(June 5, 2019) -- Today marks a milestone signifying the resolve and determination of state leaders to bring higher education to San Antonio, a city even then on the brink of a population surge. Fifty years ago, The University of Texas at San Antonio was established as the first four-year, public university in the city.
While the university’s birthday will be celebrated today at many different gatherings, the most symbolic event will be a commemoration of the original bill signing in front of the Alamo at 5 p.m.
On June 5, 1969, Governor Preston Smith signed House Bill 42 on the back of State Representative Frank Lombardino, the bill’s key sponsor, with the Alamo exterior in view. It was the first time a Texas governor had ever signed a bill into law outside of Austin, a moment that signified the state’s commitment to higher education for a city in need of new opportunities for its workforce and future.
At the Alamo event in 1969, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President John Steen said, “This signing marks if not the greatest day in the history of this 251-year-old city, then at least the greatest in the history of higher education.”
Today, as UTSA commemorates its 50-year journey, it celebrates the many achievements that have built momentum toward its strategic destinations. It is rapidly becoming a model for student success, a great public research university, and an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence. As San Antonio’s largest university, UTSA is uniquely positioned to tackle society’s grandest challenges due to its expertise and deep integration in a region that reflects the demographic future of the United States.
Most importantly, UTSA is a prosperity engine that is changing lives through affordable, accessible higher education. Last month, more than 5,100 students crossed the Alamodome stage to receive their degrees as their families and friends watched. These new graduates bring UTSA’s alumni network to more than 131,000 Roadrunners, two-thirds of whom have remained in San Antonio to live, work and serve.
The journey has also included a moment, nearly 50 years later in 2018 when another city leader would speak words similar to those of Steen’s in 1969. At a news conference to announce the expansion of the UTSA Downtown Campus, entrepreneur, investor and developer Graham Weston said on Sept. 18, “Every once in a while, something comes along that changes everything and this is one of those days. This is the biggest announcement for downtown San Antonio in 50 years.”
UTSA and San Antonio are working together to build a better city by creating vast opportunities for San Antonians.
President Taylor Eighmy, UTSA’s sixth president, said, “What’s wonderful about San Antonio is that it’s multicultural; it’s vibrant. It’s a place where young people want to come and live. It’s a city with rich culture and rich heritage. It’s a city that’s on the move. It’s a city with great future potential.”
Such also is San Antonio’s largest university.
Today, UTSA celebrates its rich heritage and the vast opportunities ahead that all began in front of the Alamo, a place Texans associate with commitment, resolve and purpose 50 years ago.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Roadrunners get involved in fun, engaging and interactive experiences to gear up for the new school year.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The success of African Americans in popular sports has been well documented, while less attention has been given to their intellectual achievements. Utilizing historical, sociological, and cultural perspectives, Dr. Langston Clark will explore the intersection of Black Intellectualism and Black Athleticism.The Garage at the Pearl, 250 E. Grayson, San Antonio
Join the UTSA Small Business Development Center for its 5th annual day of immersion into digital marketing through seminars, Q&A sessions, and networking. Industry-expert presenters include Mark Nanez, Cory Ames, Charity Matthews, and Steven Bullard.Durango Building (DBB 2.316), Downtown Campus
Home tailgate admission is free to all UTSA Alumni Association members. Non-member adult admission is $20 and children 16 and under are free. Anyone who wants to get Rowdy is welcome! Giveaways, music, UTSA Cheer & Rowdy, Pep Band and more!Alamodome Lot C, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
The Roadrunners open up 2019 play against hometown rival UIW Cardinals.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
This event is an opportunity for students to meet with employers that are looking to hire UTSA students for part-time employment.Student Union first and second floor corridors, Main Campus
Join Roadrunner Nation to cheer on the 'Runners on the road in Waco. UTSA Alumni Association Member: $25 Non-Member Adult: $25 Child Under 16: $10.1314 S M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Waco
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.