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Update on UTEP President Diana Natalicio’s Recovery

UPDATE: Making continued progress, UTEP President Diana Natalicio returned home Thursday to complete her recovery following hospitalization last week.

The 76-year-old had collapsed on campus near the Student Union on February 18.

“I am deeply grateful to UTEP Police Officer Bion Bell and City of El Paso EMS personnel for their quick and skillful response to my emergency,” said President Natalicio. “I also greatly appreciated the expert recovery care I received from the dedicated health professionals at The Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus -nearly all of whom are UTEP graduates.

“It’s been profoundly moving to receive so many sincere expressions of concern and affection from members of the extended UTEP family, and I thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes. Go Miners!”

UTEP released this statement at the time of her collapse from Executive Vice President Richard Adauto: “(Dr. Natalicio) is in stable condition and continues to undergo medical evaluation. There is no further information available at this time.”

UTEP officials said Natalicio collapsed on campus along University Avenue as she was walking to the Student Union to vote.

Natalicio has been UTEP’s president since 1988, for the past 28 years. Under her direction, the school’s annual budget has increased from $65 million to nearly $450 million dollars.

ABC-7 spoke with Natalicio earlier in the month at the 50th anniversary celebration for the 1966 Texas Western NCAA championship team.

ABC-7 also spoke with a UTEP student who saw Natalicio being attended to by paramedics.

“I was coming out of the Liberal Arts building, this was between 1:30 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.,” said senior psychology major Mike Montes. “I saw a huge crowd of people and I looked over to see what they were looking at. I saw Dr. Natalicio on the (ground). She was surrounded by paramedics and she had an oxygen mask over her face. She looked responsive, a little disoriented, but it looked like she was trying to raise up off the ground.”

El Paso Fire Department officials would not release any information on the nature of the emergency call or transport.

A UTEP booster, who did not want to be named, said he saw Natalicio at Wednesday’s Two Nations, One Faith celebration at the Sun Bowl. He said “she had a cold, but looked OK.”

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