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Message from the President

Dear Friends:

Lou AgneseThis is our annual donor's issue of The Word, our way of saying “Thank You” to the many special people from around the world that contribute to the continued betterment of the University of the Incarnate Word.

The cover features an architect's rendition of the building that will house the Feik School of Pharmacy at the corner of Hildebrand and Devine. It's our goal to break ground for the school in early 2006.

During the summer, the University received several important grants from the federal government, including $2 million that will be used for the infrastructure of the Feik School of Pharmacy. This grant will help fund a multi-level parking garage, as well as access roads and pedestrian walkways that have been designed to address the issues of parking, safety and public access associated with this facility.

The $2 million federal grant is a good example of the synergy that can occur between the public and private sectors. And thanks to Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who was instrumental in helping us secure the grant, these public funds will also help harmonize the expanded use of this area of the city, something that will ensure good traffic flow while maintaining public safety.

Staying with the Feik School of Pharmacy, in this issue you can also read a profile on Dr. Arcelia Johnson-Fannin, the School's founding dean. Dr. J, as she's known around campus, arrived at Incarnate Word from Hampton University last year, where she served as the founding dean of that university's pharmacy school.

I'm also pleased to report that we started the new school year by setting another enrollment record, the 19th time we've done that in the past 20 years, but perhaps the most symbolic. For the first time ever, we surpassed the 5,000-mark in overall student enrollment (that includes undergraduate, graduate, ADCaP and online). We’re now the largest Catholic university in Texas as well as the fourth-largest private institution in the state.

How important of a milestone is this? The number of full-time freshmen and transfer students is now greater than the entire full-time enrollment of Incarnate Word in 1985.

The news is equally good from Mexico City, where we have struggled since opening CIU Miguel Angel-Incarnate Word in 2003. This year, we'll have between 75 to 100 students there, more than a three-fold increase from 2004.

I encourage you to read the rest of The Word for more information on our recent activities. Next year promises to be one of the most exciting in our community's long history. We'll be celebrating the 125th anniversary of Incarnate Word; the 100th anniversary of the Motherhouse Chapel; the 75th anniversary of the nursing program; the 10th anniversary of the College becoming the University; and on a personal note, my 20th anniversary as president of the University.

Let me thank you for your steadfast support. It's that commitment that allows us to continue fulfilling Incarnate Word's goal of offering students the best possible educational opportunity within a context of faith. Special blessings on you and your loved ones throughout the remainder of 2005.

Best Wishes,

Louis J. Agnese, Jr., Ph.D.