POSTED: Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 4:27pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 13, 2013 - 10:33am
EDINBURG, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The crowd was booming at UTPA's Student Union building where students packed inside to hear the announcement of the name chosen for Project South Texas, the UT System university merging UTPA and UTB.
And when "UT RGV" was called out as the unanimous winner, cheers erupted as the excitement of a new name was hard to contain.
"We've been waiting for this for twelve months," said Marty Baylor, VP of Business Affairs. "The chancellor came down in December of 2012, kicked off this great idea, and the anticipation has been building for twelve months. So it's fantastic to have a name and an identity for the new university."
Some waited even longer than twelve months for the name of the university to be changed to UT RGV.
"When I went elsewhere in the country and I would talk to people 'I'm from UT Pan Am,' you know they didn't know us," said Zen Faulkes, Associate Professor of Biology. "They didn't know about our institution, and part of that was the name. So I'm just really pleased that everyone finally caught up to what I was saying years and years and years."
Although UT RGV was the most popular choice for Project South Texas, not everyone was excited with the announcement. Some students were in favor of UT International or, most obviously, UTPA since it's the name they're most familiar with.
"It sort of makes it RGV centered which isn't a bad thing but it also takes away from the international and multi-American feel that UTPA brought I think," said UTPA student Jonathan Salinas.
"I was kind of going for UT International because I think we are an international campus, so I prefer that name,"explained David Guajardo, UTPA student.
But Baylor added that although it's bittersweet for the name to change, not all change is bad.
"Well there's always gonna be folks who aren't pleased, and you know UT Pan Am has worked hard to find an identity and people love the name. But we're not UT Pan Am any more, we're going to be UT RGV and it's going to be...it's a new university."