UTEP Alum Gifts $10 Million to University
October 20, 2011
Miguel Loya and Mike Loya
The University of Texas at El Paso alumnus Mike Loya, president of energy giant Vitol Inc., returned to his alma mater on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to pledge a $10 million gift to UTEP, the largest donation to date to the University’s Centennial Campaign.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio made the announcement at a press conference in the foyer of the Engineering Building attended by Loya and several of his family members, College of Engineering Dean Richard Schoephoerster, Ph.D., and College of Business Dean Robert Nachtmann, D.B.A.
“Like many engineers I know, Mike Loya is not a big talker, but he’s certainly a big doer! This major gift represents his generous spirit, his passion for higher education, his love for his family, his loyalty to UTEP and his continued commitment to this El Paso region where his highly successful life got its start,” President Natalicio said.
“I hope that the gift can help support UTEP in continuing to provide the great start to a career that I and many others have enjoyed,” Loya said. “I am fortunate that I can give something back to an institution that provided so much for me.”
A portion of the funds will be distributed between the colleges of Engineering and Business Administration to foster collaboration between the two colleges and prepare UTEP students with both the engineering and business acumen to respond to such challenges as the complex economic dimensions of energy trading and the aggressive competition for energy resources around the world.
In September, Hispanic Business magazine ranked UTEP’s engineering graduate program No. 2 in the nation for Hispanics, and UTEP’s College of Business Administration was ranked as the No. 1 graduate business program in the United States for Hispanic students, ahead of The University of Texas at Austin, New York University, and Stanford University.
Loya’s gifts are expected to have a tremendous impact on UTEP students and greatly accelerate UTEP’s progress toward becoming the first national research university with a 21st century student demographic, President Natalicio said.
“Mr. Loya’s gift is monumental to the Centennial Campaign,” said Russell Vandenburg, chairman of UTEP’s Centennial Campaign Leadership Council. “Mike Loya grew up in El Paso, attended Burges High School and was the first to graduate college from his family, a story very familiar to UTEP. I believe Mr. Loya’s gift will motivate other homegrown El Pasoans who left El Paso after graduating from UTEP to give back to their University.”
At the Forefront: The Centennial Campaign for UTEP is the University’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date, with a goal to raise $200 million by the University’s 100th anniversary in 2014.
An El Paso native, Loya was the first of his seven younger brothers and sisters to earn a college degree. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UTEP in 1977 and his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1979.
In 2004, Loya received the UTEP College of Engineering’s Gold Nugget Award for his exceptional achievements and contributions to his profession, community and the University. In 2010, Loya was recognized with UTEP’s Distinguished Alumni award, the highest honor that the University gives to its alumni.
Since graduating from UTEP, Loya has gone on to a stellar career in the global energy industry. He has held positions with Esso Eastern, Tenneco Oil and Transworld Oil before assuming leadership of Vitol, Inc., the North and South American arm of the Vitol Group.