Message from the President

Dear Friends:

Louis J. Agnese

"The White Coat Ceremony was a symbolic way for us to start the next chapter in our history"

Welcome to the 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.

With the end of our 125th anniversary year in sight, I want to take this opportunity to look back at a few of the highlights of what has been a truly remarkable year.

We kicked off our anniversary celebrations with the dedication in January of the new AT&T Science Center and the renovated Bonilla Science Hall.  At 90,000 square feet, the new complex doubles the space available for classrooms and labs and will play a crucial role in helping us meet the needs of our burgeoning math, science and engineering programs (MSE).   Just three years ago, MSE had the lowest number of majors of any of our schools; now it has one of the largest enrollments, having grown to more than 500 students, thanks to a high level of interest in biology from pre-pharmacy students.

The Science Hall, meanwhile, was renamed in honor of Congressman Henry Bonilla, a native of San Antonio's south side.  Henry is a long-time champion of Incarnate Word who has played an instrumental role in the growth of the University since he was first elected to Congress in 1992.

In March, we hosted the Roast, Boast and Toast gala, a black tie event at which we celebrated Incarnate Word's 125th anniversary (and my 20th as president).  You'll be pleased to know that the gala turned out to be the largest fund-raising event in our history, netting more than $320,000 for the general endowment fund.

During the gala, we also dedicated the Sky Room in honor of Sandra and Stanley Rosenberg, their three daughters and their spouses.  The Rosenbergs have long been active in the local civic scene, with Stanley having served as a trustee of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Foundation.

The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word sponsored a Mass of Thanksgiving in July that commemorated the 125th anniversary of the granting of the state charter that authorized the Congregation to begin operating schools and hospitals in Texas.  This very special mass reminded us that although we've achieved a great deal since 1881, our spiritual foundation has remained untouched through the years, and is ultimately what makes Incarnate Word such a special place in the 21st century.

In September, we held a White Coat Ceremony for the inaugural class of the Feik School of Pharmacy (earlier in the year, we broke ground for the facility that will house the school).  This traditional ceremony, at which each of the students was presented with a white coat, marked the official opening of the school's doctoral program.  The White Coat Ceremony was also a symbolic way for us to start the next chapter in our history, which was founded upon the health-care field.

I encourage you to read the rest of this issue of The Word, which centers on leadership.  It's a fitting theme, as your steadfast support of UIW has allowed us to become the largest Catholic university in Texas.  And it's because of that commitment that we can 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 2006.

Best Wishes,

Louis J. Agnese, Jr.,  Ph.D.