University of Texas at Brownsville

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This article is about UTB as it existed from 1991–2015. For the successor university, UTRGV, see University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The University of Texas at Brownsville
UTBrownsville seal.png
Former names
Motto Latin: Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis
Motto in English
Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy.[1]
Active September 1, 1991 (1991-09-01)–June 30, 2015 (2015-06-30) (merged with UT–Pan American to form The UTRGV)
Type Public State University
Endowment $12.5 million[2]
President William Fannin[3]
Provost Alan F. J. Artibise[3]
Academic staff
279 (Fall 2013)[4]
Students 8,612 (Fall 2013)[5]
Location Brownsville, Texas, United States
Campus Urban, 524 acres (2.3 km2)
Newspaper UTB Collegian
Colors Burnt Orange, White & Blue
Athletics Red River Athletic Conference
Nickname Ocelots
Mascot Ozzie the Ocelot
UTBrownsville wordmark.png

The University of Texas at Brownsville (abbreviated as UTB and formerly known as the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College [UTB/TSC]) was an educational institution located in Brownsville, Texas. The university was on the land once occupied by Fort Brown. It was a member of the University of Texas System. The institution was formed from a partnership between Texas Southmost College and the University of Texas-Pan American at Brownsville. From 1991 to 2011, the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College became a substantial presence in South Texas education, providing unique opportunities for more than 17,000 students from Texas, as well as from Mexico and elsewhere.

The partnership ended in 2011 as UTB became a standalone University of Texas institution, and Texas Southmost College returned to being an independent community college. UTB itself offered baccalaureate and an increasing number of graduate degrees in liberal arts, sciences, education, business, and professional programs designed to meet regional, national, and international needs.[6]

In 2015, the UT–Brownsville, originally an extension of then-Pan-American University at Texas Southmost College, merged with UT–Pan American, to form The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.[7][8]


Texas Southmost College[edit]

Texas Southmost College (TSC) was established in 1926 under the name "The Junior College of the Lower Rio Grande Valley." It admitted its first class on September 21 of that same year. In 1931, its name was changed to "Brownsville Junior College." In 1950, the institution was given its current name, Texas Southmost College.

University of Texas-Pan American at Brownsville[edit]

In 1973, Texas Southmost College formed a partnership with Pan-American University, now known as the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA). The partnership allowed Pan-American University to establish a four-year university in Brownsville. The resulting independent institution was referred to as Pan American University at Brownsville. In 1989, Pan American University joined the University of Texas System, creating the University of Texas Pan-American at Brownsville (UTPA-B). Brownsville sought a University directly under the UT System and in 1991 the University of Texas Pan-American at Brownsville became the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB).

University of Texas at Brownsville-Texas Southmost College[edit]

After UTB was created, a partnership was established between UTB and TSC, allowing TSC students to seamlessly transition to the four year University without reapplying. The university has academic colleges including business, education, liberal arts and nursing. UTB-TSC's funding came from both the college tax district as well as the State of Texas. After failure to pass a 2002 multi-million-dollar bond, the TSC tax district voters successfully passed a $68 million bond issue[9] to construct additional classrooms ($28 million), additional library space ($14 million), Workforce Training Classrooms ($17 million), Center for Early Childhood Studies ($4 million), and Center for Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart Disease ($5 million). Dr. Juliet V. Garcia served as UTB-TSC President from 1991 to 2011; Dr. Garcia is also the first Hispanic woman to be the President of any university in the United States.

End of Educational Partnership with Texas Southmost College[edit]

On Nov. 10, 2010, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to end the University of Texas at Brownsville's educational partnership with Texas Southmost College.[10] On Feb. 17, 2011 the TSC Board of Trustees voted 4-3 to separate from UTB.[11] Juliet V. Garcia now continues as the president of UTB.

Merger with UTPA and Medical School[edit]

On December 6, 2012, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System approved a proposal to merge UTB, the University of Texas–Pan American, and a planned medical school into one regional institution.[12] On December 12, 2013, the UT Board of Regents voted to name the new university The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.[7]

Previous names[edit]

For historical reference, the name of the institution has changed over the years:[13]

  • 1926–1931: The Junior College of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
  • 1931–1949: Brownsville Junior College
  • 1949–1992: Texas Southmost College
  • 1992–2013: The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
  • 2013–2015: The University of Texas at Brownsville


Dates of office President Notes
9/1/1991 – 12/31/1991 Homer J. Peña Founding President
1/1/1992 – 8/31/2014 Juliet V. García
9/1/2014 – 2015 William Richard Fannin Interim CEO



Until the fall of 2011, UT Brownsville had open admissions, meaning prospective students had no admissions criteria.[15] In August 2011 the University of Texas System Board of Regents approved new admission standards for UT Brownsville, and awaited the approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[16] The UT Brownsville closed admissions will begin in the fall of 2013.[16]


UTB's campus sat on 524 acres (2.3 km2) of land in the southern part of Brownsville, Texas. A resaca, or oxbow lake, flows through the heart of the growing landscape. The university's unique architecture plays off the campus's rich history in Fort Brown. Many of the oldest buildings on campus remain from the old U.S. Army outpost. The university has also acquired many buildings in the surrounding area, including a former Holiday Inn hotel complex, former condominiums, the Amigoland Mall, and many historic buildings of downtown Brownsville. The university continues to expand, recently purchasing substantial acreage east of Fort Brown.[17]

Notable buildings[edit]




Undergraduate colleges and schools[edit]

  • College of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions
  • College of Applied Technology and General Studies[48]
  • College of Liberal Arts[49]
  • College of Science, Mathematics, and Technology[50]
  • School of Business[51]
  • College of Education[52]
  • School of Health Sciences[53]

Notable academic programs[edit]

UTB was home to several academic centers and programs that have received local, state, and national recognition.[citation needed]

  • Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy[54] Research focuses on astrophysical source modeling, gravitational wave data analysis, and the phenomenological astrophysics of gravitational wave sources.
  • Center for Biomedical Studies[55] was established to conduct biological and medical research on regional health issues and biotechnological approaches that may contribute to regional development.
  • Center for Civic Engagement[56]

Student life[edit]

Student government[edit]

The Student Government Association at UTB hosts the officers of the student body. The SGA runs a three-branch system, with the Executive Board consisting of the Student Body Officers, the Legislative Board consisting of the Student Senate, and the Judicial Board consisting of the Chief and Associate Justices.

