A message from the president, May 2017
(May 10, 2017) -- Dear Friends,
During my 30-plus years in higher education, I've witnessed many milestones. I've celebrated the academic and research successes of my students and peers, and I've celebrated the success of collaborative initiatives to make education more affordable and accessible for Texans.
I must confess, though, that nothing compares to the excitement I'm feeling as I get ready for UTSA Commencement this weekend. Our students have accomplished so much and I am so proud of them. You should be, too.
One of those students is Freddie Cuellar. When this Hondo, Texas native receives his bachelor's degree on Saturday, he will become the first person in his family to graduate from college. Growing up, Cuellar developed a strong work ethic while watching his father, a self-made entrepreneur, persist to get his businesses financed. After Commencement, Freddie will begin a career with a statewide banking firm, tapping that same business acumen to help small and medium-sized businesses.
Honors student Jasmine King likewise found her path at UTSA. Originally set on a career in medicine, she transferred to UTSA and began conducting research on bone scaffolds beside some of our world-class faculty. Now she's eager to pursue a research career and has already secured a fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
More than 4,400 amazing students just like Freddie and Jasmine will cross the Commencement stage on Saturday and Sunday. They are our newest business and civic leaders, scientists, engineers, teachers and artists who are prepared to change the world. Nearly 45 percent of them will be the first in their families to earn a college degree.
Like them, I was a first-generation college student. I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I earned my bachelor's degree, and later my doctoral degree. I was so proud to achieve what others said was impossible. Make no mistake -- it was tough and I had to work hard, but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.
Over the course of my career, I've met so many people. They inevitably ask me why I chose a career in higher education. I tell them it's simple. Higher education has the ability to change lives. What better pursuit is there than to help students learn, grow and improve their lives and the lives of those around them?
Commencement gives all of us an opportunity to pause and think about how important student success is to our community, to our state and to our nation.
It is also a time to celebrate, and I can't wait to congratulate the Class of 2017!
Pedro Reyes, Ph.D.
President Ad Interim, The University of Texas at San Antonio
This high school student exhibit features images, videos, interviews and writings that the students learned about while participating in "The Will to Adorn: African American Dress and the Aesthetics of Identity."Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA has a greater focus in 2018 to serve the local community. Learn the many opportunities you can get involved.Student Union, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
Dr. Ricky Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Pan-African studies at the University of Louisville. He will share his expertise on the impact of African American history on today’s society.Student Union, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Justice Sotomayor shares her personal journey rising through the ranks of the judiciary system to become the first Latina to sit on the nation’s highest court. Open to all UTSA students, faculty and staff.Student Union, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Join the UTSA TEAM Autism Research Center for a presentation by Dr. Felipe de Jesús Díaz Reséndez from the Universidad de Guadalajara - Centro Universitario del Sur. The event is free and open to everyone.Frio Street Building (FS 3.530), Downtown Campus
Public administration and criminal justice undergraduate students share their experiences at prestigious local and national internship programs with fellow classmates.Durango Building, Paseo Room (DB 1.120), Downtown Campus
Neeraj Bhatia, assistant professor at the California College of the Arts, will discuss design agency and working in the public realm, commoning at the domestic and urban scales, and ongoing research into co-living experiments.Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
MacDonald, a criminology and sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak about the effects of local police surges on crime and arrests in New York City.Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus