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Welcome to the UTEP Encyclopedia
One hundred years of UTEP history in one place
636 articles


Today's featured article

James Berthea Biggs
El Paso Herald, Portal to Texas History

When the State School of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP) opened in 1914, the Great War, as it was then known, raged across Europe, through the Middle East, and into the African continent. By April 1917, the war would cross the Atlantic when President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany and her allies. Sixteen School of Mines students and two faculty members would eventually serve their nation during World War I. One former student, James B. "Buster" Biggs, enlisted in May 1917 and served in the Army Air Corps. Lt. Biggs died in a plane crash in Belrain, France, during the last days of the war. In recognition of his service, the War Department in 1925 named the airfield at Fort Bliss after the El Paso native.

Read more about James Biggs and UTEP's connection to the military.

Read other stories about UTEP and the Centennial Celebration at the Transformations blog.

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From the UTEP archives

Check out this article from the National Geographic Magazine (April 1914) to see the inspiration for UTEP's classic architecture.


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Want to see more artifacts on UTEP history? Visit UTEP's DigitalCommons

On this day in UTEP history . . .

January 31, 1917 • The Texas Legislature passes a bill authorizing the reconstruction of the School of Mines, allowing the school to relocate from the former El Paso Military Institute by Ft. Bliss to its present location in the Alexander Addition above Mundy Heights. • 2008 • New identification requirements are introduced at U.S. border crossings. After January 31, all U.S. citizens must show proof of citizenship or residency, as oral declarations would no longer be accepted.


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Map of El Paso showing Alexander Addition, c. 1917
Briscoe Center, UT Austin


Read previous entries here.


About UTEP

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Chartered: April 16, 1913, by an Act of the 33rd Texas State Legislature as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy under the governance of the U.T. Board of Regents
First Day of Class: September 28, 1914
President: Diana Natalicio (since 1987) • Faculty: 1,267 • Staff: 1,830
Students: 23,079 (19,817 undergraduate; 3,262 graduate) • Gender: 12,457 female, 10,622 male
Status: 14,392 full time, 8,687 part time • Campus: 421 acres (El Paso campus); 38,000 acres (Indio Mountains Research Station)
Degrees awarded since founding: More than 113,000
Nickname: Miners
Enrollment data over the years: Click here



Source: UTEP Facts 2014 - 2015; C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department, University of Texas at El Paso; Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin



Timeline of UTEP History

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