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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Go Ahead, Touch!

Hand on Heart

UTSA’s Downtown Campus is home to Milagros, an art piece consisting of 31 unique bronze hearts created by artist and UTSA alumna Diana Rodriguez Gil M.F.A. ’86.

“This art is inspired by small representational objects that are placed at sites of contemplation,” according to a plaque on campus that cites the author. “These Milagros are offered as a continuous prayer and are intended to be testimonials, memorials or landmarks of community history. The hearts also represent the love and dedication shown by many persons involved in the education of our community.”

The word milagro is Spanish for miracle, and over time UTSA students on the Downtown Campus have started rubbing them for good luck or a miracle, especially around finals.

First Campus

Flowing Luck

Placing two hands on the fountain in Sombrilla Plaza just before finals is said to bring good luck on exams, according to university folklore. But don’t try to abuse the fountain’s manna, since touching it at any other time, legend says, brings bad luck.

In January 2014, 35 years after it was built, the fountain returned to service after extensive renovations, becoming fully sustainable by using only reclaimed water from air conditioning systems of neighboring buildings — an idea proposed by students to ensure it could remain operational year-round without straining the water supply.

First Campus

For the Romeos and Juliets

Legend has it that two UTSA students fell in love on the bridge that connects the Arts and Sciences buildings. Based on the couple’s romance, it became known as the Bridge of Love, according to a 1997 article that set the scene at “more than 20 years ago.” But categorize this under “Things That Make You Go, Hmm?”

The story recalls that Julie, an undergraduate art student, and boyfriend Jason met, fell in love, separated and then fell in love all over again on the bridge. The two were separated when Jason got drafted and left Julie a note, only to return a year later and surprise her.

The legend creates a bit of a historical pickle, though. If Julie was getting a bachelor’s in art, that means she wouldn’t have been admitted until 1976, the first year UTSA was open to undergrads. The Vietnam-era draft, however, was suspended three years earlier, and even the Selective Service registration requirement was dropped in 1975 and didn’t resume until 1980.

It appears Jason has some explaining to do about that missing year. Or if you know Julie or Jason, have them get in touch with us! We’d love to hear from them firsthand.

First Campus

Rite of Spring

Fiesta UTSA has been part of campus tradition since more than 1,000 students celebrated the first event on April 4, 1978. It became an official Fiesta San Antonio event in 1980, the third year the event was held on campus.

Each year on Main Campus the fest brings out food and activity booths sponsored by student organizations, a visit by Fiesta Royalty, musical performances and those infamously messy yet fun cascarones. It’s always one of the first events on the Fiesta San Antonio calendar and was the first Fiesta event held north of the city. Party on the Paseo is an alcohol-free alternative, held on campus, to Fiesta SA’s unofficial college night.

On the Downtown Campus since 1999, NIUTSA (a play on Fiesta’s NIOSA, Night in Old San Antonio) has evolved into a family-friendly event featuring live bands, games, crafts and food.

But what’s Fiesta without medals to collect? Check out some of UTSA’s vintage designs. And vote for your all-time favorite Fiesta UTSA medal in our gallery.

First Campus

Make Some Noise

Make Some Noise

What does a roadrunner say? Both chicks and adults make a clacking sound that’s seen as a potential warning sign to predators or as a way to find other roadrunners.

That clacking is being planned as one of the university’s newest traditions when fall 2015 freshmen get an opportunity to receive a wooden castanet to approximate the roadrunner call. The idea is that the castanets can be used at Roadrunner athletic games to distract opposing teams during scoring opportunities.


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Current Issue: Summer 2015 | Table of Contents