the main reason I spent my entire career at UTEP. Her focus on access and excellence was revolutionary in higher education. So many people thought it couldn’t be done, but she battled this type of elitism with amazing determination and resilience. She greatly influenced me and so many other faculty, students and staff. She will be greatly missed. - Kate Mangelsdorf Professor, Department of English

I knew her since her arrival to El Paso as a teacher. I loved and admired her deeply. She really treasured education and understood the needs of our University. I will miss her always. May God rest her beautiful soul. She should be buried on UTEP grounds. - Hilda Kelley

I will never forget the day I interviewed Dr. Natalicio for a news article and she was so genuinely interested in my success. She told me about a career path that changed my life. She will always hold a place in my heart as a caring leader who dedicated her life to education. My prayers and blessings to you always. - Lourdes Garcia

Dr. Natalicio was my University president when I graduated. I later had the pleasure of working with her for five-plus years. She had a consistent belief in the gifts we all have and that the missing link was opportunity. She will be missed, but her legacy will live on forever. Picks up! - Roman Herrington

UTEP is a top-notch University thanks to the vision and confidence of Dr. Natalicio in creating a place for students from all walks of life, including undocumented immigrants. She opened the door to programs and opportunities for everybody, and by doing that, she provided a better life and future to thousands of students. Her legacy will live on forever. Dr. Natalicio, well done. ¡Si se pudo! - Norma Ontiveros Gaspar

Dr. Natalicio wasn’t UTEP’s President when I graduated from Texas Western College in 1960. Dr. Smiley was president then. But, during her tenure, she went out of her way to make sure that “older” alums stayed connected to the University. I knew her as a wonderful woman and great leader. She was a person of high competence and will be missed by many. - Raymond Lowrie

Condolences to Dr. Natalicio’s friends and family. I graduated from UTEP in 1991, and was fortunate enough to meet her at an academic honors dinner and remember how energetic and passionate she was. She truly loved UTEP and a large part of the University’s success was due to her tireless efforts for 30-plus years! Thank you, Dr. Natalicio, for making UTEP one of the best universities in Texas! - Yvonne Reed

The reason why I , and thousands of other graduates, obtained a quality and accessible college education is because of her. She fought hard so UTEP could continue to provide educational opportunities to our community and beyond. I am so proud to be a UTEP Miner! Her legacy has marked generations and will be forever missed. - Diana Villagrana

Un verdadero honor y privilegio haber sido estudiante y empleada bajo su liderazgo. Gracias por tanto! - Valeria Padilla

UTEP President Emerita Diana Natalicio was a pioneering leader of higher education and a true visionary. She had a personal connection with so many on campus throughout the years that serves as a wonderful standard for others to follow. - Gaspare Genna, professor and chair of political science

I graduated with a doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UTEP in 2002. As I crossed the stage at graduation and shook Dr. Natalicio’s hand, she told me I was a pioneer. I will never forget this. It motivates me to be the best I can be, and I make sure the young female students I mentor in STEM fields know the story and understand the significance of their accomplishments. - Janis Bush

My tenure at UTEP was as a student and an employee. I had the honor to work with Dr. Natalicio several times and speak with her. She was always kind and offered guidance. When I left my employment at UTEP, I thought she met so many and would surely not remember me. But, when I graduated with my master’s in 2012, she saw me and offered me a hug and said, “I knew you were up to great things.” - Christina Rubio

Thank you, Dr. Natalicio, for your significant contributions to our community and for all of your hard work and effort to make UTEP what it is today. It was truly an honor to have personally met you. May you rest in peace. ️ - Robert Alvidrez

Dr. Natalicio was vice chair of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science at the time I was the chair in 2005-2007. She was already appointed as the next chair of our binational board, but she was recognized as one of the 10 most influential people in Texas and she was forced to resign due to the multiple tasks and commitments coming out of her recognition. We still miss her. - Leopoldo Rodriguez

