System opens UT-Rio Grande Valley campus

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Through merging UT-Pan American and UT-Brownsville, the UT System officially opened the UT-Rio Grande Valley campus Monday.

UT System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said UTRGV welcomed more than 4,200 incoming freshmen to the University.

“Chancellor [William] McRaven visited both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses of UTRGV today,” LaCoste-Caputo said. “The excitement and enthusiasm were palpable. As of this morning, there are well over 29,000 enrolled.” 

Havidan Rodriguez, UTRGV provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said he was excited to welcome the students and make them the University’s priority.

“We are here because of you,” Rodriguez said to the students. “You are number one for our institution, and we want to work with you to ensure your success. We are making history. You are making history as we form this one University.”

The Texas Legislature created the UTRGV campus in 2013, and construction began in Aug. 2014, according to the school’s website. Resources from the two original campuses were brought together to form what is now known as UTRGV.

“Our purpose is to be a university of the entire Valley,” Guy Bailey, president of UTRGV, said in a press release. “We are just getting started. Our future is ahead of us, with new programs and expanded opportunities for students, faculty and staff. We are going to change significantly as an institution as we move forward.”

McRaven said he agreed that UTRGV will be a key resource to the UT System.

“When one thinks of the potential of this institution to transform lives, the outcomes will be immeasurable and will have impact in ways that we cannot even begin to fathom,” McRaven said in a
press release.    

In addition to the opening of the main campus, UTRGV will open its medical school in 2016.