This week, the University Center held a party as part of the year-long celebration of its 25th Anniversary. Faculty, staff and alumni members of the committee that planed the building attended the event. It was wonderful to hear their stories about student involvement before the UC even existed and their work to bring the building to campus.
They shared stories of creativity and imagination, of doing fun programs even though financial and space resources were limited, of laughter and friendship and the fun of accomplishing more than anyone ever expected. Jane Burton and Wayne Terry (’85) were part of the program and each of them talked about seeing their hopes then fulfilled in the vibrant campus that is UTSA now. Everyone talked about the amazing opportunities available for students now and their hopes for the future. Lowa Mwilambwe, Director of the University Center, spoke of the work of staff and students to bring the UC to its current place on campus and in campus life. He spoke of his current staff members working to be sure the UC has a vibrant future.
As I listened to the speeches, talked with folks and enjoyed the wonderful new/old pictures on the walls of the Ski Lodge, I was reminded of several things:
• It’s important to remember we all benefit from the work of colleagues and students who were here before us.
• Doing our best work benefits current students and colleagues and future ones we may never know.
• Students and staff engaged in creating UTSA today will be able to look back with pride on their accomplishments.
• “Student engagement” is not a buzzword – when it really happens, the good energy helps us all and lasts into the unknown future.
• Taking time to celebrate is important. It shows what we value; it’s a way to say thank you and it’s just plain fun. (How can you go wrong when eating cake with orange and blue icing?) We need to stop and find time for this – it is a benefit to our present.
Congratulations to the UTSA University Center on 25 great years. I can’t wait to see what it looks like at 50!
P.S. – What part of UTSA history makes your work today possible? What are you doing that is shaping the future? I’d love to hear your answers. All comments welcome; please send to VPSAmedia@utsa.edu.