I met Diana Natalicio years before she began moving into the spotlight. Even then, people made fun of her hair bun! She always looked right at me as she congratulated me, always smiled and always made me think she actually remembered me. That is a mark of a powerful communicator. I would remark to my public speaking students that her speeches were great examples of good speaking. RIP, Dr. Nat. - Sherry Lewis

I am still in shock about this news. I can’t believe she is no longer with us. During my undergraduate studies at UTEP, I had the pleasure of meeting her and we formed a personal connection. She was always smiling, happy and outgoing. Everything she did for UTEP will never be forgotten. She was the best president UTEP could have and such a beautiful person. May she rest in peace. Love you, Dr. N. - Marlenne Lizardo

Dr. Natalicio was an amazing ambassador for El Paso and UTEP. We enjoyed her vision and influence every time she had occasion to come to Washington, D.C. UTEP is a very different, and much better, University because of her. - Judith Paulos

Dr. Natalicio touched the lives of many people. She always made the effort to make people feel seen and heard. During the Alpha Chi Honor Society induction ceremony in 2019, I was so impressed by her exceptional memory. She remembered what I said about my family's sacrifice during the introduction (from among more than 50 other new inductees!) For sure, her passing will be mourned by many people. - Yiyu Liao

I first met Dr. Natalicio 17 years ago, shortly after I was hired as a new faculty member. I randomly wound up behind her in a grocery store checkout line. I somewhat timidly introduced myself. She reacted as if I were a long-lost relative she'd been seeking. She knew what department I was in and what I taught, before I could explain it to her. I realized at once UTEP was not a typical University! - Tom Gill, professor of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences / Environmental Science and Engineering

When I suggested we have Miner Winery in Napa (California) create the Centennial Miner label wine to be served during the Centennial dinner, she loved it so much. So much so, that we held an event at Miner Winery for all Northern California UTEP alums and she joined us. Such a fun memory. I cherish our shared moments! - Irene Chavez

Diana was an extraordinary leader with a vision for UTEP, not as a Harvard of the West, but as a great, research university on the Rio Grande, with the Bhutanese buildings and the native plants of the region, at the foot of the Franklin Mountains. When I was a regent, she gathered me up in her dream, all of us really. And she led us there! I am grateful for Diana's friendship and I will miss her. - Ellen Temple, former member of The University of Texas System Board of Regents

This is more of a funny memory to me. My cousin was in the Union snapchatting me saying, “oh, my god, the President is here. The President is in the building,” with his hand to his ear like he had an earpiece. She was surrounded by people in suits and ties. It really looked like she had the Secret Service with her. But her presence was powerful and I really was in awe of her because of who she was. - Mia Valdez

Dr. Natalicio handed me my three degrees and both my kids theirs spanning from 1991 to 2018. A wonderful lady. - Monica Michel

I met Dr. Natalicio in the 1980s, at a San Antonio Alumni Association chapter meeting. Although I was at UTEP a decade before her tenure began, I have always felt that she was the University. She will be missed by all — former students and faculty. Rest in peace, Diana. - Bruce Nelson

President Natalicio was one of the most remarkable and inspirational leaders I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. She taught me to believe in people and expect the most out of everyone, regardless of the odds that may be stacked against them. Most memorable lessons included — social mobility, access and excellence, baseball, and remembering to be yourself. Cheers, President. Go, Miners! - Jeffrey Fisher

It was my honor to collaborate with Dr. Natalico on the UTEP-UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program while I served as dean of the UT Austin College of Pharmacy. President Natalicio was an enthusiastic advocate and supporter of pharmacy education, and it was a joy to work with her. She was both an elegant and dynamic lady. Her leadership transformed UTEP and benefited the entire El Paso region. - Lynn Crismon

I'm an international student who got to El Paso in Spring 2018. I never had the opportunity to meet her in person, but I always heard wonderful things about Dr. Natalicio. Reading about her life made me see what an amazing human being she was. My deepest condolences to her family and beloved ones. This is a great loss for our community. May she rest in peace. - Bianca Meneses

