Thousands of University of Texas at El Paso alumni, family and friends gathered together from coast to cast and border to border to share food, fun, laughter and a heavy dose of Miner pride at the 5th annual Alumni PICK-NIC on Saturday, July 16, 2016.
This year, 29 locations took part in the celebration from the local El Paso PICK-NIC held at Memorial Park to Los Angeles, New York and even Bhutan. Each location added their own flair to the PICK-NIC, but the common thread among all participated was the outpouring of orange and blue spirit in true Miner fashion.
Fort Irwin, California
For the first time, alumni gathered at the Splash Park Pavilion Ft. Irwin Army Base. Krystal Bray and Melanie Matheus invited fellow Miners in the area to celebrate UTEP at the annual PICK-NIC!
Los Angeles, California
For the fourth time, Dr. Guadalupe Garcia hosted the annual PICK-NIC at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Dr. Garcia likes thinking outside the box and meeting in places where alumni can connect and head out to explore the grounds together. She always encourages everyone to wear their UTEP gear and collectively decide on next year's meeting spot.
Orange County, California
UTEP alumni met in the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim. The group shared memories, recounting events in El Paso from back in the day. Many mutual acquaintances were discovered, along with common experiences shared over the years.
This year’s UTEP Alumni PICK-NIC was held at Timothy O' Toole's in Chicago. Alumni in the Chicago area have held a PICK-NIC for the last five years, but this was Luzmarina Garcia’s first time hosting.
Española, New Mexico
Alumni were invited to attend a PICK-NIC in Española at the home of alumna Beth Aeby. She welcomed all greater Northern New Mexico (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Española, Rio Rancho, Taos, Las Vegas) alumni, family and friends to the fifth annual UTEP PICK-NIC. The celebration was held along the bank of the Rio Grande. “Although the group was small, it was mighty,” Aeby said. She anticipates that this event will grow to include horseshoes, croquet, bocce, water activities and a campfire.
New York City, New York
For the fifth year in a row, Alex Munoz (former SGA President) along with Toni Camacho (first year co-host) hosted the UTEP PICK-NIC at Bryant Park in New York City. New York UTEP alumni have done an amazing job connecting with other Miners in the area as well as welcoming new ones throughout the year.
Alexandria, Virginia (Washington, D.C. metroplex)
Marella and Jay Ruelas held the PICK-NIC in their home in Alexandria, one mile from Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate off the banks of the Potomac River. They were honored to host this event for the third time. They had more than 100 UTEP Miners and their families in attendance. “The food was plentiful, the conversation exhilarating, the El Paso love shining, and the Miner pride overflowing," the hosts said
Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico
For the first time, alumni held a PICK-NIC at the Pac Bar in Chihuahua City. It was a small, intimate gathering hosted by Gonzalo Alcala. The host said the group is looking forward to being connected with other alumni in Chihuahua.
Host Dechen Jigme met with alumni at Ludrong Memorial Park Garden in Thimphu, Bhutan
(near the Tashichhodzong).