• May 17, 2022
 UTEP Receives $2M Gift to Support Scholarships, KTEP Radio

Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP Receives $2M Gift to Support Scholarships, KTEP Radio

A $2 million gift to The University of Texas at El Paso will be used to support KTEP-FM (88.5) and provide scholarships to dozens of undergraduate students every year.

The $2 million donation comes from the estate of the late Margaret (Mari) Herman. The funds will be split evenly between academic scholarships and the radio station.

An Endowment for KTEP

“KTEP is a great service to the community,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “We hope to honor Margaret Herman’s legacy by continuing to tell the story of this community with a strong affiliate of NPR right here in the borderland.”

KTEP is operated by UTEP as a public service to the region. It is the NPR affiliate housed in the University’s Cotton Memorial Building. Strengthening the station is one initiative identified in the recently completed UTEP 2030 Strategic Plan, which emphasizes the importance of positively impacting the community UTEP serves.

Richard Pineda, Ph.D., chair of UTEP’s Department of Communication, said KTEP will use funds this year to install state-of-the-art recording technology and bring the studio’s soundproofing up to industry standards.

“We are grateful to have a benefactor who recognizes the significance of public radio in the Southwest and how KTEP serves an educational function for our students to train there and how it serves a community function to be able to get information, news and enterainment out to the community,” Pineda said.

Endowing Scholarships

The second part of the gift will support between 20 and 40 students annually with scholarships.

“About two-thirds of our students come from families making less than about $37,000 a year,” President Wilson said. “Scholarships open the opportunity for an excellent education to students who are willing to work hard for it.”

Herman was the heiress of the Hess family, inventors of the steel-toe shoe. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1930, she moved to El Paso in the early 1980s. She died in 2018.

Sue Becknell, the trustee of Herman’s estate, said it is her mission to fulfill her friend’s wish to give back to the community.

“Mari would be so happy,” Becknell said. “She loved children, and the thought of contributing to education and making the world a better place was always a goal of hers. This endowment will touch so many lives.”

Herman was also an avid listener of KTEP and a supporter of education, Becknell said.

For all things University of Texas at El Paso, click here; for our complete coverage of UTEP, click here.

Related post