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San Antonio

Texas was originally explored by the Spanish who built the San Antonio de Bexar Presidio (fort) in 1718 which grew into the town of San Antonio. The first civilians to arrive were the Spanish missionaries who built five missions and the Canary Islanders who built the village and the San Fernando Cathedral. All of these plus the Spanish Governor’s Palace are still standing and are open to the public.


Texas has been under the flags of six nations: Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The United States of America, The Confederate States of America, and back to The United States of America.


San Antonio was and is located on El Camino Real (the King’s Road) and has always been the principal location for land based shipping from Mexico. As San Antonio grew, she attracted people from many countries and many cultures. All of this adds to the cosmopolitan flavor.



The headwaters of the San Antonio River are just north of the Zoo. The river is a small stream that meanders through the Zoo and continues through downtown to form the River Walk. The River Walk is a four kilometer (2 ½ mile) linear park with paved walkways, stone retainer walls for the river, sidewalk cafes, beautiful plants, night clubs, and an outdoor theater all 7 meters (20 feet) below street level. This is a place for leisurely fun for both residents and tourists. It is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day, is the venue for several barge parades, and is the only river to be “washed” yearly by the Fire Department.



Located in downtown San Antonio, near the river, is the Alamo which was the site of a very important battle in the Texas Revolution. This plus the siege of Bexar in that same war, and the 1840 Council House Fight with the Comanche Indians make San Antonio the most fought over town in the United States.


The city has grown over the years with waive after waive of immigrants putting their mark on the city. San Antonians are proud of and celebrate this mix of cultures. During the middle and late 1800s San Antonio was the starting point for many trail drives north. The modern economy is grounded in small businesses, the military, medical-research, and education.

The University of Texas at San Antonio

San Antonio’s first high school, during the pioneer period, was an English school. It was rapidly followed by construction of a German school and a Chinese school. After that, many private and public schools quickly blossomed into being.


By the 1960s there were three community colleges, four church sponsored universities and a health science center. The voters wanted a public university as well, and in 1969 the Texas Legislature voted to establish The University of Texas at San Antonio. By 1973 there were 670 students, including our first International Student, a young man from Nigeria, but the university had no campus. Classes were held in an office building.


Construction began and UTSA moved its five colleges into the 1604 campus in 1975. The building has not stopped since that time. In the 1980s UTSA added Engineering College and also began participating in intercollegiate athletics. In addition university opened its’ first residence hall.


In the 1990s the Downtown campus was constructed, offering students a choice of locations at which they can take courses. Also, the University Center on the 1604 campus tripled its original size.


In the year 2000 and beyond, UTSA, which now consists of eight colleges, began increasing the number of Doctoral Degree offerings exponentially. Many new undergraduate degree programs were also added to the offerings. New buildings furnished with the most up-to-date equipment continue being built. The number of dining facilities and living accommodations continue to increase.


Students who choose to attend The University of Texas at San Antonio have the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic young university and are assured of a quality education.


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