(Nov. 10, 2017) -- Five years ago, Travis Merriweather '13 got the opportunity of a lifetime when he and his brother were invited among 1,000 students to the Clinton Global Initiative University. Founded by former President Bill Clinton, the forum offered university students the opportunity to meet with other student leaders from around the country to discuss solutions to global issues, including climate change, education, poverty and public health.
For Merriweather, the forum, which took place in Washington D.C., was an "amazing experience," where he met entrepreneurs and world leaders, including Craigslist founder Craig Newman, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and even President Clinton himself.
"My brother and I were the first UTSA students to attend the Clinton Initiative and that experience really shaped us into the adults we are today," said Merriweather.
Funding made available by a gift from Valero made the trip possible.
"We were so thankful to the Student Leadership Center," he said. "It played a huge role and were able to secure the funding from the Valero Energy Foundation for us to attend."
Merriweather said the forum inspired him to make positive changes when he returned to campus.
"I noticed a lack of fresh produce available on campus," said Merriweather. "So I promoted sustainability at UTSA and advocated to see more farmer's markets on college campuses in order to limit the distances food must travel to get from farm to dorm room table."
During his time at UTSA, Merriweather was also an active campus community organizer for the 2012 Obama campaign. It was through his demonstration of public service and commitment to the Obama administration that led him to an internship with former first lady Michelle Obama.
Travis' first love, however, is music. After graduating from UTSA with a bachelor of arts in music in 2013, Merriweather moved to California with hopes of catapulting Atlantis—the jazz inspired band he founded with his brother Rustein Merriweather '13—into the spotlight. Upon arriving in L.A., he landed a job in the mailroom of mega talent agency Creative Artists Agency. It was during that time Merriweather was recruited by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
"It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," said Merriweather. "I was part of her advance team and would travel ahead of the candidate to run the logistics and interact with the media."
Today, Merriweather is re-focusing his attention on Atlantis. He and his brother recently released their single, Sabrosa.
"We actually wrote Sabrosa at UTSA and performed it on campus. It's pretty cool to see the evolution to where we are now," Merriweather said. "If it weren't for the gift from Valero, I am not sure my brother and I would have had these opportunities. When I look back now, I am so grateful there are donors who helped make my experience at UTSA so memorable. I really can say that gifts to UTSA make a difference."
The town hall is an opportunity for the campus community to learn more about the President's Initiative for the Downtown Campus, ask questions, and offer perspectives on potential challenges and benefits.Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
Get your tickets for 2 sausage wraps, chips, and drink for $6 to help the United Way and efforts to improve health and well being in South Texas.Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
The town hall is an opportunity for the campus community to learn more about the President's Initiative for the Downtown Campus, ask questions, and offer perspectives on potential challenges and benefits.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
This unofficial Fiesta celebration offers students and the community an alcohol-free alternative to Fiesta with music, games, food and fun. The 10th annual celebration is bigger than ever before with a new location, the Student Union Ballrooms and features a casino night theme.Student Union Ballrooms (HSU 1104/1.106), Main Campus
UTSA Athletics will host a watch party for the first round of the NFL Draft. Roadrunners are invited to see which team selects former student-athlete Marcus Davenport.Walk-On's, 11075 IH-10 West, San Antonio
UTSA students and the San Antonio community are invited to this event where people shave their head and raise money to fight childhood cancer.Student Union Lawn, Main Campus
The former curator of literary collections for The Huntington Library will share Secrets from the Stacks: Untold Stories of Collecting the Papers of Contemporary Authors. Lecture is free and open to the public.John Peace Library (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
Come learn about Korea and its culture through food tasting, music, dance and percussion performance, games, arts, crafts, presentations and more.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus