Landgraf family holding ornament in front of tree
The ornament was painted by UTPB student Dustin Pando

hd-81-utpb-ornament-2.jpgAn ornament commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) hangs in the State Capitol this Christmas season. Dustin Pando, a junior at UTPB majoring in Art with an emphasis on Graphic Design, painted the ornament. 

“UTPB’s 50th anniversary is a big deal, so we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight this historic milestone with the district ornament this year,” State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) said. “We’ve brought some West Texas flair and a little Falcon spirit to the Texas Capitol this Christmas. Dustin did a great job, and I really appreciate Professor Chris Stanely’s collaboration on this project as well.” 

Pando’s painting features the UTPB 50th anniversary “Time to Fly” logo and includes depictions of reindeer, stars, and other Christmas scenery silhouetted against a backdrop of Falcon orange, reminding one of a festive West Texas sunset. 

“With its brilliant orange, the ornament is easy to spot, and will make any West Texan visiting thehd-81-utpb-ornament-1.jpg capitol proud,” State Representative Brooks Landgraf said. “I’ve taken every chance I’ve had this year at the Capitol to celebrate UTPB’s first 50 years in our community and to fight for the resources necessary to make its next 50 years even more successful.” 

Representative Brooks Landgraf, joined by his wife, Shelby, and their daughter, Hollis Rose, hung the ornament on the Christmas tree that stands in the Texas House Chamber. Every year each state representative is invited to select an artist from his or her community to create an ornament to hang on the Capitol Christmas tree that showcases what makes their Texas House District special or unique. Thousands of visitors will see the ornament and tree at the Capitol this month. 

“I’m beaming with Falcon pride and Christmas spirit,” Shelby Landgraf said. “Odessans have so much to be proud of and thankful for this holiday season, and having a bona fide university like UTPB in the city limits for the last half century is certainly one of them.” 

In 1969, State Representative Ace Pickens (D-Odessa) authored and championed the legislation which created UTPB in Odessa. Thanks to Mr. Pickens’s vision and fortitude, UTPB first opened to serve students in 1973.