(Nov. 14, 2017) -- Joined by elected, community and business leaders, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) President Taylor Eighmy began to unveil his vision to make UTSA San Antonio’s model university of the future. He unveiled the vision during UTSA’s Downtown Campus 20th anniversary celebration before a packed house in the Buena Vista Street Building Theater on Monday.
Eighmy challenged the community to reimagine the future of the Downtown Campus as San Antonio’s urban-serving university and a global leader in academics.
“To dream big it takes courage, vision, resources and a realignment of the community,” Eighmy said. “The purpose of higher education is to lead by hope and lead by example. Others have gone before you, and we can do the same. The future is possible.”
>> Watch the UTSA Downtown Campus 20th Anniversary Celebration.
The UTSA president opened up the 20th anniversary celebration program describing UTSA’s role as San Antonio’s model urban-serving university and as a contributor to the city’s cultural and economic ecosystem. The vision includes a vibrant downtown campus that entwines with the city.
Eighmy plans to broaden the UTSA Downtown Campus’ footprint to include more buildings to house undergraduate and graduate students studying subjects such as urban science, innovation and creative economy, and urban arts and technology.
He envisions that UTSA will work with the city to solve some of its grand challenges through an expanded focus on urban science, urban education, urban entrepreneurship, and tech areas such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, sustainability and smart cities.
Eighmy is drawing inspiration for the transformation from other model urban-serving universities, including Arizona State University, Georgia Tech and the University of California, Irvine, that have seen their downtown campuses thrive over the past few years.
Nelson Wolff, Bexar County judge, who was part of the groundbreaking of the Downtown Campus in 1995, also provided opening remarks. Wolff said President Eighmy has the vision to take UTSA to the next level.
“Taylor Eighmy has really taken a great interest in the possibilities of what this campus can become,” Wolff said.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg echoed his support.
“I’m happy to be here with Dr. Eighmy and to dream big with you,” he said.
Presentations at yesterday’s event included a discussion on the founding and evolution of the Downtown Campus with Albert Kauffman, professor of law, St. Mary’s University School of Law, Leticia Van de Putte, former State Senator, Jude Valdez, UTSA vice president for Community Services and Jesse Zapata, UTSA senior vice provost for Academic and Faculty Support. The panel was moderated by UTSA College of Public Policy Dean Rogelio Saenz.
Former San Antonio Mayor and Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro continued the discussion, delivering the keynote address on the role of universities and cities, calling Eighmy’s vision “a beacon of light for the city.”
“UTSA can lead and should lead,” Castro said. “UTSA can catalyze a Downtown renaissance.”
The program continued with a second panel on reimaging the UTSA Downtown Campus with President Eighmy, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president/CEO, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and Lorenzo Gomez, chairman and former CEO, Geekdom. Margo DelliCaprini, dean of the UTSA College of Education and Human Development moderated and opened up the discussion by asking Eighmy to elaborate on his vision of urbanomics for the Downtown Campus.
“We are a discovery enterprise. The knowledge we create about the world and about our own community is essential to helping society better itself,” Eighmy answered. “We can treat this university like a giant living laboratory, working with the school districts, the city and county. This notion of how we use urban science to understand policy and make smart decisions is where UTSA is headed. All the ingredients are in San Antonio to make it the university of the future.”
Additionally, UTSA honored late State Senator Gregory Luna, a champion of higher education who was integral to helping found the UTSA Downotwn Campus. In Spring 2018, UTSA will open the Gregory Luna Student Success Center in the Frio Street Building. Texas State Senator Jose Menendez, Student Regent Jaciel Castro, UTSA alumna Elizabeth Arevalo ’01, ’03 and Luna’s daughter Leticia Luna were on hand for the dedication.
This high school student exhibit features images, videos, interviews and writings that the students learned about while participating in "The Will to Adorn: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity."Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Join the UTSA TEAM Autism Research Center for a presentation by Dr. Felipe de Jesús Díaz Reséndez from the Universidad de Guadalajara - Centro Universitario del Sur. The event is free and open to everyone.Frio Street Building (FS 1.406), Downtown Campus
UTSA has a greater focus in 2018 to serve the local community. Learn the many opportunities you can get involved.Student Union, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
Dr. Ricky Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Pan-African studies at the University of Louisville. He will share his expertise on the impact of African American history on today’s society.Student Union, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Join the UTSA TEAM Autism Research Center for a presentation by Dr. Felipe de Jesús Díaz Reséndez from the Universidad de Guadalajara - Centro Universitario del Sur. The event is free and open to everyone.Frio Street Building (FS 3.530), Downtown Campus
Public administration and criminal justice undergraduate students share their experiences at prestigious local and national internship programs with fellow classmates.Durango Building, Paseo Room (DB 1.120), Downtown Campus
Neeraj Bhatia, assistant professor at the California College of the Arts, will discuss design agency and working in the public realm, commoning at the domestic and urban scales, and ongoing research into co-living experiments.Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
MacDonald, a criminology and sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak about the effects of local police surges on crime and arrests in New York City.Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
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