Reflections of Making a Difference

By Rick Smith, UIW Development Board member

I was raised in a Christian environment where we went to church weekly. Our social activities were centered in many aspects around our fellow parishioners and our active youth ministries. Both of my parents worked, with dad as an Air Force officer and mom doing special education classes in the public schools. While we did travel around a bit, most of our childhood revolved around San Antonio. Our parents were firm believers in delivering an excellent education and God-centered foundation to their children and we were blessed to be able to attend local private parochial schools.

I was fortunate to attend TMI and to participate in many of the sports and music programs while maintaining a rigorous academic curriculum. This foundation was continued in my undergraduate work at Texas A&M and post-graduate work while serving in the U. S. Army. It became apparent to me that I had received many benefits from my parents in their striving to prepare us for our futures. They made a difference in my life with their guidance and leadership.

When I returned to San Antonio and to civilian life, one of my first actions after finding a career position in the insurance industry, was to offer my time and talents to my alma mater. As I had found and received the blessings of learning and growing in a God-centered church, school and community, I felt the need to make a contribution as others had done before me.
As in Luke 12:48, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

I was honored to be asked to volunteer with other local nonprofits and had the opportunity to raise a family in the same wonderful environment that my parents had provided for me. In 1990, what was then Incarnate Word College became a focus that continues to have a special place in my heart and has allowed me to serve to the growth of our students’ lives through scholarship. We make a difference every day in our thoughts, words and actions. As St. Matthew shared in verse 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

May we continue to serve to his glory and to the benefit of those that we touch. It does make a difference. May God bless us all and our wonderful university.

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