Top photo: Professor Harriett Romo (center in black) with Honors
College Associate Dean Ann Eisenberg (in blue) and students
Center photo: Express-News Editor Robert Rivard, Professor
Harriett Romo and UTSA President Ricardo Romo
Bottom photo: Great Conversation! 2009
(Photos by Mark McClendon)
Great Conversation! raises $234K for Honors College
By Omar Hernandez
Public Affairs Specialist
(March 3, 2009)--More than $234,000 was raised Feb. 24 for UTSA Honors College scholarships at Great Conversation! 2009. It was the most raised in the history of the event. Nearly 500 guests enjoyed good food and stimulating discussion led by community leaders and UTSA faculty members.
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The Honors College relies on the funds generated by the event to provide critical scholarship support for its students. Established in 2002, the college's current enrollment is more than 700 students. Because of its rapid growth, the need for additional scholarship support is significant.
This year, in addition to the student scholarship fund, UTSA President Ricardo Romo was honored by several UTSA donors who established the Ricardo Romo Endowed Professorship. The professorship will provide financial support for an Honors College faculty member.
The Ricardo Romo Endowed Professorship donors include the San Antonio Express-News, Michael and Louise Burke, Bartell and Mollie Zachry, former Gov. Dolph Briscoe, Tim and Karen Hixon, Robert and Patricia Ayres, David Spencer, Spurs Sports and Entertainment, The John and Florence Newman Foundation, The McCombs Family Foundation, Tobin Endowment and Valero Energy Corp.
The event featured 62 tables with conversation leaders including Texas Monthly editor-in-chief Evan Smith speaking on the political landscape in Texas and beyond; Tanji Patton, local TV personality and executive producer and host of "Good Taste with Tanji," leading discussion on good wine, food and fun; and Harriett Romo, UTSA professor of sociology and director of the Mexico Center, leading discussion on "What makes a great teacher?"
Great Conversation! began as a lecture series under the leadership of Harriett Romo and a small group of community members. After a few lectures, they decided to change the format, keeping the interesting topics but adding interaction -- the participants engage in conversation and exchange observations and ideas -- all under the leadership of an expert. The present form of the event was born February 2001, bringing a new tradition to UTSA and San Antonio.