(Oct. 7, 2010)--UTSA President Ricardo Romo addressed students, faculty, staff, elected officials and guests Wednesday afternoon in the University Center Ballroom on the Main Campus for his second annual State of the University address. The 45-minute address detailed UTSA's momentum over the last year toward fulfilling its vision to become a Tier One national research university. Romo was introduced by Bexar County's Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio native and vice chairman of the House Higher Education Committee.
Romo spoke of his pride for UTSA's teaching faculty and touted their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to students in advancing their knowledge of the world and their chosen professional fields.
"This year we were fortunate to have nine UTSA faculty members selected to receive the prestigious UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award," said Romo. "After UT Austin, that is more than any other school in the UT System."
Additionally, Romo pointed out accomplishments within the ranks of research faculty and the university's commitment to continue recruiting the best and brightest and to build the infrastructure needed to do groundbreaking research. He also highlighted the 34-percent increase in total research spending over the previous fiscal year.
"Late last fall, we announced $46 million in research spending, up from the previous year's figure of $34 million," said Romo. "And, what is even more significant is when you look at our progress over five years, we essentially doubled our research expenditures. This is incredible momentum."
New collaborations with multiple private and public partners were addressed, in particular the 10-year, $50 million agreement between the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and CPS Energy, which will help propel San Antonio as a national leader in green technology research.
"During the last fiscal year, UTSA raised more private dollars than ever before," said Romo, who thanked members of the university's Development Board along with visionary friends and alumni who are giving to help UTSA become a world-class university for world-class students.
"Both the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund and AT&T supported our faculty research this past year, Valero Energy is helping us recruit graduate students, and one alumni couple, Jim and Cathy Bodenstedt, provided $1 million for Roadrunner football. Now, that is what I call momentum."
The grandest announcement in the speech, however, concerned the posthumous $22 million estate gift from Mary E. McKinney. The largest single private gift in university history will provide financial aid, including full-ride scholarships, to students working toward their degrees.
"Some of the most transformational gifts begin modestly with the simple intent to make a difference," said Romo. "Miss McKinney, an accomplished woman with a master's degree, took some classes here in the '90s, and after seeing how finances often impede students from continuing their education, she set up a modest scholarship in her parents' name. What we were not aware of is that Miss McKinney had plans for it to continue after she had passed."
The UTSA Interactive Technology Experience Center camps are for curious youth who are interested in STEM and related topics. This week, campers will study environmental science, robotics and computer science.
UTSA Main Campus
The Curtis Vaughan Observatory at UTSA will be having open stargazing every Wednesday night during the month. This event is free and open to the public.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory, UTSA Main Campus
In four sessions of this weeklong day camp for 9 to 13-year-olds, campers will participate in indoor and outdoor activities while exploring ancient technologies from around the world and the new technologies archaeologists are using to discover them.
UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, Main Campus
Roadrunner readers dive into exciting topics during this literary adventure summer camp geared toward 6-10-year-olds, occurring Monday through Thursday for two weeks.
Buena Vista Building 3.350, Downtown Campus
Experience a very different summer camp! The UTSA East Asia Institute is teaching kids Japanese through language, culture, art, crafts, music, cooking and more. For kids age 6-12. For more details, email email@example.com.
Main Building (MB 1.126), Main Campus
7 to 12 year-olds will explore Mayan Culture in a three-day sessions, concluding at the Witte museum, where campers will have the chance to see the new "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed" exhibit.
UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.