The University of Texas at El Paso


Sue Glover Mottinger

Removing Obstacles to Higher Education for All UTEP Students

In the late 1980s, Sue Glover Mottinger marched in the streets of Washington, D.C., and lobbied for successful passage of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, which restored equal opportunities for women in education and included amendments to Title IX regulations that prohibited gender-based discrimination.

That legislation, which passed while Mottinger was serving as the executive director of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, inspired her continued activism for gender equality.

The seeds of advocacy for women’s rights took root for Sue Mottinger at Texas Western College (now The University of Texas at El Paso, UTEP). Mottinger arrived at TWC in 1961 after graduating from high school in Alamogordo, N.M. Hobbled by a serious knee injury that occurred while coaching and playing girls fastpitch softball, she had begun to wonder if she could still fulfill her dream of becoming a physical education teacher. Luckily, two professors, assistant professor of health and physical education Lynette T. Glardon and biology professor Eleanor Duke, never allowed her to give up on her goals.

“Professor Glardon instilled in me the value of seeking advanced degrees and reminded [me and my classmates] that we had a stake in Texas Western, a stake in our classes and a stake in our futures, “ Mottinger says. “Professor Duke made sure I understood the importance of being focused on success, and advocating for fairness in the delivery of educational and professional opportunities, especially for women.”

Mottinger earned her B.A. in physical education from TWC in 1965 and taught physical education in the El Paso Independent School District before seeking her master’s and doctoral degrees in exercise physiology and administration from Texas Woman’s University. Immediately upon earning her Ph.D., she was hired by Texas Woman’s University as an assistant professor of Physical Education. She went on to teach at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and at The University of Texas-Pan American, where she was also the co-director of the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, helping to strengthen the relationships between mothers and daughters and encouraging young women to become self-reliant and to pursue an education.

The basic principle of access to opportunity, ingrained in Sue Mottinger by her UTEP professors, was integral in shaping her development and preparing her for her future roles as a physical education teacher, college professor and champion for women’s equality in the classroom and in sports competition. UTEP’s mission to provide access to excellence in higher education for all residents of the Paso del Norte region still resonates strongly with Mottinger. In 2013, she created the Sue Glover Mottinger, Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship to support students majoring in Kinesiology and to provide access to enriched educational experiences for future generations of UTEP Miners.

“I am giving back, knowing how fortunate my life is and how Texas Western College was and remains so influential in who I am,” Mottinger says. “As a graduate of UTEP, I want to help continue the legacy of removing obstacles to higher education for all UTEP students. One can achieve any and everything with a team. I want to be a member of the UTEP team that opens up the imagination and determination of every UTEP student.”

If you would like more information about how to start an endowment, please contact University Development at  ♦ (915) 747-8533