The first day of classes at the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is fast approaching, but President Guy Bailey said Saturday that his focus has already begun to shift to student recruitment.
“We’re on target to open our doors in August,” he said after speaking at the new school’s first on-campus recruiting event.
High school juniors and seniors from across the Rio Grande Valley were at the Discover UTRGV event, which featured campus tours, information sessions and meeting opportunities with deans and faculty along with a short mid-morning address from Bailey.
Bailey sounded less like a president selling his university to prospective students and more like a guidance counselor as he encouraged those in the audience simply to pursue a higher education.
“Part of my message is ‘We want you to go to college,’” Bailey said after the students left for small group information sessions on UTRGV’s courses of study.
The medical school, research opportunities and the school’s partnership with SpaceX has drawn a lot of attention to the school’s specialties, Bailey said, but he wants prospective students to understand that the university is angling to produce well-rounded scholars.
“We want them all to be well-educated in the core curriculum,” he said. “Those things carry you through your life.”
The liberal arts, mathematics and the arts programs at UTRGV will help students as they pursue jobs as well as their dreams, he said.
“You need to be prepared for your job and you need to be prepared for your career,” Bailey said, explaining that the two are not the same.
An accounting major may work as an accountant, but that doesn’t mean she won’t end up as the chief financial officer of a company, Bailey said, and UTRGV’s core curriculum courses will help ensure that graduates have the communication skills to prosper in future leadership roles.
A second Discover UTRGV event is planned to be held in Edinburg March 28.