Welcome to the 2014 donor’s issue of The Word. This is our way of saying “Thank You” to the many special people from around the world who contribute to the continued betterment of the University of the Incarnate Word.
We kicked-off the fall semester on a high note by setting another enrollment record. We now have 9,940 students, which is twice the number from a decade ago. This increase illustrates the continued strength of UIW, as we’ve had enrollment increases in 28 out of the last 29 years.
The enrollment figure includes nearly 1,200 students at our campus in Mexico City, which is also another record. In addition, our international enrollment has reached an all-time high, as 19 percent of our students are from outside the United States. The international students represent more than 70 countries and about as many languages, which adds to the cultural vibrancy of the campus.
Plans continue to move forward for the opening of our new School of Osteopathic Medicine at Brooks City Base. Alumna Veronica Edwards, who is a member of the UIW Board of Trustees, hosted a successful fundraiser for the school in September that raised awareness about it in San Antonio and South Texas.
The medical school is going to be an important economic driver for San Antonio, especially the city’s Southside. It is also going to anchor what will eventually become the city’s second medical center.
By the time the school reaches its full operational capacity, it will include 60 full-time and 250 part-time faculty members, 600 medical students and another 90 students in a master’s level physician assistant program. We conservatively project the medical school is going to inject more than $1 billion into the local economy during the 10-year period that will begin when the inaugural medical class graduates.
The enrollment growth and new medical school illustrate an important aspect of our mission – to provide access and opportunities to a first-rate college education, particularly to populations historically underserved by higher education.
UIW is now No. 1 in the U.S. among private universities in conferring the most bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics. In reaching the top spot, we passed two well-known national universities that have a combined enrollment of more than 55,000 students.
Also, the persistence to graduation rate for Hispanic students enrolled in our master’s programs increased from 52 percent in 2010 to more than 70 percent in 2014. In late September, UIW was one of four universities in the U.S. recognized by Excelencia in Education for its work in improving the success rate of Hispanic students in higher education.
I encourage you to read the rest of The Word for additional details on the many exciting things that are happening at UIW including a new bachelor of business administration degree in Professional Golf Management that is being offered through the H-E-B School of Business and Administration.
As you do, please remember the momentum generated by your generous support is what allows us to continue fulfilling our goal of offering students top-notch educational opportunities within a context of faith. Your steadfast support is also what allows UIW to continue having a positive impact on San Antonio and South Texas.
Special blessings on you and your loved ones for the remainder of 2014.
Louis J. Agnese, Jr., Ph.D.