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‘Mining Minds’ Sculpture to be Lighted for Track Champion and TCM Day

Last Updated on March 21, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Originally published March 21, 2018

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange Friday evening, March 23, 2018, in honor of NCAA track and field champion Michael Saruni and TCM Day, The University of Texas at El Paso’s longest-running tradition.

Mining Minds sculpture
Mining Minds sculpture

Saruni won his first NCAA Championship in the 800m, clocking a time of 1:45.15 on March 10, 2018, in College Station, Texas. His time set a new facility and meet record at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships. The facility record was held by Donavan Brazier (Texas A&M, 2016) at 1:45.93 and the meet record was previously held by Patrick Nduwimana (Arizona, 2001) with a time of 1:45.83. The sophomore is the second Miner to win the national title in the 800 following his previous teammate Emmanuel Korir (2017).

TCM Day is celebrated each March around St. Patrick’s Day. Activities date back to 1920 when UTEP was known as the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, or TCM. It started as an annual rite of passage to initiate new engineers and geologists into the Order of St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers. Now, students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines are invited to participate in the TCM Day activities, including the Team Mining Challenge.

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange.