The XX Factor: A Century of Women at UTEP

The XX Factor: A Century of Women at UTEP

One hundred years ago, the first female students enrolled at the State School of Mines and Metallurgy, now The University of Texas at El Paso. Since that time, women have played an important role in making UTEP what it is today.

1914 - The State School of Mines and Metallurgy, also known as the Texas School of Mines (TSM), is established.

June 1916 – At the recommendation of University of Texas Board of Regents member Rabbi Maurice Faber, the University of Texas revises TSM’s first and second-year curriculum to add more courses outside of mining.

1916 - TSM catalog lists Ella W. Martin as the school’s registrar, making her the school’s first female staff member.

August 1916 - Dean Steve Worrell begins to promote the admission of women. He announces that TSM is coeducational and offers a two-year program for non-engineering students.

September 1916 - Ruth Brown and Grace Odell enroll at TSM as the first female students.

1917 - 12 women enroll in the TSM and College of the City of El Paso (CCEP) teacher certification program. CCEP is the city’s newly established junior college.

1917 - Ruth Monro Augur replaces Ella W. Martin as registrar. She also gains responsiblity for the school’s library, making her the first librarian.

June 1918 - Ruth Brown, Dorothy Clark and Grace Odell are the first women to graduate as part of the TSM/CCEP program.

1919 -After excelling in her chemistry courses, Ruth Brown is hired as a chemistry assistant. She is the first woman to hold a teaching position.

1920 - Susan Buck is hired as the first female faculty appointment. Buck taught English, sociology and history until 1921.

1923 - Myra C. Winkler, is appointed as an adjunct professor of history and economics. She is the second female faculty member.

1924 - Carrie M. Crosby enrolls in the College of Mines as the first female engineering student.

1927 - Abi Elizabeth Beynon is the College of Mines’ first female tenured faculty member, department head and dean of women.

September 1929 - Gladys Gregory joins the staff. She would later become the first tenured full professor.

1932 – The College of Mines awards the first B.A. degree to a cohort of only women.

1942 – The College of Mines’ first M.A.degrees are awarded to an all-female cohort.

March 1955 – African-American Thelma White sues Texas Western College (TWC) and the U.T. Board of Regents after being denied admission to TWC based on her race. Four months later, an El Paso federal judge rules in White’s favor. White never attended TWC, but as a result of her victory, 10 black students enroll and are accepted into TWC in the fall of 1955.

1957 - Martha Sue Schooler is the first female engineering graduate of TWC.

1976 - Carol Ann Rogers receives her commission as part of the first group of 150 women who participated nationally in ROTC.

1981 - Kathryn Evans is the first woman to earn a Ph.D. at UTEP.

1988 - Diana Natalicio is selected as UTEP’s first female president.

2013-14 – For the first time, the number of doctoral degrees awarded to women exceed those awarded to men, 56 to 51.

- Christina Rodriguez and PJ Vierra