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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

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His Cause, Great Effect

During Ricardo Romo’s 10 years as president, UTSA has evolved from regional school to vibrant academic center.

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A Family's Legacy

150 plus years of Carter family stories on the way life was lived on the frontier and in early San Antonio.

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Thinking Small

When a revolutionary new microscope is installed at UTSA, the university will enter the nano race.

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In the Loop

For the love of science

PREP program celebrates 30 years of providing minority students with an intense exposure to math and science.

An even exchange

UTSA graduate students are offering free family counseling at the Sarabia Center.

Fox visits UTSA

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses trade and immigration reform.

San Antonio dig

UTSA's Center for Archaeological Research is examining artifacts that date from 3700 B.C.

A fit award

UTSA's Recreation and Wellness Center has received a 2009 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award.

UTSA a leader in Hispanic graduation rates

UTSA ranks No.4 nationally in the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanics.

Library pioneer honored

UTSA dedicates the Michael Kelly Commons staff area at the library.

Alumnus loses bid for presidency

James Nyondo, B.B.A. '05, lost an election for president of his native Malawi.

UTSA looks East

UTSA may soon become the state's third university to house a Confucius Institute.


Faculty, staff and student achievements


Stepping up

Architect's research explores how buildings can do a body good.

On the move

Professor examines Afro-Latino migration issues.

Let there be light

How people read, detect visual stimuli and view color is one professor's focus.


Understanding birdsongs may one day help researchers understand certain brain disorders in humans.

Roadrunner Sports

First and goals

Larry Coker wants to leave a legacy as UTSA's first football coach.

Sports briefs



Compounding interest

Professor Hamid Beladi has gained a reputation as one of the world's leading international economists. But in the classroom, it's all about collaboration and giving students the basics.

Class Notes

Alumni profile

Nelson Hackmaster '99

Alumni profile

Tiffany House '05, M.A. '07

Alumni profile

Dianne Ayon '08

Editor's Note

A sense of promise

When Ricardo Romo celebrated his 10th anniversary as president of UTSA in May, letters from well-wishers around the state and the nation poured in. Friends and colleagues including Frost Bank Chairman Tom Frost, former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa all offered their congratulations. “I remember our conversation when you asked me if you should be interested in the position,” wrote Peter Flawn, who served as UTSA president from 1973 to 1978 and now is president emeritus of UT Austin. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years!”

His friends have plenty of good things to say about the work Romo has done in his 10 years at UTSA, even though Romo’s record speaks for itself: Enrollment has increased by 50 percent in the past 10 years. Where once only three doctoral programs were offered, there are now 21.

Sure, there’s still more to be done. Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes, who first met Romo when they were undergraduates at UT Austin and later served on Romo’s dissertation committee at UCLA, talks of Romo’s goals of improving undergraduate graduation rates and taking the university to national research university status.

President Romo and his wife

UTSA President Ricardo Romo and his wife, sociology professor Harriett Romo, stroll through their neighborhood with typical UTSA flair.

“He created a new identity for UTSA. … He created the foundation for the institution to think much bigger,” said Paredes, adding that Romo also has created “a sense of promise and hopefulness” among the UTSA community.

But Paredes’ favorite story about Ricardo Romo is a personal one. When Paredes’ father died and his son was sorting through all his father’s belongings, he found a scrapbook full of press clippings about himself, particularly after he became the Texas Higher Education Commissioner. All the articles had been sent by Romo to the elder Paredes, along with handwritten notes that said, “Look how well your son is doing. Look at the great things Raymund’s been up to.” Until he found that scrapbook, Paredes didn’t know how close his father and his friend had become.

“Ricardo is my closest friend,” Paredes said. “UTSA is lucky to have him.”

UTSA is lucky indeed, and not just for the long list of things he’s accomplished. “If anything can exceed your distinguished record of achievement as a historian and president, it is your warmth, civility and deep passion for the San Antonio community,” wrote University of California system President Mark Yudof, who formerly was chancellor of the UT System. “You have indeed proven that nice guys can still be great leaders.”

Thank you, Dr. Romo, for 10 years of creating a sense of promise and hopefulness. And for being a nice guy.

—Rebecca Luther

Right: Wayne Terry ’85, Pat Clynes ’89 and Jim Mickey ’78 stand as Pat receives Alumnus of the Year Award at the 2000 Alumni Gala. Below: Rene Escobedo ’84, incoming Alumni Assoc. president, congratulates Alicia Treviño ’86, outgoing president.

Looking Back

Gala Times Ten

The UTSA Alumni Association will celebrate an important milestone this year—the 10th anniversary of the Alumni Gala. Started in 2000, the gala was the idea of then-association president Alicia Treviño ’86. She had successfully developed the event model for the American Institute of Architects San Antonio chapter and was eager to see it come to fruition at UTSA.

Several things came together to make it a success. By the year 2000, there were enough graduates to justify an upscale event to raise scholarship funds. BalloonFest, which had been a main fundraising event for the association, was vulnerable to bad weather and was labor intensive. The association wanted a stylish and sophisticated event where it could present its two most prestigious awards, Alumnus of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award. The gala has grown every year. The 2000 gala was held at UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures, and Lisette Murray ’89 was the first chairwoman; honorary chairs were Aimee ’78 and Ernest Bromley ’80. This year the gala chairwoman is Yvonne Fernandez ’85, and honorary chairs are Robert and Yolanda Crittenden ’92.

—Jane Findling Burton

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