ST. LOUIS — Diana Natalicio, who was born and raised in St. Louis and served as the president of the University of Texas at El Paso for 31 years, died Friday at the age of 82, her family announced.
The Cleveland High and St. Louis University graduate was named in 2016 as one of Time's 100 "Most Influential People in the World." The next year, she was named by Fortune as one of the "World's Greatest Leaders."
During Natalicio's tenure at UTEP, enrollment grew from 15,000 to more than 25,000 students, and the university was designated as a Carnegie R1 university for the excellence and breadth of its academic and research programs, wrote Bill Siedhoff, her brother and the former director of human services for St. Louis, in a statement.
UTEP President Emerita Diana Natalicio, who led the University from 1988 to 2019, has died. The UTEP community mourns the loss of an inspirational leader whose legacy of access and excellence lives on.— UTEP (@UTEP) September 24, 2021
Read about her life and share your memories: https://t.co/Tl4KHITzJ3 pic.twitter.com/Cva4sbBkYn
She retired from UTEP in 2019 and spent the rest of her life in El Paso. Siedhoff said she loved "the weather, the mountains, the food and the wonderful people."
"She had a great and accomplished life," he said.
Siedhoff said he will greatly miss his "closest friend."
"We not only shared many happy memories growing up in St. Louis, but she was my eternal travel partner, often traveling the world together," he said.