It was such an honor to be able work and know Dr. Natalicio, an amazing role model that will truly be missed! - Elizabeth Hidalgo

Thanks to Dr. Natalicio and her mission, first-generation immigrant students like me were able to access and afford higher education in an environment that was supportive of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and international students. I owe this woman the first five years of my higher education that set the stage to get my doctorate. I feel a great loss. The world has lost an excellent person. - Francisco Salgado Garcia

The best memory was working with her always being so present. I am honored to have four degrees (B.A., B.A., M.Ed., and Ed.D.) and all signed by her. She encouraged and motivated so many, especially women, to work hard. She always supported the ideas that meant helping every student on campus. She has always been my biggest hero and will be greatly missed. - Lourdes Alarcon

I'm so sorry to hear this news. Dr. Natalicio was a remarkable university president, the best of all the universities I've attended and where I've taught—and that’s more than a dozen. She'll be sorely missed. My condolences to Dr. Natalicio's family and friends. - Lex Williford, UTEP Associate Professor

To a great leader I always looked up to. Every time I saw her on campus, she would make me feel welcome with a warm smile. Her life and speeches were always so inspirational and gave me confidence to be not only a STEM woman, but a Latina STEM woman. Thank you, Dr. Natalicio, for always making sure UTEP offered an enormous variety of great opportunities. - Yazmin Gomez

Dr. Natalicio is an inspiration and has touched so many lives with her vision. All of my family received degrees from UTEP and owe so much of our success to her efforts to make UTEP a tier one institution that prioritizes its community first! She was a pioneer and visionary, truly. Her vision for UTEP was bold and to this day serves as an example of what can be done with strong and unwavering leadership along with a region committed to its highest values. Condolences to her family, friends and all those she has impacted. Miners forever! Picks up! - Alyssa De La Rosa

Everything that UTEP is today, is because of what she did! A huge and irreparable loss to UTEP and to the academic community! RIP Dr. Natalicio! - Prya Darshni

Dr. Natalicio was the sort of person to believe that everyone deserved a chance. She said she envisioned an environment where every person had an equal opportunity to get where they needed to be, regardless of a grade, and that is what UTEP provided to its students and community: equal opportunity. It was a pleasure knowing her and being part of her last graduating class. - Leslie Rodriguez

I’m grateful to have received my degree and two awards from this amazing woman. She will always be a role model to me and others striving to make the world a better place. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities I received because of her. Thank you Dr. Natalicio for advocating for the education of minorities and for serving as an inspiration to future generations of women in leadership. - Malvina Muñoz

It saddens me greatly to hear the sad news of Dr. Natalicio. May God rest her soul in eternal peace. I met her at my department while I was a student. In the Geological Sciences boardroom, she greeted me like we knew each other. She told me about her visit to Kenya while serving at the Rockefeller foundation board. She amazed me with her humility, articulation and brilliance. Her legacy lives on. - Anna Mwangi

How does one even begin when discussing a hero, a legend? When I was getting my degree in English literature at UTEP, Dr. Diana Natalicio was the dean of Liberal Arts. What a thrill it was to see my mentor become the president of the University in 1988. She inspired, molded and created a universe of students who learned to appreciate and give back to their communities. - Felipa Solis, executive director, El Paso Pro-Musica/UTEP Center for Arts Entrepreneurship

Dr. Natalicio has always represented at least two things for me — strength and compassion. I can’t remember ever seeing her without a smile — her kind of smile — on her face, engaging in conversation and genuinely caring for every individual who would step foot on campus. Through all her accolades, she has single-handedly made UTEP what it is today. We will never forget you. Thank you, Dr. Nat! - Alison Valles

