Campus News

Light the Way

With a flip of a switch, the holiday season officially began as the university kicked off the 22nd annual Light the Way celebration. The event held Nov. 17 lit the night sky with a Light the Waymillion twinkling lights. Hundreds were on hand for the event and even Santa Claus was among the holiday revelers visiting campus. The evening began with the annual Light the Way Mass celebrated in Our Lady’s Chapel. After Mass, choirs from UIW, Incarnate Word High School, St. Anthony Catholic School and St. Peter Prince of Apostles Catholic School along with St. Anthony Catholic High School’s Jazz Band entertained guests at an opening ceremony held in the Alice P. McDermott Convocation Center. A presentation of gifts to the Elf Louise Toy Drive and musical presentations by Pasty Torres and Mariachi Sol de Tejas rounded out the night. Strolling mariachis closed the event by leading a candlelight procession through the campus.

December Commencement

On Dec. 8, nearly 600 students in the fall class of 2007 graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word. A Baccalaureate Mass was held before each of the two commencement ceremonies.commencement

The commencement address was delivered by Sr. Eilish Ryan, CCVI, Th.D., UIW professor of religious studies, at each of the ceremonies. Sr. Eilish is the 2007-08 UIW Moody Professor. She also serves as director for UIW’s Pastoral Institute.

Jane M. Holder Hadley ’69 BA was honored as the 2007 Alumna of Distinction for Professional Achievement. Hadley was the first Incarnate Word student to earn a degree in drama. Today she is a professor of English and drama, and is head of the theatre program at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. In addition to teaching, she has directed and supervised more than 200 productions at Queens University and in the surrounding community since 1972.

Processional and recessional music for the graduation ceremonies was performed by the San Antonio Pipes and Drums. Musical direction was provided by Bill Gokelman, UIW professor of music.

University’s Vision for the Future

On Feb.1, the University of the Incarnate Word announced the addition of a new program, the UIW School of Optometry and introduced Founding Dean Dr. Hani Ghazi-Birry, in the UIW Rosenberg Sky Room. optometry announcement

UIW will have the first and only faith-based school of optometry in the United States. The university will begin offering an undergraduate program in pre-optometry in the fall of 2008. The pre-optometry curriculum is designed to integrate the anticipated prerequisites to qualify for application to the school of optometry. The anticipated start date for the optometry professional program is September 2009, and the class size is projected to be about 60 students.

Currently there are about 1,250 graduates from 17 optometry schools on the continental U.S., and that number is declining. The UIW program is poised to fill the growing need for optometrists due to population growth and the increased need for eye care among baby boomers.

The school of optometry will be located near San Antonio’s Medical Center and will include multimedia classrooms, technologically advanced clinical laboratories, library, study areas, faculty and administrative offices, conference rooms, and other optometry teaching facilities. The school will encompass two clinical facilities at separate locations. The clinics will feature state-of-the-art healthcare facilities with fully equipped optometric examination rooms, advanced technology, clinical scenario computer stations and digital educational halls.

Ghazi-Birry holds a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science from the University of Western Ontario, a Ph.D. from Oxford University, Department of Ophthalmology and an M.D. from The University of Glasgow. He completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and earned his Doctorate of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn.

UIW honors fashion designer Mary Anne Sinclair

Texas fashion designer and philanthropist Mary Anne Sinclair of Corpus Christi was honored at UIW with a fashion show and reception Nov. 19.

Models showcased some of Sinclair’s designs from her illustrious 22-year career. She has created designs for soap opera stars, politicians’ wives, actress Shirley McClain and author Ann Rice among others. Mary Anne Sinclair

Sinclair’s designing abilities came naturally. By age 13, she was sketching designs on crinoline for the Fiesta gowns and trains that her mother constructed. She established her couture business, Sinclair Designs Inc., in 1982. During the height of her career, her designs were showcased in New York showrooms, Bergdorf Goodman’s and Neiman Marcus. Her designs featured vibrant colors and fabrics from Europe to create a truly feminine look.

Among the awards and honors Sinclair received were the 2004 Governors Humanitarian Award and the Ronald McDonald, Casa de Armor, 2005 Humanitarian Award. She was also a 2002 Olympic Torch Bearer. In addition, she has been featured on the CBS Morning Show and in People magazine.

Besides her colorful designs, Sinclair also is known for her over-the-top and off-the-wall home décor, and philanthropy work. She is the ringleader of the nonprofit organization Clowns Who Care, which she established after surviving breast cancer. The organization consists of more than 30 professional women who dress in elaborate costumes and regularly visit and entertain sick children and their families at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Sinclair also established Designer Dining, the proceeds of which fund free mammograms for local Corpus Christi residents without health insurance.

