Monday, August 31, 2015

UTSA Alumni Association announces annual award recipients, gala banquet

Jane Burton
John Engates
Winell Herron

From the top are honorees Jane Burton, John T. Engates '94 and Winell Herron '00

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(July 17, 2014) -- The UTSA Alumni Association will present the 2014 alumni awards at the 15th annual Alumni Gala on Aug. 16 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort. The association will honor Alumnus of the Year John T. Engates ’94, Alumna of the Year Winell Herron ’00 and Jane Burton, former UTSA Alumni Association executive director, who will receive the Distinguished Service Award.

John T. Engates is the chief technology officer at Rackspace Managed Hosting in San Antonio. Established in 1999, Rackspace delivers enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes and kinds around the world. Engates began in 2000 as vice president of operations and managed the datacenter operations and customer-service teams. He helped to develop the Intensive Hosting business unit and stepped into his current role shortly after.

Engates was one of the leading forces behind the Rackspace Microsoft Gold Certification and is recognized as a cloud computing expert internationally. He is a valued speaker at major technology conferences and speaks on topics such as the future of cloud computing, enterprise cloud adoption, data center efficiency, green data center best practices and more. Before joining Rackspace, Engates was a founder of Internet Direct, one of the oldest and largest Internet service providers in Texas. Engates graduated from UTSA with a BBA in accounting.

Winell Herron is group vice president of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs for H-E-B in Houston. Since Herron began her career at H-E-B in 1988, she has held several other key positions at the company including director of workforce diversity and vice president of customer service. She is a trustee for H-E-B Tournament of Champions and was instrumental in creating the H-E-B Faculty Research Excellence Fund at UTSA. Herron serves on the boards of Texans Care for Children, The Ensemble Theater, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the board of trustees for the University of the Incarnate Word, and chairs the Texas NAACP Corporate Advisory Council.

In 2013, she was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of women and the community. Herron received her BBA from UT Austin, graduated from the USC Food Industry Management Program and is an MBA graduate of UTSA.

Jane Findling Burton spent 33 years of her career with UTSA and held the positions of director of student activities, director of the University Center, assistant athletic director for development and assistant vice president for alumni programs. She served as UTSA’s first college-based development officer for the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and was the first executive director of the Alumni Association. Burton established the UTSA Ring Ceremony tradition and the Alumni Association’s key fundraising events, Alumni Gala and Diploma Dash. Burton’s greatest achievement was assisting with the establishment of campus housing and starting the first student union. The Jane Findling Burton Endowed Scholarship was established by alumni, faculty and friends in her honor. Burton is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.

The UTSA Alumni Association will pay special tribute to each of these honorees on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the UTSA Alumni Gala under the direction of Laura S. Murray, executive director of the UTSA Alumni Association. The gala will be at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, live auction and an after-party sponsored by San Antonio Federal Credit Union.

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Purchase Alumni Gala tickets and tables at UTSA Alumni Gala website or call 210-458-4133. Proceeds from the Gala support UTSA Alumni Association services, programs and scholarships. For more information, e-mail alumni@utsa.edu.

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Did You Know?

UTSA makes the grade with a strong core curriculum

UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.

For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.

Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.

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