UTSA's Great Conversation! raises $156,438 for Honors College scholarships

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(Feb. 26, 2014) -- The UTSA Honors College raised $156,438 for student scholarships, research stipends, and leadership and global learning opportunities at its 2014 Great Conversation! fundraiser last night at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Great Conversation! included lively discussion about arts, literature and culture; business; education; leisure and lifestyles; politics and history; and science and technology. Community leaders and UTSA scholars led the discussions over dinner, dessert and coffee.

In all, UTSA organized three dozen conversations. At one table, La Gloria/La Fruteria owner and chef Johnny Hernández discussed tequila and mezcal. At another table, UTSA marketing professor Kristina Durante discussed how women's hormones influence their decision-making. Augustine Cortez, owner of Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse, discussed barbecue. John Folks, UTSA lecturer and former Northside ISD superintendent discussed "The Politics of Public Education in Texas."

The UTSA Honors College provides a unique educational experience for academically talented students with a commitment to excellence. It is open to students from all academic disciplines. Honors classes include special sections of regular courses with smaller enrollments and interdisciplinary seminars that bring together advanced students from diverse areas.

"Engaging in face-to-face conversation is such a rare opportunity these days. That's what makes this event so unique," said Richard Diem, dean of the UTSA Honors College. "To date, we have hosted Great Conversation! 14 times, earning a total of $1.3 million for our students over the years. UTSA has many generous donors. We are so grateful to them for continuing to support our honors students."

Great Conversation! was co-chaired by UTSA President Ricardo Romo, UTSA sociology professor Harriett Romo, Iñigo Arzac '05, Carrie Baker-Wells, Nancy Loeffler and A.J. Rodriguez, B.B.A. '98, M.B.A. '00. This year's key sponsors included the Alpha Building Corp, BlueCross BlueShield, Pat Flynn and Wells Fargo Foundation.

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About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.

The university 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.