Message from the President
I’m very pleased to welcome you to the annual donor’s issue of The Word, our way of saying “thank you” to the many special people from around the world who contribute to the continued betterment of the University of the Incarnate Word.
If you’ve been on the campus lately, then you probably know that we had another highly successful year, punctuated by the addition of several new structures that will help us to better meet the growing needs of the Incarnate Word System.
On Labor Day, we dedicated the Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium before a crowd that numbered about 2,800, the largest turnout for a student event in my 23 years at UIW. This beautiful facility, which will be home to our new football team when it begins play next fall, was made possible by the generosity of the Bensons, who have been friends of UIW for many years.
We also built the Alonso Ancira Tower that will help us manage the increase in vehicular traffic on the campus. This nine-level parking garage can hold up to 800 cars and is the result of the generosity of Mr. Ancira, a prominent businessman in Mexico who’s a longtime champion of higher education in both Mexico and the United States.
We also added another residence hall on the ICC hillside that will help us accommodate our burgeoning student population. Speaking of which, I’m pleased to report that, for the 22nd time in the past 23 years, we set another enrollment record this year.
Our student population grew by 700 students from last year, and is now at 6,703, the highest in our 127-year history. We’re also proud of the fact that among the state’s four largest private universities, UIW is the only one whose racial and ethnic demographics reflect the Texas of today and tomorrow, as Texas is now a minority-majority state. In addition, we continue to have, by a wide margin, the largest number of Hispanic students at any of the 40 private universities in the state.
On the international front, we have the third-largest number of international students among all of the private universities, after SMU and Rice. International students comprise nearly 11.5 percent of our overall enrollment and represent 63 countries, both figures historical highs for UIW. Meanwhile, our campuses in China and Mexico City are doing very well, as they experienced significant enrollment growth in the past year. We also held the first graduation at our Mexico City campus in June, which you can read about in this issue of The Word. By the way, we aimed to make the graduation experience there just like at the main campus in San Antonio, down to finding the only bagpipers in Mexico City.
I encourage you to read the rest of the magazine to catch up on what else has been happening at UIW. It’s because of your commitment to our community that we can continue fulfilling Incarnate Word's goal of offering students the best possible educational opportunities within a context of faith. And please remember – even in difficult economic times, an investment in higher education is something that will yield returns for a lifetime.
Special blessings on you and your loved ones throughout the remainder of 2008.
Louis J. Agnese Jr., Ph.D.