Student organizations[edit]

The university recognizes more than 50 but less than 100 student organizations.[57] In addition, it supports the Student Organization Council, an official student governance organization that represent student interests to faculty, and administrators.

Greek life[edit]




Students expressed their opinions in and outside of class through periodicals including The Collegian[59] and the Sting Radio.[60]


Traditions at the University of Texas at Brownsville were perpetuated through several school symbols and mediums. At athletic events, students frequently showed their support by chanting the "Sting 'em Hard" slogan while displaying the "Sting 'em Hard" hand gesture—the gesture mimicking the scorpion, the university's former mascot.[citation needed]


Texas–Brownsville (UTB) teams, nicknamed athletically as the Ocelots, were part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Men's sports included golf and soccer; while women's sports include golf, soccer and volleyball.[61]

The UTB Ocelots women's volleyball team was ranked #18 in the NAIA,[62] but lost the standing after a bad 2008 season. In 2009, under new head coach Todd Lowery, formerly of National American University, the Scorpions began to shine again, achieving a #12 ranking in the NAIA.[63] In December 2011, the UTB volleyball team won its first national championship.[64]

In soccer, the UTB Ocelots played their games at the REK Center field, pending construction of their own athletic field. In two years with the NAIA, each soccer team has lost only two games in Brownsville, the men's loss coming against the University of St. Thomas in 2007 and the women's loss coming against conference rival Texas Wesleyan University in 2008. In men's soccer, the team has a 12-0 conference record in two years.[citation needed]

Chess team[edit]

The University of Texas at Brownsville was widely regarded for having one of the strongest Chess Programs in the nation. In 2010, they placed 2nd in the Final Four of College Chess, which they hosted.[65]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Chilton, Carl Jr. (2001) "The First 70 Years: A History of Higher Education in Brownsville"
  1. ^ "Seal of the University". University of Texas System. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  2. ^ "US News Facts- University of Texas at Brownsville (2010)". US News. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  3. ^ a b "UTB University Council". University of Texas at Brownsville. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  4. ^ "UTB Student Body Profile". University of Texas at Brownsville. 
  5. ^ "UTB Fast Facts". University of Texas at Brownsville. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  6. ^ "The University of Texas at Brownsville". 
  7. ^ a b Fischler, Jacob. "Regents name university: UTRGV". The Monitor. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  8. ^ "UTRGV | UT Chancellor McRaven attends flag-raising, proclamation celebrations for UTRGV’s first day". Retrieved 2015-09-03. 
  9. ^ "2004 Bond Election". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  10. ^ JAZMINE ULLOA, The Brownsville Herald (2010-11-10). "UT Board of Regents votes to terminate UTB/TSC partnership - Brownsville Herald: Valley". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  11. ^ Friday, February 18, 2011 12:00 am (2011-02-18). "TSC Trustees vote 4-3 to split with UTB - Brownsville Herald: Valley". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  12. ^ Kreighbaum, Andrew (7 December 2012). "UT regents approve merging RGV universities, will create medical school". The Monitor. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  13. ^ "UTB STYLE GUIDE". The University of Texas at Brownsville > Marketing and Communication. UTB. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  14. ^ "Presidents of UT System Institutions". The University of Texas System. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  15. ^ Rhor, Monica. "Open admissions may end at UH-Downtown." Houston Chronicle. Friday February 10, 2012. Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  16. ^ a b "NEW UT BROWNSVILLE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS." (Archive) University of Texas at Brownsville. Retrieved on September 18, 2012. Click on the orange "NEW UT BROWNSVILLE FRESHMAN ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS" to see the date when open admissions begins.
  17. ^ Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:00 am (2011-09-08). "Part 3 of series: UTB -Changing the landscape - Valley Morning Star : Local News". Valley Morning Star. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  18. ^ "Image: IMG_1112b.JPG, (600 × 800 px)". 2004-08-27. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  19. ^ "Oliveira Memorial Library: About Us". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. 
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  46. ^ "Brownsville, TX | Flickr – Condivisione di foto!". 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  47. ^ "". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  48. ^ "Academic Departments". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  49. ^ "New Page 1". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
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  55. ^ "Center for Biomedical Studies". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
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  57. ^ "Organizations List". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  58. ^ "Sigma Psi Delta's Home". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  59. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  60. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  61. ^ "Men's Golf". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  62. ^ "Refreshing to". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  63. ^ "Refreshing to". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  64. ^ Mark Nino Web Master (2011-12-06). "UTB Volleyball Team Crowned NAIA National Champions | KVEO News Center 23 | The Rio Grande Valley's News and Weather". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  65. ^ Perry, Daniel (2010-04-11). "UTB-TSC places second at the 'Final Four of College Chess' - Brownsville Herald: Home". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°53′57″N 97°29′30″W / 25.899143°N 97.491544°W / 25.899143; -97.491544