Thursday, January 19, 2023

UTSA welcomes new assistant vice president for alumni engagement

UTSA welcomes new assistant vice president for alumni engagement

JANUARY 19, 2023 — The UTSA Division of Advancement and Alumni Engagement has hired Russell Wagner as its new assistant vice president for alumni engagement.

Wagner will join UTSA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), where he has served as the executive director of the TAMU-CC National Alumni Association for the past eight years and prior to that as a director of development leading fundraising efforts in the university’s College of Liberal Arts.

Under Wagner’s direction, the Alumni Association saw rapid expansion with a significant increase in programming, chapter development and revenue. In addition, the Association’s Islander Ring Tradition has nearly doubled and is now one of the fastest-growing programs of its kind in Texas, increasing sales by 200% and setting individual sales records for four straight semesters. Wagner’s work has been recognized nationally by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for over a decade for its effectiveness, impact and collaborative style.


“I’m very excited about bringing an alumni professional with Russell’s specific expertise and leadership experience to UTSA.”



“I’m very excited about bringing an alumni professional with Russell’s specific expertise and leadership experience to UTSA. His understanding of strategy creation and implementation along with extraordinary proficiency in operational management are what we need to build a world-class alumni engagement program,” said Karl Miller-Lugo, UTSA vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “Perhaps most importantly, his staff and colleagues praise his character, work ethic and personality. I know UTSA will benefit from his leadership, and I’m proud to have him join the Roadrunner family.”

In his new role at UTSA, Wagner will serve as the primary liaison for the UTSA Alumni Association Board and will provide bold and visionary leadership in building, maintaining and strengthening alumni engagement. UTSA has more than 145,000 alumni and a dedicated core group of leadership volunteers. He will also play a significant role in leading the Office of Alumni Relations throughout the university’s comprehensive capital campaign, Be Bold: A Campaign for Our Future.

“Throughout the interview process, it was very apparent that everyone at UTSA believes in the mission of the university, which is such a rare but vital quality for a transformational institution and a successful alumni operation,” Wagner said. “Starting with President Eighmy and Mr. Miller-Lugo, it’s clear that university leadership is innovative and dedicated to its students, alumni and the community. And perhaps most important, the alumni I met take great pride in the campus and want it to succeed. I am grateful to UTSA and the Division for the opportunity, and can’t wait to join the nest as a Roadrunner!”

Wagner received his bachelor’s degree in media communication with a minor in Public Relations from TAMU-CC. He holds a M.A. in Public Relations from Kent State University.

He joins the UTSA staff on February 20.

Jordan Allen



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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

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.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

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.