Our Donors

 

Felix ValenzuelaUTEP Our Donors Felix Valenzuela

Felix Valenzuela made his first gift to The University of Texas at El Paso in 2011 with the goal of helping to transform students’ lives by positively impacting their personal path of discovery and learning. Today, his generous contributions are not only financial, but have evolved into a robust set of activities fueled by his strong belief in raising the bar for upcoming generations. Felix serves as a board member for multiple university organizations such as the UTEP Alumni Association Board and the Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, where he recently helped fund an endowment benefiting artists and exhibitions. He is also involved in promoting young alumni involvement through campus networking events and seeks to encourage students to leave a mark on this planet.

Born and raised in El Paso, Felix remembers his days at UTEP with deep gratitude and joy. He started his college career in 1997 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2003. Felix and his mother attended UTEP at the same time, which meant riding together to school almost every day. His mother graduated with a degree in education a year before him, making her the first one in the family to receive a college degree. While at UTEP, Felix also obtained a paralegal certificate from the University of Southern Colorado the summer of 2001.

When he began at UTEP, Felix had multiple jobs to help pay for his education. He later signed-up for the Patricia and Paul Yetter Law School Preparation Institute at UTEP (LSPI) where he was recruited to work as a teaching assistant (TA). As a TA, he developed a close relationship with his professors whom he refers to as mentors and dear friends. He is now a board member of the LSPI program.

“Dr. Robert Webking and Dr. William G. Weaver were amazing influences in my development as a student. They went far above and beyond to help me get where I am today. I will be forever in debt to them and to UTEP,” Felix says.

In 2003 Felix applied to Yale Law School (YLS), becoming the first UTEP graduate to attend this prestigious school, and earning a Juris Doctor degree in 2006. Felix then continued with his studies at the University of Notre Dame where he received a master’s degree in political science in 2010. Thanks to his outstanding academic achievements, he was selected for an clerkship with U.S. District Court Judge Philip Martinez.

Although Felix continued his academic journey outside of El Paso, he stayed actively involved with UTEP. During the summers he volunteered at the LSPI program and helped teach an online course with Dr. Robert Webking. After completing his studies he returned to his El Paso and established his practice, Valenzuela Law Firm.

Driven by his desire to give back to UTEP, he joined the UTEP Alumni Association Board in 2012. His role with the board shaped relationships that have developed into close friendships. “We all love UTEP and we realize how much the university has given to us by opening new paths of opportunity,” Felix says.

Felix occasionally teaches for the UTEP Political Science Department and invites renowned speakers to his class such as U.S. attorneys and federal judges. “Exposure to these individuals will help students understand that they are just like you and me,” he says.  

His passion and gratitude for UTEP and the educational opportunities he received while here are evident in the many ways he chooses to give back to the University. By staying active in multiple capacities, Felix hopes to encourage students and young alumni to connect with professionals and grow their network. Felix strongly believes that it is important for alumni to remain connected to their alma mater, and to realize that there are many areas where alumni can leave a positive mark in the lives of students.

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