Dr. Natalicio was truly a trailblazer for gender inclusion in the ranks of college/university leaders. Her countless achievements at UTEP make her a champion of Hispanic success in higher education. She’ll be sorely missed but never forgotten. - Antonio Flores, president and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Dr. Natalicio has gone above and beyond as president of UTEP to support students like myself. As an international student, I never felt like an outsider under her tutelage. I want to inspire even one person in the manner she has impacted so many lives. The UTEP Bhutanese community will remember and miss her forever. Thank you so much for everything. RIP. - Karma Dema

Loved to see her at the games! Always greeted everyone she met with a smile and a handshake. My heart aches. She will be missed. - Alberto Molinar

When I moved to El Paso in 2007 I had no idea who she was or why my new street was her name. I quickly learned how amazing and inspirational she was. - Katherine Martinez

Dr. Natalicio will always be remembered. She not only touched lives; she changed them. She was an inspirational leader and dedicated mentor. El Paso deeply mourns today. - Isabel Baca, associate professor of English

Dr. Natalicio was such an inspiration to me. She was wise, talented, devoted to UTEP and deserving of every honor she received in her distinguished life. She was very kind to me when I came to UTEP as chair of the Department of Languages and Linguistics and I am honored that we retired the same year. I shall miss her very, very much. As will do many people. She is irreplaceable. - Kirsten Nigro, professor emerita

As a 1996 graduate of UTEP, when I walked the stage at the Don Haskins Center and shook the hand of Dr. Natalicio, I would start my 25-year career serving our nation. Five years later, we met in Tucson at a baseball game (one of her loves). She was graceful to be around. She handed me her business card. It was a baseball card format. It was unique, like her. RIP. - Ty Gilbert

True class and sincere heart. I’m honored to have been a student during her tenure. My condolences to her family. Go, Miners! - Jose Aleman

This just breaks my heart. She is such an inspiration. She was always involved with student life and not just from behind a desk. She was such a strong, smart and admirable woman. I am 35 and she was basically at UTEP my whole life! We are saddened but love seeing how many people she touched, encouraged and inspired. You worked so hard. Rest easy. - Ruth Teeple

This saddens me. She was the spirit of UTEP. What an amazing legacy she has left on many hearts and the city of El Paso. Prayers for her family. Prayers for the University, my alma mater, my UTEP. - Brandi Holcomb

Dr. Natalicio was my linguistics professor. Years later, I had the honor of attending her events for area school principals. She was an outstanding leader that will be greatly missed by the community that dearly loves her. May she rest in peace. - María Aguilar

As a young El Paso Times reporter, I staked out Dr. Natalicio’s house during a fundraising party. Word was that former football coach Bob Stull was the new athletic director. I needed confirmation. Three times, I was turned away at the door. Finally, on try No. 4 at about 10 p.m., Dr. Natalicio answers the door and says, “Matt, you’re tenacious,” and confirms the story. Mostly, I was proud she called me tenacious. - Matt Aguilar

Dr. Natalicio was a mentor and a longtime friend. My fondest memory, upon my return to UTEP when I was honored as the College of Education Gold Nugget recipient, she said to me, “not only have you brought great pride to the women’s basketball program as a former basketball player, your success is also a true testament to how UTEP prepared you for your success.” Condolences to UTEP and her family️. - Be Stoney

Without a doubt, Dr. Natalicio was the most important and influential person in UTEP history and the city of El Paso! In my tenure at UTEP, she always stopped to talk to anyone who approached her with a smile and great attentiveness, making you feel important and always thanking you for the work we did at the University. She will be greatly missed. - Jose Huerra

My most sincere condolences to Dr. Natalicio's family and loved ones. She was a source of inspiration to a great many and the strongest supporter our community could ever hope for. She coined UTEP's mantra of Access and Excellence and dedicated her life to molding the institution's mission to better serve the region of West Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico. May she rest in peace. - Benjamin Flores UTEP Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Thank you for always believing in me and making my life possible. You were a blessing and I hope I made you proud. Rest in eternal peace. - Ouisa Davis

