Friday, October 09, 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."



Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UTSA CITE Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Kickstart your career as an entrepreneur at the UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
Business Building, Richard S. Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus

Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture as Rendered Society

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night 2015

The UTSA Women’s Studies Institute invites you to Take Back the Night, an international initiative to raise awareness and empower survivors while educating allies through a march, poetry, and testimonios. This is a gender-inclusive movement to shatter the silence surrounding sexual and domestic violence.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

SECC Book Sale

Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Phi Kappa Phi Last Lecture

What would Dr. John Bartkowski say if it were his last lecture? The UTSA professor of sociology will speak about “The Power of Listening” in this annual event sponsored by the UTSA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. A reception will follow.
Denman Room (UC 2.201.28), Main Campus

Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.

Lecture by Composer Larry Groupe

The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (ART 2.03.15-18), Main Campus

Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m.

White Bound: Nationalists, Anti-Racists and the Shared Meanings of Race

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series continues with Dr. Matthew Hughey, a scholar of race, racism and racial inequality.
Buena Vista Building (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

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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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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.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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