Later this week, nearly 4,000 UTSA students will receive their diplomas during our fall commencement. This will be the largest December commencement in the university’s history, and it is yet another milestone in our journey to Tier One status.
Commencement is one of the things I enjoy most about being a university president. During my 14 years at UTSA, I have met thousands of students and witnessed their transformation from students to leaders. Every time I see graduates receive their diplomas, I feel such immense pride knowing how much they have accomplished and how much UTSA has played a role in their success.
This year’s graduates will follow in the footsteps of nearly 96,000 alumni. UTSA held its first commencement in 1974. Then-President Peter T. Flawn awarded degrees to 82 graduates. The university did not have the facilities on campus to hold the ceremony; it took place at the UT Health Science Center.
Today, commencement is held at one of San Antonio’s largest venues, the Alamodome, to accommodate all the students, family and friends who want to be a part of this very special moment. In fact, it takes three ceremonies and the dedication of hundreds of faculty, staff and volunteers to recognize all of our graduates. I am so appreciative of all they do to make these such memorable events. UTSA commencement has truly become a community celebration.
A degree from UTSA represents the exceptional opportunities and experiences students have here. Our graduates are prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders in business, science, the arts, education and public service. As a UTSA supporter, you have made these transformational experiences possible. You have made UTSA a university of first choice. For that, I am extremely grateful.
To our newest alumni, congratulations! I am so proud of you, and I am eager to see the many ways you will enrich society in the years to come. Stay in touch and let us know from time to time how you are doing. Remember, you will always be part of the UTSA family.
From our Roadrunner family to yours, Harriett and I wish you a joyous and peaceful holiday season and all the best in the New Year.
The University of Texas at San Antonio