San Antonio – University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) President Dr. Thomas M. Evans conferred degrees to over 1,300 professional, doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students at three Spring Commencement Ceremonies held Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12. This was Evans’ first Spring graduation. He was inaugurated as UIW’s 10th president in March.
A point of pride at UIW is how our students embrace the core value of service. The Spring Class of 2018 completed 56,565 volunteer community service hours providing an economic impact totaling $1,396,589. It is our hope that they will continue this legacy of service as concerned and enlightened citizens in our society.
At the Friday evening UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry commencement ceremony, student Lavang Lee was recognized as the 2018 Alcon Case Report Award National Winner. Each year, fourth-year students from optometry schools around the country have the opportunity to enter a case report on a particular topic. Winners from each school receive $1,000 and the opportunity to compete for the national award. The 2018 national winner received an additional $5,000 award. Tom Duchardt, Alcon’s director of professional relations, presented the award at UIWRSO’s award and hooding ceremony held, Thursday, May 10.
The Saturday evening commencement honored students earning their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. This year’s commencement speaker was Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Sr. Teresa Maya. In her remarks, Sister noted that the congregation began praying for the students from the moment they stepped on the Incarnate Word campus and that those prayers would continue for the rest of their lives. She also asked the graduates to continue to be people who serve others.
“I pray that you serve with generosity and with courage because only then will you find the true meaning of life” she said. “Serve in exchange for nothing. You have received from UIW an education to serve with professionalism and competency. Please, change the world.”
Sr. Teresa Maya has been a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio since 1994. In addition to serving as congregational leader, she also serves as president for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
Donna C. Normandin was honored as the 2018 Alumna of Distinction for Service in Mission. Normandin is currently senior vice president and CRA officer for Frost Bank. An active member of the community, Normandin serves on committees and boards of several non-profit organizations. She is an active UIW alumna and was a founding member and the first president of the UIW Alumni Association. Normandin holds a BBA and an MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word. In her remarks, Normandin noted the importance of connections.
“Connections are key as you start your life in business and in family,” Normandin said. “Connections are lasting and can bring riches to you both professionally and personally, but they have to be tended and nurtured in order to be cultivated. Connections are necessary. We thrive on connections; they make us better people.
A Baccalaureate Mass held Friday, May 12, in the Alice P. McDermott Convocation Center was followed by a reception hosted by UIW Provost Dr. Kathleen Light in the Student Engagement Center Ballroom.
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