Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Commencement Close-Up: Willie James Black Jr. values symbol of accomplishments

ring ceremony
ring ceremony
ring ceremony

Top photo: UTSA student Willie James Black Jr. with his new UTSA ring
Middle photo: Gage E. Paine (UTSA vice president for student affairs) presents ring to Black
Bottom photo: The whole family admires the ring: From left are Willie James Black Jr., Lisandra Black (wife), Taina Black (daughter), Willie James Black Sr. (father) and Willie James Black III (son)

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(May 8, 2012) -- As another academic year wraps up, many UTSA students are preparing for the final leg of the road to graduation. At this point in a student's academic career, momentum becomes important; the UTSA ring and ring presentation ceremony inspire students by reminding them of just how far they have come.

More than 260 UTSA students received their rings at a May 7 ceremony in the Convocation Center on the Main Campus. Alumni and students who have completed 60 credit hours are eligible to participate in the ceremony.

Willie James Black Jr., one of the students receiving a ring, will receive his doctoral degree in educational leadership on May 11. The graduate student understands the ring can have many meanings to various students.

"I feel like it was important for me to get a ring to signify my accomplishments, and I wanted some kind of connection to UTSA," said Black. "UTSA is a prestigious university -- we are moving toward Tier One status -- and is a place I can really be proud of."

Black admitted that the road to graduation was overwhelming at times, but gives credit to the tremendous support from his family, who were enjoying the evening celebration.

"I'm very proud of my husband," said Lisandra Black. "It's been a long road. Now we can finally rest and look forward to celebrating his achievements."

Regardless of major, graduation is the one goal most students have in common. As UTSA continues to grow, so do the traditions of the university. The ring forms a symbol that connects students past, present and future.

The UTSA Office of Alumni Programs administers the UTSA ring program. For more information, call 210-458-4133 or visit the UTSA Alumni Programs website and select "Official UTSA Ring."

 

 

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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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

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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