Dr. Natalicio was an amazing leader and a true inspiration for many of us. As a woman, a university president, and a true icon, she gained all of our respect and love. Rest In peace. - Evelyn Maldonado

I learned so much by watching how she was able to be simultaneously strategic and authentically committed to access and excellence and her willingness to advocate for us when the Texas Legislature didn't understand our successes and, more personally, for how she supported my applications for tenure, promotion, teaching awards, teaching center director, etc.; I am glad I had the pleasure of writing this tribute for her upon the announcement of her planned retirement (her response was: 'I actually loved the ditty....the melody is of course very sweet to me, but I especially enjoyed your memorable lyrics.'): - Larry Lesser UTEP Professor of Mathematical Sciences

You will always be remembered as the most inspirational and intellectual human being. You were kind and generous to every student on and off campus. I am proud to have met you and graduate under your leadership. Rest in peace, Dr. Natalicio. Thank you!! - Luis Carlos Martinez

I had Dr. Natalicio for linguistics, and years later she still remembered me by name. She made everyone always feel so special. The world is a better place because of her. - Becky Huenneke

I feel so sad hearing this news. Not only was Dr. Natalicio a great supporter of every UTEP student, but she was also a great supporter of the UTEP Dinner Theatre. I can honestly say that the UDT would not exist if it weren’t for her staunch support not only as the main administrator of the University but as a regular patron. She rarely missed a production in 39 years! I know I would not have had the career I have had at UTEP if it were not for her. She will be missed by everyone at UTEP and I will miss seeing her at performances at the UDT. I think she would have really enjoyed “Titanic,” as it is her kind of show. RIP Dr. Natalicio. - Greg Taylor Director, UTEP Dinner Theatre

The first time I stepped in the USA/UTEP in 1988 was the same year Dr. Diana was appointed as UTEP President. I received my diploma handed by her. Rest in peace, Dr. Diana. - Mohd Hafidz Ibrahim

I'll always remember her as the powerful, yet gracious lady who shared some words with me at my master's ceremony and at Minerpalooza. I'm so grateful for what she did for my beloved university. Rest in power, amazing woman! - Gloria MacNeil

I attended UTEP from 2012-2017. While my time there was understandably stressful, pulling long hours and what not, I loved attending this University. I never had the honor of meeting Dr. Natalicio, however, I did get to hear her Commencement speeches for the years I was there and it always filled me with pride and excitement to hear her words to the graduates. Furthering my excitement was when I got her words directed toward my graduating class. When you think of UTEP, immediately she comes to mind. Every word and action came from the heart for the students and faculty. I love the vibe UTEP had and it started with her. Thank you, Dr. Natalicio, for everything you have done for the university and community. - Elise Martinez

I arrived as a new faculty member in the summer of 2007. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Natalicio during faculty orientation. I have always been impressed with her ability to remember my name in every interaction we had, even early on. She even remembered my wife's name. Her dedication and love for the university and the community of El Paso was evident. She will be missed. - Nathan Ashby UTEP Associate Professor of Economics

She was an amazing leader and made an impact in my life and education at UTEP. - Brenda Matamoros

My condolences … both of our cities, El Paso and Juarez, have lost an exemplary leader. May her legacy be cherished. - Ana Karina Miranda

Rest in peace. - Bofei Wang

A quiet giant!! - Amanda Crossland

An inspiration for women everywhere. Your leadership was wonderful and so many of us looked up to you. Thank you for making our sleepy little university something to be proud of for generations to come. You are the embodiment of El Paso proud. Rest in peace and blessings to you and your family. My deepest condolences from a proud UTEP graduate in West Virginia. - Maria Arviza

