Thanksgiving is a great tradition. It gives us an opportunity to count the blessings that come from family and friends, and share what we have with others. UTSA faculty, staff and students know all about sharing. It's one of the ways we connect with the community year-round.
Community engagement is at the very core of UTSA's mission. Volunteerism and participation in civic projects teach our students about the importance of lifelong public service and how to be better global citizens.
UTSA impacts the community in so many ways. Last year alone, more than 3,000 UTSA faculty and staff and 12,000 students provided services and programs to more than 660,000 people across the region, and our Office of the Vice President for Community Services oversaw $23 million worth of UTSA-sponsored initiatives.
The UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion estimates that nearly 25,000 students performed some kind of community service in the 2012-2013 academic year, contributing more than 425,000 hours of their time.
For more than 20 years, UTSA Volunteers Organization Involving Community Education and Service (VOICES) has provided opportunities for students to become involved in community service projects around the country and abroad, many of them taking place during school breaks.
It should come as no surprise that UTSA has been recognized nationally by the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for four consecutive years. The Honor Roll highlights universities that stress civic engagement and provide meaningful contributions to the communities they serve.
One of the ways a great university is measured is by its community engagement. Without a doubt, UTSA is a top-tier university because of the dedication of our faculty, staff and students to public service, and for that I am so thankful.
This holiday season, Harriett and I wish you and your family the very best, and thank you for your support of UTSA.
President, The University of Texas at San Antonio