A Look Back
Agnese is a firm believer that a successful president of a Catholic institution must blend academic expertise with business acumen while anchoring both in strong spiritual beliefs. By mixing a keen business and marketing sense with clear vision of UIW’s mission and its past, including its special place in San Antonio and Bexar County, Agnese has led Incarnate Word to unprecedented growth during his presidency.
During his term in office, facilities have tripled while enrollment has increased by more than 300 percent. In that span, Incarnate Word has gone from being one of the smallest private universities in Texas to one of the largest in the state.
While some have said that Agnese brought Incarnate Word into the 21st century, others have observed that what he has really accomplished is bring the University closer to the 22nd century.
With continued growth of the academic offerings and student enrollment, Incarnate Word received ongoing recognitions by general and profession-specific accrediting agencies. In 1996 Incarnate Word College announced what had already become an operational reality - a name change to the University of the Incarnate Word.
During the 1990s, the University ventured into the relatively untried experience of extended education and offered complete degree offerings to working adults in its ADCaP program that in 2003 graduated its 1,000th alumnus. Incarnate Word was the first San Antonio-area university to have an ADCaP-type program, an innovation that was recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2001 when it selected UIW as a finalist for its statewide Star Award, the only local institution so recognized that year.
Venturing into the world of cyber-education in 2000, Universe Online offers degrees to adults throughout the nation and the world; more than 800 registered in the fall of 2005 alone. Incarnate Word's online graduate business program was chosen as one of the best in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in 2001.
In keeping with the Congregation’s and the University’s historical mission of providing healthcare services to South Texas, UIW ushered in a new era in 2004 with the establishment of the Feik School of Pharmacy. The Feik School of Pharmacy will help fill a severe shortage of pharmacists throughout Texas that is projected to become more acute as the state’s population continues its rapid growth in the foreseeable future.
In 2004, UIW attained a ranking of No. 6 by Consumer Digest Magazine as a “best value” for private universities in the United States. This was also the highest ranking achieved that year by any university in Texas, private or public.
By 2005 UIW had become the largest Catholic university in Texas and the fourth-largest private institution of higher learning in the state. And for the first time in school history, the number of freshmen and transfer students in 2005 was greater than the entire full-time student enrollment of Incarnate Word in 1985.
One constant has remained untouched by time and change: Incarnate Word is the educational and spiritual conduit for people who value an affordable, global education that allows them to grow in their individual faiths.