San Antonio – On Saturday, May 11, University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) President Thomas M. Evans conferred degrees to 1,138 professional, doctoral, graduate, undergraduate and associate-level students at the Spring commencement ceremony held at Freeman Coliseum. The graduating Spring Class of 2019 completed 54,844 hours of community service, providing an economic impact of $1.4 million. Community service is a pillar of the well-rounded education promised by UIW and it is the hope of our community that the graduates will continue this legacy of service as concerned and enlightened citizens of our society.
The ceremony included several different honors. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, the founders of the University, were honored on this their jubilee year, for 150 years of service to others. Mr. Charlie Lutz was recognized for his years of leadership as the Chairman of the UIW Board of Trustees. Dr. Kathi Light, UIW provost, was recognized for her 39 years as a student, teacher, and administrator at the University. And the 2019 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission was awarded to Jenny Carnes ’99 BBA. Among her many accomplishments, Carnes was an All-American on the UIW women’s basketball team, she is an inaugural member of the UIW Athletic Hall of Fame and remains an active leader in the area of collegiate and amateur athletics in San Antonio.
The graduates got an unusual surprise when UIW student Kenneth Petri crossed the stage in some unusual footwear. Petri is the first student to wear UIW’s Red the Cardinal mascot uniform for all four-years of his college career. He is now also the first former mascot to be allowed to walk the UIW graduation stage wearing the mascot feet when he received his degree in 3D Animation and Game Design. Petri has been in uniform for every football game, men’s and women’s basketball game, and volleyball game as well as making dozens of appearances at elementary schools and major UIW gatherings. The 23-year-old Brennan High School alumnus is now the first in his family to graduate college.
“Today, you are graduates of the University of the Incarnate Word,” UIW President Thomas M. Evans said to the crowd. “Today you emerge transformed as the best versions of yourselves, full of promise and fully prepared in mind, body and spirit to be the kind of ethical leaders, healers, scientists and advocates that this world needs now more than ever. As you prepare to enter this next phase of your lives, remember that there may be no better application of your education and skills than using them in service of others. Be the response that the world needs.”
A Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated Friday, May 10 in the Alice P. McDermott Convocation Center on the UIW Broadway campus. Rain stayed away just long enough to allow the graduates to walk the length of the UIW campus a final time. They were led by the San Antonio Pipes and Drums who performed processional and recessional music for the Baccalaureate and Commencement.
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