TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The University of Texas at Tyler celebrated a big milestone on Thursday.

The college rang in their 50th anniversary, and they have been open since 1971.

People gathered for a free community event in downtown Tyler to celebrate.

Students performed and there were free promotional items.

A special beer, the Patriot Pale Ale, was also released through a partnership with ETX Brewing Co. and True Vine Brewing.

“We’re also doing a special release, our fermentation science students and the two local breweries, ETX Brewing Company and True Vine to release Patriot Pale Ale. That’s a new beer that’s being released especially for today to celebrate our 50th anniversary that was made in conjunction with our students,” said Brittany Childs, Executive Director of Community Partnerships at UT Tyler.

Also in 2021, the university welcomed their fifth president, Kirk Calhoun.

They announced their medical school, which will welcome their first class in 2023. UT Tyler also became a member of division two athletics and launched a new radio station called, KVUT.