Friday, September 17, 2021
  Athletics, Around Campus

By Jonah Goldberg

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The UTRGV Department of Intercollegiate Athletics celebrated National Cleanup Day a day early on Friday, as 146 student-athletes and coaches from the baseball, men’s soccer and men’s and women’s basketball, golf and track & field teams, as well as UTRGV Athletics staff, spent the morning beautifying the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses.

“It was great to see everyone come together to give back to a campus that gives us the opportunity to represent this university,” said UTRGV Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President Elizabeth Ortiz, a junior on the track and field team. “Community is what makes UTRGV special. It’s a bond that’s bigger than us. Let’s continue to #RISEup!”

UTRGV golf team
The UTRGV Men's and Women's Golf teams helped beautify the Brownsville Campus on Friday as part of National Cleanup Day. (UTRGV Photo)

Student-athletes, coaches and staff met at 9:30 a.m. to get gloves, trash bags and assignments.

Then they spread out across the campuses for two hours, picking up trash in the grass, on sidewalks, in parking lots and elsewhere. Some volunteers even helped remove fallen palm fronds.

“It’s so great to see our student-athletes not only back on campus, but also making an impact,” said Julia Perez, UTRGV Athletics coordinator for student development. “We are excited to be able to come together again and engage with our local community as we #RISEup for the entire Vaqueros family.”

Sai Witt, Justin Johnson and LaQuan Butler
Members of UTRGV Men's Basketball – Sai Witt, Justin Johnson and LaQuan Butler – took part in the National Cleanup Day activities on Friday at the Edinburg Campus. (UTRGV Photo)

While Saturday is National Cleanup Day, the entire month of September is National Cleanup Month.

National Cleanup Day, which started in 2016, has expanded worldwide to include 180 countries and more than 50 million volunteers collecting more than 280 thousand tons of trash.

For more information on National Cleanup Day, visit

For more information on World Cleanup Day, visit


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.