Dr. Robert S. Nelsen – President 2010-2014
During Dr. Robert S. Nelsen’s presidency, student enrollment surpassed 20,000 for the first time in the school’s 87-year history, UTPA was elevated to “doctoral serving university” status, the University College was created, UTPA was invited to join the Western Athletic Conference, and a new $43 million Academic and Performing Arts Center was constructed.
Dr. Charles A. Sorber - Interim President 2009-2010
At the request of the U.T. System, Dr. Charles A. Sorber came out of retirement to serve as interim president of UTPA in 2009. An emeritus professor at UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering, Dr. Sorber had already served tenures as President of UT Permian Basin and Interim President at UT Arlington.
Dr. Blandina "Bambi" Cárdenas - President 2004 -2009
Under the leadership of Dr. Blandina “Bambi" Cárdenas, UTPA made significant strides in classroom technology advancements and graduation/retention rates. On average 3,200 students received degrees annually during the Cárdenas tenure. In 2008, UTPA awarded the 1000th Engineering Degree and the 100th Doctorate Degree.
Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez - President 1981 -2004
In 1981, after a national search, Dr. Nevárez became the University’s first Hispanic President and the first Valley native to lead the institution. He led Pan American University through its historic merger with the UT system in 1989 and through a dynamic period of enrollment and campus growth.
Ralph F. Schilling - President 1960 -1981
Was appointed President by the Edinburg College Board of Regents in 1960. For the next twenty years Schilling led Pan American University through a period of rapid growth, admission to the state system and transition from college to university status.
R. P. Ward - President 1931 -1943, 1946 -1960
Originally hired as the first dean of the faculty and director when the college first opened in 1927, he became president in 1931 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1959.
H. A. Hodges - President 1943 -1946
Served as Interim President while R. P. Ward was on leave for military service during World War II from 1944 to 1946.
H. W. Miles - President 1930-1931
Served as President of Edinburg College for a year from 1930 to 1931.
H. C. Baker - President 1927-1930
Became the first president of Edinburg College after it was established by the Edinburg School District in 1927. Baker had served as the superintendent of the Edinburg School District prior to his appointment to the college.