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UTEP celebrates TCM Day

The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Engineering celebrated the University’s longest-running tradition, TCM Day, Friday.

TCM stems from UTEP’s original name. Even before it was known as Texas Western College, the school was founded as the Texas College of Mines.

The University says the tradition, “Commemorates UTEP’s mining heritage through activities such as singing the Mining Engineer’s songs, witnessing the Coming of St. Pat and kissing the Blarney Stone.”

“It truly is a student-driven tradition,” said Gabby Gandara, director of engineering student services. “The things our students think of and implement for TCM Day make this day really special.”

Students, faculty and staff from all colleges and disciplines participate in seven different parts of TCM Day, including the Team Mining Challenge.

The tradition dates back to 1920, when UTEP was still known as the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy (TCM), as an annual rite of passage to initiate new engineers and geologists into the Order of St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers. The event is organized by “The Mighty Guard of St. Pat,” a group of Engineering Student Leadership Council students who have previously participated in TCM Day.

The highlight of the day was the annual whitewashing of the large letter “M” on the mountain off of Sun Bowl Drive, a tradition that dates backs to 1923 when students first assembled brooms, buckets and whitewash to paint the “M” on Mount Franklin.

Other traditions involve team contests using mining equipment, and a walk along the Long Green Line through the Engineering Building, where participants kiss the Blarney Stone, a 1,000-pound green-painted boulder in front of the Engineering Building. The act is said to give the kisser the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness.

In honor of TCM Day, the “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at the University Avenue roundabout will be lit in orange and blue the evening of Friday, March 18.

– This article is an edited version of a news release prepared by the UTEP news and publications staff.

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