University merger signed into books

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POSTED: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 4:10pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 6:53am

College is all about hope.  Hope for the future, hope to make a better life.  

Tuesday's signing of Senate Bill 24 - which creates a new merged university between the University of Texas - Pan American and UT - Brownsville - was al about hope for its creators.  

"For us as a state and in the Valley, it's a win-win situation," said state Sen. "Chuy" Hinojosa. "We continue to increase education opportunities, continue to increase jobs and at the same time increase a better quality of life for all Texans."  

Supporters see the opening of a new medical school as a chance to fill a physician shortage in the Rio Grande Valley.  And by doing so, bringing in many high-paying medical jobs.  

"I got butterflies in my stomach because I'm so excited," said UTPA President Robert Nelsen. "It's a dream come true.  It's a dream for all of our students.  It's a dream for the Valley coming true."  

All the leaders today spoke of the potential of the Rio Grande Valley that is now unlocked because of the new University.  Now, the Valley's best and brightest don't have to leave home simply from a lack of options.  

"Those kids that you saw outside today, they're going to have a new university to go to," Nelsen said. "We're not going to have to send doctors to Dallas anymore to work there.  We're going to have the residencies here."

Governor Rick Perry said the signing went beyond politics.  The Republican Governor alluded to several Democrats on the stage that he didn't always agree with on other issues.  

"This is about Texas children," Perry said.  "Transform an area of the state that all of us collectively know has amazing potential for growth."  

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