San Antonio legend fulfills dream to donate company and personal records to the UTSA Libraries
(March 1, 2017) -- "Say please and thank you. Always."
Those words of wisdom from Rosemary Kowalski illustrate why she became one of Texas' most successful female entrepreneurs. Researchers and history buffs will find more insights in her personal and company records, which she recently donated to The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Libraries Special Collections.
Kowalski's career as a catering guru started with catering small private parties in the 1940's. She went on to become an iconic businesswoman who founded, managed and grew one of the largest and longest running catering firms in San Antonio.
Her company, at the time called Rosemary's Catering and later rebranded to The RK Group, caught its big break when it was named the official caterer for HemisFair '68, the only world's fair to be held in Texas. Four years later, her firm secured an exclusive catering contract at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, an arrangement that still exists today.
Over the decades, Rosemary's business has served meals to thousands of San Antonians, and she's also personally served a number of U.S. presidents and other world dignitaries like Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth.
"During our time at HemisFair we did 95 percent of the parties and we were at The Institute of Texan Cultures two to four times a week," said Kowalski. "I was a young woman then and I didn't have much, but I thought, 'Wouldn't it be neat to have my papers with them?' It's been a longtime dream of mine to donate my papers to UTSA."
Rosemary's collection is comprised of 17 boxes containing appointment calendars, client cards, personal and catering photographs, awards and honors, and personal files ranging from 1959 to 2014. The collection also includes two grade school yearbooks and a childhood scrapbook, which is dated from 1927 to 1941.
"This collection provides a first-hand glimpse into the career of a pioneering business woman, culinary star and civic leader," said Amy Rushing, head of UTSA Special Collections. "Rosemary's story is an important aspect of the history of San Antonio. Her donation will further enhance our top-tier special collections."
Established more 70 years ago, The RK Group is a privately held firm based in San Antonio that owns several restaurants and provides off-site corporate catering and event planning in the San Antonio and Austin areas.
The UTSA Libraries Special Collections brings national recognition to the university for distinctive research materials documenting the diverse histories and development of San Antonio and South Texas. Collecting priorities include the history of the Mexican American, African American and LGBTQ communities in our region, the history of women and gender in Texas, activism, the Tex-Mex food industry, and urban planning.
Learn more about UTSA Libraries.
Community input is central to developing a well-conceived roadmap for the next 50 years of the ITC. To date, the visioning process has included opportunities for public input and ideation through two rounds of Community Conversations that sought input from a wide variety of ITC stakeholders.Virtual Event
Please join us Thursday, July 7th, 2022 for a discussion with Colonel (ret) Michael Davis, MD, FACS, FRCS (Hon), former Director of the U.S. Combat Casualty Care Research Program. Dr. Davis will discuss how to best identify strengths at UTSA that can be effectively leveraged for funding proposals to the Department of Defense.Business Building (BB `2.06.04,) Main Campus
Educators will develop strategies that can be implemented to stimulate, guide, and build capacity of diverse student populations.UTSA Downtown Campus
Participants will be introduced to applications included in Adobe Creative Cloud, a tool that is free for all UTSA faculty, staff, and students. Attendees will be able to complete short projects that will give them the opportunity to produce artifacts that they can use to improve digital literacy in their coursesVirtual Event
The Innovation Academy is an 8-hour online hybrid course designed to introduce faculty to a variety of educational ideas, best practices and resources for becoming more comfortable in teaching in different modalities. This academy will run July 18 – August 21. Upon completion of all activities, faculty will receive a one-time incentive of $1,000Virtual Event
Learn how to design surveys that are scientifically valid and are inclusive of diverse populations. Anchored in culturally and linguistically competent practices, this interactive workshop will explore and apply concepts related to the lifecycle of survey development from design to implementation.Virtual Event
The virtual conference will bring together information professionals and academics to discuss current research, ideas, insights, and best practices that advance STEM research and education.Virtual Event