Tuesday, September 01, 2015

New portrait honors UTSA Professor Emeritus Budalur S. Thyagarajan

portrait dedication

Budalur S. Thyagarajan

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(Dec. 22, 2010)--Former UTSA students Blair Andera '98, Damon Wilkerson and Steven Vela commissioned a portrait of UTSA Professor Emeritus Budalur S. Thyagaragan to honor his lifetime commitment and passion for teaching science students. Thyagarajan is the founding director of the UTSA Division of Earth and Physical Sciences, which led to the development of the UTSA College of Sciences.

Thyagarajan's portrait was unveiled at an Oct. 20 event in his honor. UTSA President Ricardo Romo, Provost John Frederick, College of Sciences Dean George Perry, former Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Kenneth Ashworth, painter Susan Farris and many of Thyagarajan's former students attended the celebration. Thyagarajan's family including son Karthik Thyagarajan and grandson Ocean Milan also were present.

"President Ricardo Romo best summarized Dr. Thyagarajan's extraordinary accomplishments and his impact on students in a letter he sent to me, which read: 'Dr. Thyagarajan's legacy will continue at UTSA for generations through the endowed scholarships that he has established. It is inspiring to me that he has not only shared his knowledge with students, but he has also encouraged their dreams through funding for scholarships,'" said Andera.

Thyagarajan made an impact on countless students during his career. He mentored undergraduates and graduates from England, Egypt, Greece, India, Japan and Korea, who now hold professional careers in medicine, science, business and education. With the words of his grandmother as inspiration ("Life is to give, not to take."), Thyagarajan's legacy continues through the Dr. Budalur S. Thyagarajan Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports UTSA undergraduates pursuing chemistry, geology and physics degrees.

To honor Thyagarajan's service and dedication to teaching, many of his former UTSA students and family members contributed to his endowed scholarship fund. The gifts will help support future generations of science students. Thyagaragan also established and supports the Mrs. Parvathammal Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of his mother. The fund supports female undergraduate geology majors.

An organic chemist by training, Thyagarajan earned his doctoral degree in 1956 from the University of Madras, India, where he served as an organic chemistry reader for eight years, following the completion of postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

From 1965 to 1966, Thyagarajan served as a visiting professor at the University of Southern California (USC). In 1967, he presided over the First International Conference on the Chemistry of Dimethyl Sulfoxide in Los Angeles. Thereafter, he accepted faculty appointments at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho and the University of Hokkaido in Japan.

From 1974 to 2000, Thyagarajan served UTSA as founding director of the Division of Earth and Physical Sciences. While at UTSA, Thyagarajan recruited faculty and developed curricula in chemistry, geology and physics to complement the biological sciences program already in place. Simultaneously, he researched novel topics in sulfur chemistry. Additionally, he developed an efficient and cost-effective method to manufacture the explosive HMX, a high-energy propellant used exclusively by the military.

To learn more about the Dr. Budalur S. Thyagarajan Endowed Scholarship Fund or to make a gift, contact Kim Fischer in the UTSA College of Sciences at 210-458-7672.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
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Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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