When the name was announced, I got to my feet and yelled, “Yes!”
In Fall 2015, I will be a charter faculty member of University of Texas Rio Grande Valley!
It was exciting and suspenseful to be in the viewing party. At first, I was a little annoyed because they moved it to the student union building food court, which seemed to lack a certain, I dunno, sense of occasion. I think they powers that be didn’t expect many people because it’s late in finals week, and they wanted to put as many people in a small space so it would look good on video.
As the announcement of the vote got closer, the live stream from the UT Board of Regents video feed started getting choppy. You could hear the audience getting antsy. I joked that if we weren't careful, we might be “UT Buffering” or “UT Paused”.
I was half expecting to learn the news on Twitter, but the MC announced it over the PA system: “The vote was unanimous, we will be University of Texas Rio Grande Valley!”
I jumped to my feet.
That earned me two television interviews as the watch party ended.
I was so relieved, given that we saw names proposed that honestly should never have made it to the public consideration stage (“University of Texas International”; this tweet put it best) and the last minute consideration of keeping the name as The University of Teaxs-Pan American (prompting bad feelings from Brownsville).
Just after I got to UTPA, the university celebrated its 75th anniversary. Sometimes, I wondered if I might be here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of UTPA. I’m a little sad that that won’t happen, but I’m excited to be one of the first faculty to teach at UTRGV. Maybe I’ll be part of a few anniversaries with the new instiution.
Naming a new university
New uni, same as the old uni? A last look at possible names