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UT Permian Basin Engineering Building Grand Opening

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UT Permian Basin


Good morning.  I join President Woodley in welcoming you today, and I want to congratulate her, Dean Nnanna and everyone at UT Permian Basin on this important day.

Special thanks, of course, to our effective and committed leaders in the Texas Legislature – including Representative Craddick, Senator Seliger, and Representative Landgraf – who approved the Tuition Revenue Bonds that provided most of the financing for this great new facility.

And, to all the donors, supporters of UTPB, who helped make today possible.  We can’t thank you enough.

You all know this is an exciting, historic time for this region and its public university.  The eyes of the world are on the Permian Basin, since – on its current trajectory – it will soon rank as the fourth largest oil- and gas-producing center in the world, lifting the United States to true energy independence, and changing geopolitics.

This region has long made an outsized contribution to our state – and has for a long time. In particular, oil and gas revenues contribute billions of dollars in funding for elementary, secondary, and higher education in Texas.  What happens here has helped educate generations of young people, from every corner of this great state.

The 2.1 million acres of West Texas land that the UT System owns gives us a huge, and direct, stake in the future of the Permian Basin – and a big responsibility to help the region meet the challenges that accompany rapid growth.

We’re going to do our part to help the region prepare for an estimated 150,000 new residents and address the need for better education, workforce preparation, and health care.

It’s hard to imagine a better investment, or a more timely and welcome development than this new facility to help educate the engineers of tomorrow, right in the middle of the Permian Basin.

It’s abundantly clear that if we want the region to fulfill its vast and growing potential, we need more engineers.

That said, it isn’t just a regional, or oil and gas imperative.  If we want the Texas economy to remain the envy of the nation, we need more chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineers.  And if we want our communities to be well designed and well run, we need more engineers.

The work already taking place in this new building will reverberate throughout this region, and our state.  Talented students will be trained and launched into rewarding, productive careers, where they’ll tackle the biggest challenges and build the kind of future we all want for the Permian Basin, Texas, and the world.

On behalf of the entire University of Texas System, congratulations, again, to President Woodley, Dean Nnanna. and all the faculty and staff of UTPB.  And thank you, again, to our legislative champions, our donors, and the many who support UTPB.

It’s a good day for the university, the Permian Basin, and the state of Texas.

Thank you.