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Fall Convocation Marks Farewells and a Look to the Future

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – AUGUST 22, 2014The University of Texas at Brownsville’s Fall Convocation held Friday, Aug. 22 at the Student Union Gran Salon was an opportunity to celebrate the past and look toward an optimistic future.

UTB Interim President William Fannin receives the university's mace from UTB President Dr. Juliet V. Garcia.

Fall Convocation was one of the last campus events for Dr. Juliet V. Garcia, President of UTB, before she steps down on Sunday, A​ug. 31 to assume the role of Executive Director for the newly created University of Texas Institute of the Americas.

Garcia said leading the university as president for 22 years was an extraordinary privilege that could not be measured in accolades and promotions.

“We have seen it all and done it all together,” she said. “I have no regrets for any day we have had together.”

Garcia passed the university’s mace as a symbol of authority to Dr. William Fannin, President Ad Interim of UTB and a former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa. Fannin will formally take over as leader of the university on Monday, Sept. 1 and serve until The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley opens next year with the unification of UTB and The University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg.

“I know there is a lot of change occurring and bringing nervousness,” said Fannin. “UTRGV is going to build a championship team. We want each of you to be team members on that team. There are great things coming. We should not lose focus. This year we are looking toward the future.”

UTB President Dr. Juliet Garcia with 7 professors who received the Emeritus award. 

Nine retiring faculty members with a total of 222 years of professional teaching experience were awarded University of Texas System Professor Emeritus medals by Garcia:

  • Dr. William Berg, former Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering
  • Dr. Gayle Brogdon, former Associate Professor and Associate Dean/Certification Officer in the College of Education
  • Dr. Charles Dameron, former Professor of English in the Department of English
  • Dr. Miguel Escotet, former Dean of the College of Education
  • UTB President Dr. Juliet Garcia gives a 40 years of service award to Mathematics Associate Professor Rogelio Contreras.
  • Dr. Wayne Moore, former Professor of English in the Department of Englis​h
  • Dr. Eldon Nelson, former Dean of the School of Health Sciences
  • Terry Tomlin, former Professor of Music in the Department of Music
  • Richard Urbis, former Professor of Music in the Department of Music
  • Dr. Sue Zanne Urbis, former Professor and Chair of the Department of Music

Several employees also received service awards from five to 40 years of work at the university.

UTB’s Alumni Association invites all alumni to celebrate graduates’ achievements and to bid farewell to Garcia at Celebracion at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 in the Courtyard at Main. The suggested minimum donation for scholarships is $10 per person. For more information contact the Office of University Relations at 956-882-4326.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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