Dr. Natalicio’s leadership ensured that someone like me, who worked two part-time jobs and attended UTEP as a full-time student, was able to complete the course of study pursued. I was headed down for 4-and-a-half years between 1987 and 1991, and my professors kept the bar high, while not calling me out when I was slow to respond to a question in class; or asked dumb questions, because I was tired from working and studying. Today, I understand why the professors thought, and led, with empathy. It was because Dr. Diana Natalicio was setting the example. She knew the challenges of her students; her gritty students who simply needed to be understood and supported with a kind word. Rest in Heavenly peace Dr. Natalicio. Semper Fidelis, Lieutenant Colonel Raphael Hernandez, United States Marine Corps (Retired). UTEP Class of 1991. - Raphael Hernandez

As an international student who always felt as an outsider, Dr. Natalicio always represented the person I wanted to become. Her leadership, kindness, boldness, intelligence and personality has paved the way for many generations of women. The impact she had on El Paso and the UTEP community will live on forever. I had the opportunity to talk to her several times during my time as a student and also had the chance to present a project to her in Ensenada, Mexico. Your love for UTEP, our community and your passion for excellence will always remain in our hearts. - Sofia Ortega

The moments we spoke to one another — although few — were, for that moment in time, awe-inspiring. Very intelligent woman, who, in a grandmother fashion, nurtured you. Dr. Natalicio, your impact will last lifetimes. - David Nevarez

Dr. Natalicio was one of the reasons I came to UTEP. Warm, kind, and extraordinary leader. She transformed UTEP and El Paso community. She left us to soon. She will be missed. - Alvaro Gurovich, associate professor and director of Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Thank you for making quality college accessible for many students on the border. Proud to be a UTEP student, thanks to you! - Karla Quiz

During New Student Orientation in 2004, the moment Dr. Natalicio walked onto the stage at Magoffin, her presence filled the entire building. I can’t remember what she said, but what I do remember is she inspired me that day to become like her. To be a person who can walk into a room and inspire complete strangers to want to be the best version of themselves every day. Thank you for inspiring us. - Amphoe Arriola

Thank you, Dr. Natalicio, for your leadership and everything you did for our University and community. Your legacy will live forever. - Martha Isabel Aguayo, UTEP Alumni Association past president

Thank you for everything you have ever done. You’ve been a great inspiration and I will never forget your great speech at my graduation, Class of 2013. Thank you, once again, and may you rest in power. - Fernando Machado

An extraordinary women filed with joy, passion for life, humility and love for humanity. A mentor, role model and giant in student success. I miss you, Dr. Natalicio. Gracias for your support, guidance and mentorship. - Eva Moya, associate professor of social work

The best memory I have of Dr. Natalicio was when I walked across the stage in May 2012 and shook her hand. She squeezed my hand to keep me there for a few seconds longer and she told me, “Cami, it was fun watching your amazing career as a Miner on the softball team. Congratulations on everything you accomplished here.” That comment meant more to me than she would ever know Thank you, Dr. N. - Camilla Carrera, UTEP assistant softball coach

Diana Natalicio was my personal and professional role model and mentor. She was passionate about student success and the power of education to change lives. She impacted my life in so many positive ways and I will always cherish her confidence, trust, and belief in me. I am absolutely devastated by her passing but will work tirelessly to keep her vision and life’s work alive in all that I do. - Gary Edens, Vice President for Student Affairs

We honor President Emerita Diana Natalicio for being the light of UTEP and El Paso. She helped to empower and showcase the people, culture and spirit for generations to come. - Cynthia Shelton

I can still vividly remember the moment when she called out the names of my parents during the graduation ceremony. I had told her that my parents had come all the way from Bhutan to attend my graduation. She made it so special for me by calling out their names in front of thousands of people. This is what made her a great leader. I am thankful that I got to know her as a person. Go, Miners! - Sonam Choki Lhamo

As the Student Government Association president, I had the pleasure of working with her on many matters that concerned every aspect of student life on campus. She made the time to meet with me each month to discuss student concerns and all the concerns were addressed in a timely fashion. She never made a major decision without getting input from the students. - Gbenga Asedeko

