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UTEP Special Events Director Leaving To Work At Other University

ABC-7 Reporter Celina Avila

El Paso, Texas – Mick Jagger dancing in the halls of the Don Haskins Center. Monster trucks roaring as they crush minuscule cars. Ricky Martin hypnotizing thousands in the Sun Bowl.

Those are just some of the memories that stand out for Carol Roberts-Spence during her time as special events director at UTEP.

But after 20 years she’s accepted another job.

Roberts-Spence will soon be the special events director of the Wagner-Noel performing arts center built by U.T. Permian Basin.

Besides a significant increase in pay, the UTEP grad says the chance to run the new state-of-the-art theatre was an opportunity she couldn’t resist.

“There is some 12-year-old girl who is going to remember that until the day she passes and she will tell her grandchildren ‘I saw Ricky Martin in the Sun Bowl, ”’ said Carol Roberts-Spence, who has been a memory maker for this community.

“Monster trucks -that was mine, I started that in 1994. ” Roberts-Spence has been behind the scenes of every special event at UTEP since 1989.

“Mick Jagger – we have stories about him dancing in the halls of the Haskins Center,” recalled Roberts-Spence.

Whether talking it up with Gene Simmons or making sure everything went smoothly with Hillary Clinton’s campaign stop, Spence-Roberts says her job isn’t always easy.

“I have to remind the decision makers that are in LA in NY where El Paso is and why we’re better than Peoria, Ill. Because in their mind there’s no difference,” she said.

Sheknows has earned her a reputation.

“Always try nice…first,” she said.

The theatre major who once toured as an actor says her experience not only helped create various arts programs at UTEP, but also bring top talent including Britney Spears, the biggest production in history at the Don Haskins Center.

“This office has been built to where we’re viewed on a national level. And so, we need to maintain that,” she said.

She says she’s proud of her work.

“I value the legacy I’ll leave behind, ” and she’s ready for her next act.

Roberts-Spence’s last day at UTEP is Feb. 26th.

Special Events Assistant Jorge Vasquez will become the Interim Director while UTEP begins a national search.

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