Message from the President

Dear Friends:

Lou Agnese
Lou Agnese

During my 20 years as president of the University of the Incarnate Word, one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most has been the opportunity to speak with students. While our conversations usually run the gamut of topics, there’s one subject that nearly always comes up – time.

“How do I find the time to juggle classes, family, work and friends?” is a recurring question. And sometimes the question is asked within the context of, “I may have to drop out of school so I’ll have time to do everything that I want.”

My response is always the same: organize and focus. There really is no other magic formula. I urge students to become organized by developing a list of priorities that will allow them to focus on what’s important. The students that do eventually discover they have more than enough time to juggle the many demands of life without having to take the drastic action of dropping out of college, which is not something I would ever advocate.

Kent Dolasky, who is featured on the cover of this issue of The Word, is someone who figured out the above on his own under less-than-ideal conditions. Like many students, Kent faced similar pressures while pursuing his degree due to the unending demands on his time from his job, family, school and friends. But with one key difference: Kent is a master sergeant with the U.S. Army Special Forces who was stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other undisclosed locations while studying for his college degree through our online program.

Amidst all the uncertainty of his postings in war-torn countries – Kent was even awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with a “V” for Valor for bravery under fire – he persevered by maximizing his time, which allowed him to focus on the long-term payoff: a college degree. Kent, who often studied from inside of a tent, graduated with a BBA in marketing with nearly all “A”s – the lone exception was an “A-”, and in the process he became the first eArmyU graduate of our online program. Now, he’s just one course short of completing an online MBA with us, and looking to do so with a straight “A” average.

In this issue of The Word you can also read about two of our faculty members. Michael Tallon, who teaches Spanish, recently earned the distinction of becoming a master magician by developing a unique trick. Meanwhile, Bill Gokelman, an associate professor of music, was selected as the recipient of this year’s Presidential Teaching Award. The award recognizes excellence in teaching at UIW, and is awarded annually to a member of the faculty who best exemplifies this ideal.

I encourage you to read the rest of The Word to learn more about Kent Dolasky, Michael Tallon and Bill Gokelman. You can also read about other recent activities at UIW and about upcoming events during the remainder of 2006, which is our 125th anniversary year.

In the meantime, let me thank you for your steadfast support. The commitment from alumni and friends 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 for 2006.

Best Wishes,

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