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UT System Board of Regents Contribute $1 Million to Create Endowment in Honor of Diana Natalicio

  The University of Texas System Board of Regents has allocated $1 million to create an endowment to benefit the new Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success at The University of Texas at El Paso.

The endowment will be used to fund a distinguished directorship of the institute, which is named for the longtime and beloved UTEP president who died in September. The Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success will be dedicated to studying and implementing systemic changes that will promote greater access to higher education and will serve as a national resource and model for Hispanic student success.

“She did so much for so many and this is a very fitting honor to recognize her contributions,” Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said. “I can’t help but think of all the lives she touched. It’s phenomenal.”

“The Diana Natalicio Institute will reimagine what it truly means to be a Hispanic-serving university and develop innovative and evidence-based approaches to education, leadership and policy,” UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “I believe Diana would think this is an appropriate honor.”

Natalicio served as president of UTEP for 31 years before her retirement in 2019 and was instrumental in the University’s ascent to Carnegie R1 research status. She was a steadfast advocate for students and was dedicated to ensuring UTEP’s growing enrollment reflected the demographics of the surrounding Paso del Norte region.

When Natalicio retired, her tenure was the sixth-longest of any public doctoral/research university president in history. The UT System Board of Regents appointed Natalicio as President Emerita of UTEP immediately upon her retirement in 2019.

In addition to serving as an incubator for novel approaches to student success, the Diana Natalicio Institute will also develop leaders and educators for Hispanic-serving universities and build broad partnerships with other institutions.

“We are deeply grateful to the Board of Regents for providing the funding to help us recruit and retain outstanding leadership for the new institute,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said. “But more importantly, it secures ongoing support of Dr. Natalicio’s legacy.”

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions, an enrollment of more than 243,000 students and an operating budget of $23.4 billion (FY 2022), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.6 million outpatient visits and almost 1.8 million hospital days in 2020. UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 4 for most U.S. patents granted in 2020, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.