Honoring a Life of Service

April 9, 2019

(San Antonio) - At a Conferral Ceremony of Honorary Degrees held Monday, March 21 in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word, Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr., Charles Amato and Harley Seyedin were each awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, the highest honor UIW can confer on an individual. The celebration was a highlight of several events commemorating the 30th anniversary of Agnese as president of the University of the Incarnate Word.

Agnese has been president of the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, Texas since 1985, when at 33 he became one of the youngest presidents of a four year university in the United States. He was inaugurated as the eighth president of Incarnate Word on March 25, 1986.

“Of all the degrees I’ve been awarded in my life, this is far and away the most special,” said Agnese. “This fulfills my dream of becoming an alum of UIW.”

Amato is co-founder and Chairman of SWBC, an international financial services company based in San Antonio that was founded in 1976. Amato has been a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of the Incarnate Word since 1999. He is also a past Chairman of the UIW Board of Trustees and has been a powerful advocate for UIW.

Seyedin is president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Guangzhou, China. Seyedin’s connection to UIW goes back more than twenty-five years. He has played a pivotal role in UIW international initiatives and was instrumental in helping to establish China Incarnate Word in 2000, which allowed UIW to become the first university from the U.S. to offer accredited college degrees in China. Seyedin has also been involved in the development of sister school relations for reciprocal education throughout China (UIW currently has agreements with more than a dozen).

Other events held in celebration of this milestone included an International Convocation with guests from UIW campuses in Mexico and Germany as well as representatives from UIW sister schools, a luncheon, a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by the Most Reverend Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., Archbishop of San Antonio and a gala attended by Mayor Ivy Taylor, members of the Agnese family and the UIW and San Antonio community.


Photo cutline: Pictured left to right: Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr. (honorary degree recipient, president of UIW), Charles Lutz (UIW chairman, board of trustees), Sr. Teresa Maya (Congregational Coordinator, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word), Charles Amato, (honorary degree recipient, former chairman of the UIW board of trustees), Harley Seyedin (honorary degree recipient, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China)

CONTACT: Margaret Garcia, associate director communications and marketing, (210) 829-6001, mlgarci2@uiwtx.edu