UIW Honors Class of 2016
Agnese named President & Trustee Emeritus
San Antonio – On Saturday, Dec. 10, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) conferred degrees to over 1200 students at the Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony held at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum. The Fall Graduating Class of 2016 is the largest UIW graduating class to date.
At the ceremony, Dr. Louis J. Agnese, Jr., was honored with the titles of President Emeritus and Trustee Emeritus. Board of Trustee Chair Charlie Lutz presented the honor.
Agnese served as the eighth president of the University of the Incarnate Word from 1985, when at the age of 33 he became one of the youngest college presidents in the United States, until his retirement in 2016. His was the second longest presidential tenure in UIW’s 135-year history.
During his presidency, enrollment at UIW rose from 1,296 students in 1985 to 11,422 in 2016. Paralleling that growth, UIW went from being the 19th largest private university in Texas to the 3rd largest private university in the state, based on global enrollment. Incarnate Word now has nearly 40,000 living alumni, compared to 8,000 in 1985.
The 2016 Moody Professor, Dr. John Perry presented the commencement address. Perry is a full professor teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in writing and speech in the Department of Communication Arts in the School of Media and Design. He also served as chair of the speech department for 20 years.
The professorship, established in 1971, by the Moody Foundation reflects the recipient’s level of scholarship, teaching excellence and community service. The Moody Professor is the faculty member chosen to lead the faculty and carry the University Mace. The Commencement address to the December graduates is traditionally delivered by the Moody Professor whose address is often considered the students’ “last class.”
The 2016 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission was presented to Dr. Maria Falcon-Cantrill. Falcon-Cantrill is a 2001 graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. In 2007, she completed her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
In addition, Dr. Jei-Fu Shaw was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters. Shaw has served as President of I-Shou University, a UIW sister school, in Taiwan since 2011. Shaw is a renowned international scientist and an expert in functional genes and biotechnology and his achievements have earned him international acclaim. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Chemistry from the National Taiwan University.
A Baccalaureate mass and reception was held for the graduates and their families on Friday, Dec. 9. Processional and recessional music was provided by the San Antonio Pipes and Drums. Musical direction for the 2016 Commencement was provided by Lena Gokelman director of Campus and Liturgical Music.
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