(Sept. 14, 2017) -- Patricia A. Graham is known for her huge heart, brilliant mind and the ability to connect with anyone that crossed her path. Her motto for serving students has always been, "Rough diamonds can become beautiful gems -- our job is to buff." The Office of Student Life is honored to share that Graham, executive director for the Special Events Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), retired on August 31, 2017 after 43 years of service to the university.
In her role as executive director of the Special Events Center, Graham oversaw major university events such as Commencement and Convocation. She advised the UTSA Ambassadors program, which consists of more than 60 student leaders each year who serve as hosts at campus events, conferences, community and alumni functions. Over the past 29 years, more than 1,200 students have gone through the UTSA Ambassadors program. Many of them are passionately loyal to UTSA and remain in close contact with Graham.
Prior to serving as the executive director of the Special Events Center, Graham was the assistant vice president for Student Services (1990-1994), associate vice president for Student Affairs (1994-1997), and assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs for Planning and Special Programs (1997-2002). Graham began her career at UTSA as the associate dean of students and director of the Testing Center in 1974. Prior to joining UTSA, she was an assistant professor and the chair of the Department of Education at St. Mary’s University.
Graham received her bachelor’s degrees in business administration and history from Trinity University and her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from St. Mary’s University. She earned her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas at Austin.
Graham was also well-known beyond UTSA. She served as the national president of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for First-Year Students from 1997-2003. She was also instrumental in establishing the chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta at UTSA in 1981. Additionally, Graham served on the National Council of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society for juniors, seniors and graduate students. Additionally, she was the 2010 recipient of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) ASAP Outstanding Adviser Award for her work with the UTSA Ambassadors. She was also the 2004 recipient of the UTSA Order of the Roadrunner Award, the highest honor a UTSA staff member can receive for dedication to the UTSA community.
The UTSA community is invited to celebrate Graham’s service to UTSA at a retirement reception on Monday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the University Center Denman Room (UC 2.01.28).
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