In a recent issue, “Southern Living” magazine split its britches naming Rice University in Houston, St. Edward’s in Austin and St. Mary’s in San Antonio as the “most beautiful colleges” in Texas. Oh, no mi amigos.
Those three may be easy on the eyes, and I have favored the school on South Main in Houston since my youth. Where else could a 9-year-old boy pee on the wall as a urinal in the men’s rooms at Rice Stadium, and be coached to do so?
But when it comes to ambiance, true diversity (not just skin color) and sheer visual impact, give me the University of Texas at El Paso. Tucked between the Franklin Mountains and the storied Rio Grande, UTEP beckons with a mountain setting unmatched in the Lone Star State. Some evening, plan a walk through Centennial Plaza, just as the sun is going down behind old Magoffin Auditorium. It’s a place to fall in love, all over again.
“I can’t believe this place! I had no idea UTEP was so beautiful.” first-time visitors will say, craning their necks to take in the 360-degree scenery. Maybe we take it for granted, yes? But the likes of Old Main and Sun Bowl Stadium are truly unique to the only alma mater I will ever have.
To my eyes, those three aforementioned schools can’t carry UTEP’s jock strap. The allure of the only alma mater I will ever have remains unmatched. – The editor