I had the honor of receiving my degree in Early Childhood Education in 2006. I remember so vividly walking through that stage and shaking hands as she handed me my diploma. Ten years later, in the fall of 2016, we shared the stage once again as she recognized my work and granted me the UTEP President’s Meritorious Service Award. A huge loss for the borderland. May she rest In peace. - Lisa López-Williamson

Dr. Diana Natalicio will live in the hearts and memories of thousands touched by her in her long history at UTEP and in El Paso. She was a large presence in my life for over 40 years. May the good memories of so many hold her in the honor she achieved. And now, may she rest in peace. - Marshall Carter-Tripp

Dr. Natalicio, your light shines on in all of us! Your service to community as a woman in leadership is your ultimate legacy. Access and excellence! Thank you for passing that mantra on to me and others pursing leadership roles in educational/cultural institutions. Thank you for handing me my two degrees, plus honoring me as a 2015 Gold Nugget! You will forever be remembered! Go, Miners! - Melissa Carrillo

I met Dr. Natalicio in September 1970 during my freshman year at UTEP. Even in those days a naive person like myself (I was 16 years old) could see that she was destined to be an amazing leader. During my career I had several opportunities to visit UTEP and meet Dr. Natalicio. On every visit I saw vast improvements thanks to her leadership. UTEP Miners found gold in Dr. Natalicio. Go, Miners! - Juan Vargas

What an incredible woman of such monumental stature in the UTEP community. I am also so very grateful to have earned my Ph.D. under her leadership. She was so proud and honored to be our president and spoke about this frequently. She put the needs of the students first and made UTEP shine on both a national and international stage. Her legacy lives on through the students. - Melanie Salome

Dr. Natalicio truly created a path for students like me (first-generation, low-income, Hispanic) to access high quality and affordable higher education, and opportunities to advance socially. I am a living reflection of her vision, passion and leadership for UTEP of “access and excellence.” I am forever grateful for meeting with her many times, and her advice for women in higher education. - Michelle Del Rio

What I remember most about Dr. Natalicio is her approachability, her intellect and her commitment to UTEP, El Paso and our rich culture. At Homecoming, she would hit as many communities of interest as time would permit. She looked you in the eye and recalled details about you. She was the perfect choice to lead an incredible time of growth and excellence. - Fran Ford Jacques

I met her once. In all of the ivory tower universe, she was undoubtedly one of the most accessible leaders (and the best of leaders) whom I had ever met. Humble, yet in full control, and graceful enough to share the staff of scholastic ownership throughout the canvas of academia. A humanitarian spirit, balanced with pragmatism, to be looked up to. Rest in peace, Diana Natalicio. - Grant Collinsworth

Many of the health care heroes that serve our community are UTEP alumni. Dr. Natalicio positioned UTEP to be able to serve the needs of a growing community and save countless lives using the degree they earned at UTEP. Her legacy will live on in us that will continue to serve the health care needs of our community. - Kristine Tejeda

After photographing Dr. Natalicio many times while working part-time in UTEP's communications department, in December 2000, I finally walked the stage at the Don. Dr. Natalicio handed me my diploma, and then she opened her arms and gave me a hug. I was one of the very few ones that received a hug from her during Commencement. And it meant the world to me. Descanse en paz. - Javier Vicencio

I am so grateful to Dr. Natalicio, not only for the impact she's had on me, but also for being a fierce advocate for El Paso. Dr. Natalicio believed that higher education should be affordable for everyone and that education was the path to a better life. I strongly believe this and am living proof today of it today. I would not be where I am at now if it wasn't for her. - Francisco Rodriguez

Dr. Natalicio, thank you for opening so many doors for thousands of students from all backgrounds. Thank you for making education inclusive, not exclusive. Thank you for thousands of Mexican students that you made feel welcome and at home at UTEP. I know, I’m one of them! - Miguel Barrio