Friday, September 04, 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?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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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.
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Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
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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

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus


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