One Word: Dignity

The University of the Incarnate Word is a Catholic institution that welcomes to its community persons of diverse backgrounds, in the belief that their respectful interaction advances the discovery of truth, mutual understanding, self-realization and the common good.

Student holding a UIW graduate signUIW Community Impact: By the Numbers

A point of pride at the University of the Incarnate Word is how our students embrace the core value of service by providing support and assistance throughout the state, nation and world. The December 2019 and May 2020 graduating classes completed a total of 115,098 hours of service in the community providing an economic impact totaling $3,130,665 in volunteer service hours. It is our hope that they will continue this legacy of service and commitment to the community as concerned and enlightened citizens of our society.

Impacting Our Local Community

Southwest ISD student posing

At the University of the Incarnate Word, our commitment to equal opportunity is not limited to those who we serve on our campuses, but it's about making sure that our youth and community members— especially those from underserved and underrepresented areas and populations— understand that UIW is committed to ensuring access, opportunities and experiences are available to support a quality education for all.

The University of the Incarnate Word has played a critical role in the education and health of millions of residents of the Greater San Antonio area from its inception. With direction from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who arrived in Texas in the 1860s, UIW has been dedicated to support the health, welfare and education of those from Central and South Texas. Today, UIW and the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability continue to walk in the footsteps of the Sisters of Charity in reaching out to local non-profits, governmental agencies and K-12 educational entities, such as Southwest Independent School District, to continue the work done in health, welfare and education. The partnership between these two educational entities is focused on improving educational, professional and personal development opportunities and experiences for faculty, staff, family members and more importantly students, to improve and enhance the educational and economic growth of San Antonio.

For example, over 1,400 elementary students at Spicewood Park Elementary have been assisted and supported by students and faculty from UIW's Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions and the Dreeben School of Education to learn the importance of healthy lifestyles and environments that can in turn enhance and improve the quality of life. Additionally, over 75 middle school students representing each of the five Southwest ISD secondary school campuses have participated in UIW’s Math, Science and Engineering miniGEMS, GEMS and mini‐SEMIS summer camps since June 2016. At these STEM summer camps, students are able to design underwater robots, conduct scientific lab experiments and work with drones and Autonomous Vehicle Systems to learn of the practical application and importance of science in an ever changing global economic society.

Learn More about UIW and Southwest ISD

Impacting Our Regional Community

Pharmacy student and professor

ARISE is a non-profit organization that works with colonia families to strengthen the needs of their respective communities. Located in four colonias in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas (McAllen/Pharr), ARISE's mission is to aid communities by helping residents identify life goals and providing resources to help them reach those goals on their own. ARISE is co-sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of South Central and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

Learn More about ARISE: Summer

Nursing students posing at ARISE

Impacting South Texas

The Ettling Center collaborates with the ARISE (A Resource In Serving Equality) organization that was founded by the Sisters of Mercy over 20 years ago. Students gain an understanding of cross-border issues such as immigration, housing, environmental justice, health and education. Housing and accommodations are provided at one of the ARISE centers located in the colonia they are serving.

Learn More about ARISE: Winter

The University of the Incarnate Word’s Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability, in collaboration with Allegiance Bank and the Tejano Center of Houston, conducted a STEM summer camp pilot program for students from the Raul Yzaquirre School for Success in Houston, Texas in July of 2019.

The purpose of the two-day Community Allegiance Summer Camp Program was to provide a fun and interactive way to teach science, mathematics, engineering and financial literacy concepts to middle school students, while bringing awareness of the various opportunities associated with obtaining a higher education. As a result of the financial generosity of Allegiance Bank, the UIW Team was able to provide 120 hours of community service to the Southeastern area Houston community.

Project-based learning (PBL), which was utilized during the two-day camp, has been shown to improve students' understanding of science, as well as their problem-solving and collaboration skills, to a greater extent than traditional classroom methods. Additionally, students who learn science or technology through project-based learning report finding the information and content more engaging than traditional instructional techniques.

Impacting Our Global Community

UIW's Nutrition student cooking UIW’s Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability plays lead coordinator for the UIW campus community as part of a collaborative partnership with CHRISTUS Health and Los Quijotes of San Antonio-Health Ambassadors. This annual health mission to the southern part of Mexico focuses on serving the indigenous population of the State of Oaxaca. Over the past four years, the Ettling Center has coordinated over one hundred members of the campus community comprising of faculty, staff and students from optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, community health, nutrition, engineering and business. Since the Fall of 2015, 12,198 patients have been seen since the University’s participation in this initiative, providing 22,507 medical procedures collectively with the government health services of Oaxaca and the varied health professions provided by Los Quijotes of San Antonio-Health Ambassadors.

Since the University’s involvement in the Oaxaca Health Mission in partnership with Los Quijotes of San Antonio-Health Ambassadors, it has been estimated that over $6,114,926 in volunteer, medical, and educational services have been provided, as a result of conducting 22,507 health/wellness/ medical procedures to the indigenous residents of the Greater Oaxaca, Mexico and surrounding areas.

Learn More about the Quijotes Medical Mission Trip

UIW Top Service Locations

  • Alzheimer's Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Animal Care Services
  • Animal Defense League of Texas
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Boysville
  • Carroll Early Childhood Education Center
  • Castroville Elementary School
  • Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc.
  • Center for Refugee Services
  • Childrens Hospital of San Antonio
  • Christus Santa Rosa
  • Crit USA Telethon
  • Down Syndrome Association of South Texas
  • Ella Austin Community Center
  • Gardopia Gardens
  • Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas
  • Goodwill San Antonio
  • Guadalupe Community Center
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Haven 4 Hope
  • Indian Creek Elementary
  • Inner City Development
  • Jewish Community Center
  • Kinetic Kids
  • Lamar Elementary School
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Martinez Street Women's Center
  • Meals on Wheels in San Antonio
  • Miracle League in San Antonio
  • MLK Academy
  • Morgan's Wonderland
  • New Braunfels Food Bank
  • Pleasanton Elementary School
  • Pre-K 4 SA
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • SA Food Bank
  • SAMMinistries
  • Salvation Army of San Antonio
  • San Antonio Humane Society
  • San Antonio Pets Alive!
  • San Antonio State Hospital
  • South Texas Blood and Tissue Center
  • Southwest ISD
  • Special Olympics Texas
  • St. Stephen's CARE Center
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Texas Diaper Bank
  • The DoSeum
  • The Village at Incarnate Word
  • YMCA