EDINBURG, TEXAS - Former trustees and regents as well as friends of the University of Texas- Pan American gathered to reflect on it's eight decades of achievement during it's 85th birthday.
UT Pan American celebrated it's "Sapphire Year" in style as musical and dance performances representing different eras that spanned over eight decades took center stage and vowed to the audience at the University's 85th birthday bash held recently at the Fieldhouse. More than 300 guests from across the country gathered to commemorate this major milestone and honor a special group of men and women former board of trustees and regents of the University of Texas Pan Am into the exemplary institution it is today. President Robert Nelsen thanked them for their vision, their bravery and their commitment to higher education in the Rio Grande Valley.
"they helped make this university the great university that it is. They struggled who would have dreamed that this university would have 19,302 students. They did, they made it happen."
The institution first opened its door as a two year community college in 1927 with 200 students. Today, it is a thriving first-class four year university with more than 19,000 students and 75,000 graduates. While UTPA enjoys being the tenth largest of the States 38 public universities and part of the university of Texas system, it is still very proud of it's humble beginnings.
Attorney Ruben Cardenas served as a board of trustee member from 1974 to 1979 when UTPA was Pan American University. He took his role very seriously especially in helping thos who couldn't afford to get an education.