Paul and Alejandra Foster give $5.1m lead gift for Sun Bowl Renovation Project

A lead gift of $5.1 million by El Paso businessman and philanthropist Paul Foster and his wife, Alejandra De la Vega Foster, ensures the completion of the Sun Bowl Renovation Project.

“Paul and Alejandra have done so much for El Paso and for UTEP. Having their names on the tower will make us smile every time we walk into the Sun Bowl. We’re very thankful for their generosity,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson.

To recognize their incredible support, the structure housing the press box and the Hunt Family Sky Lounge in the iconic stadium will be renamed the Paul and Alejandra Foster Tower.

“We can’t thank Paul and Alejandra enough for their generosity and for their continued support of UTEP and UTEP Athletics,” said UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter.  “And, we can’t wait for our fans to experience the new and improved Sun Bowl!  Paul and Alejandra’s vision aligned with ours, and their dedication and kindness was absolutely critical to making the dream a reality.  The Paul and Alejandra Foster Tower will be gorgeous, and a centerpiece of this spectacular renovation.”

“We are pleased to be a part of the Sun Bowl renovation project, and proud to dedicate the Paul and Alejandra Foster Tower as part of this important initiative to give the Sun Bowl a new look and new amenities,” said Paul Foster.

“Alejandra and I try to focus much of our civic and charitable giving on effective, sustainable quality-of-life projects.  The Sun Bowl has been a big part of El Paso’s quality of life for over 57 years, representing our City and public university in a very unique way.  We’re happy to be a part of renovating this iconic venue.”

The Foster gift is instrumental in the overall development of the Sun Bowl Renovation Project, including the installation of:

  • 499 outdoor club seats
  • 26 loge boxes
  • New 40-foot bar at the club level
  • Addition of club level outdoor pavilion
  • Creation of four suites (first-ever in the Sun Bowl)
  • New HVAC and updated audio visual capabilities in the press box
  • Updated tower façade
  • New premium seating and hospitality entrance
  • Renovated restrooms and concessions at the club level

Mr. Foster is the President of Franklin Mountain Management, LLC and Chairman of Franklin Mountain Energy, LLC. He is the founder and former Executive Chairman of Western Refining Company, Inc. and former Chairman of Western Refining Logistics, LP.  He serves as a director on the boards of Franklin Mountain Capital, LLC, Franklin Mountain Energy, LLC, Jordan Foster Construction, Vomaris Innovations, Inc., and WestStar Bank.  He also serves on the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees.

He served as the Chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents for four years and served as its Vice Chairman for eight years.  He also served as the Chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) and the University of Texas System’s University Lands Advisory Board. He is a past member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Business Leadership Council.  He served for six years on the El Paso Branch Board of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank and was the founding Chairman of El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDCo).

Mr. Foster now serves on the Executive Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance and is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization.  In the early 2000’s, he became the leading catalyst in the revitalization of El Paso’s Downtown, purchasing and restoring several historic buildings in what is now called the Mills Plaza District.

In 2019, he purchased twelve additional buildings and land parcels in Downtown El Paso.  His most recent project is the restoration of the 89-year-old Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park, a landmark in the City’s center, which opened in June 2020.

Mr. Foster has received the Baylor University Distinguished Alumni Award, was inducted into the 2013 Class of the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and in 2007 and 2013 was presented with the City of El Paso’s highest honor, the Conquistador Award.  He was named El Pasoan of the Year twice, inducted into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame, and was named as El Paso’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Together, Mr. and Mrs. Foster are philanthropists and major supporters of the Borderplex cities of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. They are co-founders of MountainStar Sports Group, co-owners of the El Paso Chihuahuas Triple-A Baseball team, the FC Juarez Bravos Liga MX Soccer club, and the El Paso Locomotive United Soccer League club.

Mrs. De la Vega Foster is Vice President of Almacenes Distribuidores de la Frontera, a company that operates convenience stores in the City of Juarez, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.  A businesswoman and entrepreneur, she also owns the Domino’s Pizza franchise in Juarez and holds the franchise rights for La Madeleine Country French Café in El Paso, Texas, southern New Mexico, and Arizona markets.  She is President of the Board of FC Juarez Bravos Liga MX Soccer club.

In 2016, Mrs. De la Vega Foster was appointed by the Governor of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico to serve as Secretary of Innovation and Economic Development for the electoral period of 2016-2021.

 Actively involved on both sides of the border, Mrs. De la Vega serves or has served on numerous business, civic, and charitable boards and committees.  She is currently a member of the Governing Board of The Hospitals of Providence Memorial and Sierra Campuses in El Paso and a member of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors in Houston.  She is actively involved in Desarrollo Economico de Juarez, serves as Co-Chair of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Paso Del Norte Chapter.

Mrs. De la Vega previously served on the board of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) Ciudad Juarez Campus, was secretary of the board of La Rodadora Children’s Museum in Juarez, and was a board member of the FEMAP Foundation, an organization established to raise the quality of life among the people living in poverty in Mexico.