Long before her involvement with the University of the Incarnate Word as a member of the Board of Trustees, Marky Read Pontius knew the challenges that many face in affording higher education and the important role that scholarships play in attaining those educational dreams.
“Years ago, there was a young lady who worked for me who was extremely bright. I was encouraging her to attend college, but she just couldn’t afford it,” Pontius recalls. “I’m proud to say she’ll be graduating from UIW this December,” she said with a broad smile. “It wouldn’t have been possible without scholarships from the university.”
Born and raised in New Orleans, Pontius said her passion for emphasizing the accessibility of a quality education is one important reason she wanted to give back to her alma mater. She graduated from UIW with an MBA in 1990 and has served as a board member since 2001. Her bachelor’s degree is from the Newcomb College at Tulane University.
After graduating, a board member approached her about becoming a trustee, and the rest is history.
“It is so easy to be enthusiastic about a school with such an influential leader like President Dr. Lou Agnese. I’m so impressed with all the improvements that have happened on campus since I graduated in 1990. He has succeeded in energizing the whole school.”
“Eighty-five percent of UIW graduates from our School of Nursing remain in South Texas. A huge need is being met in our community thanks to our program. It’s a fulfilling experience to assist with such a goal.”
Pontius is involved in the campaign to enlarge the nursing school.
“Our nursing graduates pass the state boards over 92 percent of the time,” she stated proudly. “Add to that the fact the large majority of them stay in this area, it makes sense to try to do what you can” to build the school.