We have a winner! The new Valley University of Texas campus, which will house a first-of-its-kind medical school in South Texas, now has a name to call its own.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is the new name, after a unanimous vote by The
Board of Regents. With a popular vote of 57%, UT RGV will be replacing the existing UT Brownsville and Pan-American names as part of a merger that was proposed just a year ago.
“We couldn’t be happier with UT RGV,” said Martin Baylor, UTPA Business Affairs Vice President. “It’s very exciting and it’s great that the name came out through the process the way it did. The people chose it. It’s fantastic.”
After the approval of the merger and creation of a medical school, followed by access to permanent university funds, the name is one key piece that will help shape a new identity.
“I think, before this, education was sort of an afterthought here. You know? ‘Let’s go somewhere else for our education,’” said Aaron Barreiro, UTPA Student Government Association President. “But bringing the new university, bringing the new medical school, is creating a huge emphasis on education and I think that’s the most important thing for our youth.”
Over 3,500 people and over 50,000 social media posts contributed to the choosing of the top names– although with such a large forum, there is always a faction with a different preference.
“Being an international student from Mexico, I think it would have been really cool had they paid more attention to the vision that they have for the Latin American market and that could’ve been reflected in the name,” said UTPA Business Student Mauricio Lomeli. “And I think ‘UT south’ would’ve reflected that. I thought it would have been the best of both worlds.”
It is expected that in 2014 the board of regents will be electing a new president, choose new colors and a new mascot.
“In the end what matters is the vision that the board of regents has for the new university,” said Lomeli. “So I think as long as they keep that vision moving forward, I think good things are meant to happen here on campus.”
In the mean time the university will be transitioning to its new name by 2015.