UTSA’s home to more than 100 unique traditions, and we’re making new ones every year. Here’s a quick rundown of some of UTSA’s greatest traditions.
>> Learn about traditions you'll only find at UTSA Commencement.
1. Birds up!
Roadrunners have been using this hand sign to show their UTSA pride for decades. Its origin is a mixture of myth and memory, but Roadrunners all over the world know exactly what to do when someone yells “Birds up!” Next time you hear “Birds up!” at a game, event or just in passing, toss up the Roadrunner hand signal to share your UTSA pride.
2. The Fountain of Luck
Sombrilla Fountain is easily the most iconic landmark at UTSA. It stands in the middle of Sombrilla Plaza and brings a certain beauty to the Main Campus’ most popular hangout. But it’s also known for its luck-bequeathing powers. Campus superstition says that if you touch the fountain wall during finals week, you’re on track for good grades on your exams. It’s a double-edged sword, though. There’s also a legend that if you touch the wall any other time of the year, you’re asking for bad luck.
3. ¡Viva Fiesta!
San Antonio’s most cherished tradition is Fiesta—a weeks-long spring celebration of all things San Antonio. It shouldn’t be any surprise then that UTSA’s also a hotspot for Fiesta festivities. UTSA is home to Fiesta UTSA, a daylong fair that takes place in the Sombrilla and features food, music, medals, cascarones galore and special appearances by Fiesta Royalty. UTSA’s also a mainstay at nearly every Fiesta parade—keep an eye out for the UTSA floats, and tweet as they go by.
UTSA has heart! Thirty-one hearts, to be exact. Hidden in plain site on the facades of Downtown Campus buildings are 31 bronze hearts sculpted by alumna Diana Rodriguez Gil MFA ’86 for her “Milagros” art project. The hearts, scattered across the grounds, are said to represent the love and dedication that characterizes the UTSA community. It’s a common game for new 'Runners to explore the campus and try to find them all.
5. The Bridge of Love
The bridge connecting the Arts and Flawn Sciences Buildings is more than just a way to get across Main Campus. It’s also helped form love connections, giving it the name the Bridge of Love. Legend has it that in the mid-70s, this bridge was the site of an epic Roadrunner Love story.
Two students named Julie and Jason fell for each other but were separated when Jason was sent to war. When the pair were finally reunited, they met at the middle of that bridge. On Valentine’s Day, UTSA students meet up on the bridge in a bid to find their own Jason or Julie.
6. Roadrunner Call
One of the newest UTSA traditions is the use of wooden castanets to simulate the sound of a Roadrunner’s call. UTSA Roadrunners and friends often bring them to athletic games to show their school spirit by making some noise, and, occasionally, distract visiting teams during scoring opportunities. After all, this is Roadrunner Nation.
As for the other 94-plus traditions? Well, you’ll have to figure those out for yourself. It’s what makes being a Roadrunner so fun. (Hint: You can read the Fall 2015 issue of Sombrilla Magazine for a detailed history of how UTSA’s traditions came to be.)
Once you think you’ve mastered UTSA’s traditions, be sure to take our quiz to test your knowledge.
Get more information about UTSA Commencement.
Organized by faculty and staff from the College for Health, Community and Policy, the third Texas Latino Policy Symposium convenes academics, practitioners and activists from across the state to engage in discussions that examin the need of our Latino population and the impact of COVID-19 in Texas. The goal of this symposium is to formulate policy responses to propose to the Texas legislature that redress the disproportionate lasting impact the pandemic has had on Latino families.Virtual Event
This panel will discuss hispanic serving institutions and their role in serving students and their communities. Sandra Garza, PhD,, assistant professor and coordinator of the Mexican American Studies Program at Northwest Vista College; Paul J. Rodriguez, Ed.D., project director for PIVOT for Academic Success at UTSA; Erin E. Doran, Ed.D., assistant professor of higher education at Iowa State University; Andres Puente, sports marketing major at UTSA and Lilianna Saldaña, PhD., associate professor and program coordinator for the UTSA Mexican American Studies Program will be a part of the panel.Virtual Event
Join Excelencia in Education online for the national announcement of the 2020 Examples of Excelencia. Selected programs in colleges, universities and community-based organizations across the country will be recognized for their positive impact on Latino student success.Virtual Event
All students and employees are able to get their flu shot and other vaccines at the Main Campus from October 6 to 7 and at the Downtown Campus on October 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the clinic and the influenza virus, visit the Roadrunner Return page.Denman Room (SU 2.01.28)
In this gathering hosted by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, attendees will discuss the potential role restorative justice has in anti-racism work. The event will also focus on how people of color persevere in hyper racialized white systems.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.