UTEP Prepares for Longest-Running Campus Tradition: TCM Day

Last Updated on March 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm

What: TCM Day

When: 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday, March 20

Where: UTEP campus

031815tcmCelebrated each March in observance of St. Patrick’s Day, TCM Day is the longest-running student tradition at The University of Texas at El Paso.

The tradition began in 1920 when UTEP was known as the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, or TCM, as an annual rite of passage to initiate new engineers and geologists into the Order of St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers.

Students, faculty and staff from all disciplines are invited to participate in the seven parts of TCM Day, including the Team Mining Challenge. Those who complete every element of TCM Day will earn their official TCM Day Green Card and a TCM T-shirt.

The festivities start with participant sign-in at 7:30 a.m. at Magoffin Auditorium.

Participants are asked to bring $5 and a canned good for the El Paso Rescue Mission. Engineering courses were taught in the rescue mission building during the 1970s, then known as Hacienda Tech.

After signing in, participants will attend the Coming of St. Pat, a popular theatrical production where a senior engineering student (as voted by the Engineering Student Leadership Council) creates their representation of St. Patrick.

After the Coming of St. Pat, a simulated dynamite blast will take place at the Sun Bowl Parking Garage, where participants also will learn songs with help from Fort Bliss drill sergeants.

After a quick break, Miners will whitewash the “M” on the mountain off Sun Bowl Drive, a tradition that dates back to 1923 when students first assembled brooms, buckets and whitewash to paint the “M” on Mount Franklin.

Next, Miners will participate in a Team Mining Challenge that starts at Magoffin Auditorium and runs through campus. The challenge will engage teams of five to experience mining and its processes and equipment. The first-place team will win $500.

As a final step to completing the TCM Day activities, participants will kiss the Blarney Stone, a 1,000-pound boulder in front of the Engineering and Sciences Complex. The act is said to give the kisser the gift of gab.

A St. Pat’s feast will follow from noon to 2 p.m. at the Chemistry and Computer Science Building’s courtyard.

During the feast, there will be a brief Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Engineering Fraternity awards ceremony for this year’s recipients of the APO scholarship.

The APO fraternity was founded in 1919 at the Texas College of Mines as a social fraternity for engineering and geology students with commitment to the UTEP and El Paso communities. The members of APO started many of the traditions that are still around today – walking through mines and blasting dynamite. The APO Student Award Honorees and Awardees began in 1991.

For a full TCM Day schedule, visit tcm.utep.edu.

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