University merger made official

It was a historic day in the Rio Grande Valley.

Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 24 into law merging the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Texas Brownsville into one school and creating a medical school.

The new university is set to be the second largest Hispanic serving university in the country.

School administrators said the new university will bring exponential growth and opportunity to the Valley.

I got butterflies in my stomach because I am so excited, UTPA President Dr. Robert Nelsen said.

Dr. Nelsen said the new university was a long time coming.

I TMve sat in so many of those board of regents meetings and watched everyone else get building and funding, and we never got anything, Nelsen said.

The new South Texas university was officially made eligible for millions of dollars from the Permanent University Fund also known as PUF when Governor Perry signed the bill into law.

Dr. Nelsen said the school is needed for students like Med High junior Anju Abraham.

Abraham hopes to be one of the first students admitted to the new medical school.

I think it TMs amazing you know, I never thought it would happen before I left, I TMm excited, I TMm really excited for this, Abraham said.

The medical school will create jobs and bring much needed medical professionals to the fast growing area.

It excites us knowing that we are creating the leaders of this world that will be coming back to represent our own community, UTPA student government president Aaron Barrero said.

But before the university can become a reality, a few things have to happen: Over the next 12-18 months degree programs will be chosen Between November-December 2013 Name for university will be finalized Between January-February 2014 new president will be announced August 2015 First class of new university enrolls