“Building on Our Traditions”
An Alumni & Parents Weekend

The UIW Alumni Board, and the offices of Alumni Relations and Campus Life, hosted the university’s annual Alumni & Parents Weekend on Nov. 16 – 18.Alumni and Parents Weekend

The weekend was an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with old classmates, visit new additions to the campus and reminisce about life at UIW. For parents, it was an opportunity to share in their child’s campus life experience. This was an exciting year to visit the campus, with the recent completion of the Feik School of Pharmacy and the announcement of the first Cardinal football team. Also, Alumni & Parents Weekend coincided with Light the Way, the annual event when the campus is illuminated for the holiday season. It was truly a weekend full of fun and traditions at the university.

A number of memorable events highlighted the weekend including a Presidential Wine & Cheese Social, Decade Dinners and Breakfast with the Sisters.

Alumni & Parents Weekends are scheduled every November, so mark your calendars for the 2008 event, which begins Nov. 21.

UIW’s "green" campus takes on new meaning

There is a nationwide concern over the preservation of the environment and a move toward green initiatives, including reducing waste and recycling. Students and employees at the uiwrecyclesUniversity of the Incarnate Word are no different in their desire for a cleaner world. A number of initiatives have already been instituted at the university, including the recycling of oil, waste metals, tree limbs and paper. The composting of the grounds each spring results in the need for less water throughout the year to keep the campus beautiful. Recently the university took one more step toward becoming eco-friendly.

More than year ago, recent graduate Maria Duran began a campaign to improve UIW’s green initiatives. Because of her efforts, the Recyclers Club was born. Last fall, Dr. Bob Connelly, assistant vice president for academic and student affairs, gathered a recycling group, including several employees, Duran as president of the Recyclers Club and Erica Rodriguez, who would be the new president in the spring. The group drafted a proposal that served as the first step in a recycling program focused primarily on the main campus.

After the recycling group meeting, Dr. Denise Doyle, vice president for academic and student affairs, met with UIW President Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr. to present the idea. Agnese met with the group and emphasized the need to reduce and reuse in addition to recycling. “We hope that the three Rs can be part of the bigger picture of educating the community to a greater environmental awareness,” Connelly said.

With the president’s approval, UIW has announced plans to begin the recycling initiative. The university is working with Vista Fibers, the company that will provide the large outdoor recycling containers. In addition, UIW will purchase smaller indoor containers for aluminum cans, plastic bottles and paper.

The Recyclers Club will be continually working with the program, but everyone in the UIW community is asked to do their part to create a greener campus and, on a small scale, a greener Earth. The recycling program is expected to be in place by Earth Day, April 22.Class of 2008. This is history, and they are a part of it all.”

UIW receives award at Adelante 10th anniversary

Vincent Rodriguez, assistant to the president for communications, accepted an award on behalf of UIW at Adelante’s 10th anniversary banquet held Nov. 30. The award recognized the university’s longtime support of Adelante. Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr., UIW president, has Adelante awardsbeen a board member since its founding.

Adelante’s mission is to encourage Hispanic students to attend and graduate from college by providing them with scholarships and internships, especially those students studying business, Rodriguez said.

The Adelante! Fund offers scholarships to qualified students attending college in a partnering institution. The funds are provided through the generosity and support of partner corporations, foundations and individuals. With scholarship support, Hispanic students have better access to and success in higher education.

Rodriguez, who has participated as a scholarship judge for seven years, noted that across the nation, about 21 percent of Hispanics live below the poverty level, compared with only 8 percent of whites. Although Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the country, only 12 percent have bachelor’s degrees, compared with 30 percent of whites. Hispanics have the highest high school dropout rate of any racial/ethnic group in the country; only about 60 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. have a high school diploma. In Texas, statistics show that only one of every two graduate high school.

UIW celebrates Asian New YearAsian New Year

On Feb. 7, the UIW International Program’s Institute of World Cultures sponsored the university’s annual Asian New Year celebration. 2008 is the Year of the Rat.

Visitors sampled Asian cuisine, enjoyed handwriting and origami demonstrations provided by student organizations and local artists and learned more about the Chinese horoscope all while being entertained by local Asian performers featuring Korean and Chinese folk dances.

The annual Asian New Year celebration provides a feeling of home to the university’s diverse Asian population while showcasing Asian culture to the local community.