‘One of the best feelings ever’

  Tuesday, December 8, 2020
  Around Campus, Community

By Letty Fernandez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Ringing the bell at the end of a UTRGV commencement is a tradition that signifies a rite of passage, the life transition from a college student to a graduate. 

When UTRGV hosts its Fall 2020 Virtual Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12, eight women will ring the bells for the university’s various colleges and schools.

Donna native Olga Campos, who will get her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the UTRGV College of Health Professions, said she was thrilled to be selected.

“I quickly clicked the email and as I opened it and was reading it, I just started crying. I felt so excited and surprised that I got chosen. One of the best feelings ever,” she said.

Campos will be the first in her family to graduate from college. At 32 years old, she is not your traditional student. 

“It has been about 11 years since I was in school. I had been in and out of college, but I never gave up and I decided to finally finish,” Campos said. “My husband and son were my biggest motivators. I am happy I made my mom, dad, son and husband proud of me.”

She wants to be a coach and teach all grade levels, and plans to go on to graduate school to earn a master’s degree and, eventually, a Ph.D.

 “When I first went back to college, I was nervous. I worked full time and I have a family,” she said. “But college showed me how to plan and taught me anything is possible if you organize.

“Graduation to me means a lot more than I can ever imagine. I am so grateful to finally continue my dreams,” Campos said.

The other students selected as bell ringers for the 2020 Fall Commencement ceremonies are:

  • Cassandra Longoria – College of Education & P-16 Integration
  • Valeria Luna Palacios – College of Engineering & Computer Science
  • Jessica Escamilla – College of Liberal Arts.
  • Natalia de la Garza – College of Sciences.
  • Kathryn Mendoza – Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship.
  • Edna Analee Cano – School of Social Work.
  • Jasmine Leija – College of Fine Arts.

Ceremonies for all the colleges and schools will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12. For more information, please visit www.utrgv.edu/commencement/fall-2020-virtual-commencement.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.