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The Beginning of a Special Journey

While commencement marked the beginning of a special journey for the 350 graduates of the Spring 2003 class of the University of the Incarnate Word, it also marked a unique moment for a group of alumni, one CCVI, a local prominent businessman, and a member of the Board of Trustees.

Fully Clingman pictured with Dr. Lou Agnese

James “Fully” Clingman, retiring COO and President of H-E-B, delivered the morning graduation address to graduates of the business school, which earlier in the morning was renamed the H-E-B School of Business. Sister Teresa Stanley, CCVI, delivered the afternoon graduation address to graduates of the Dreeben School of Education, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering, and the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

“With all the corporate scandals currently wracking our country, we are pleased to be able to name our School of Business in honor of a multi-billion dollar company that has consistently displayed the highest ethical standards in its business practices,” said Incarnate Word President Dr. Louis Agnese. “This company will serve as a model for our students to aspire to in their professional lives.”

The day was extra special for Mr. Clingman, who not only celebrated his birthday that day but also his retirement from H-E-B after 28 years of working for the local grocery giant.
During his address, Mr. Clingman urged the graduates to serve others, something that would allow them to reach their maximum potential as people. It was a timely topic, as the University surprised Mr. Clingman during the ceremony by presenting him with the Insigne Verbum Award. The award is presented to those who have excelled in service to others and whose life reflects the mission of the University and Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

Mr. Clingman has given generously of his time to a number of organizations such as the San Antonio United Way campaign, the YMCA, the Alamo Area Boys Scouts Council, the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and currently serves as Vice-Chairman for the Board of Trustees at UIW.

Two honorary degrees were awarded at the afternoon ceremony. The Doctor of Human Letters, Honoris Causa, which is the highest honor the University can bestow upon an individual, were presented to Ruth Eilene Sullivan, Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, and to Sr. Stanley, who is a former member of the Board. The honorary doctorates are presented to individuals who have excelled in educating the community and in contributing to the improvement of the University’s overall quality of education.

The Sullivan family has a long-standing relationship with the University. It dates back nearly 100 years when the family donated the statue of Mary that adorns the Grotto, to their more recent contributions of the Daniel J. Sullivan IV Baseball Field and their continuing generous help to the University’s scholarship fund.

Sr. Stanley has become an institution in the health field, serving the educational and healthcare systems through publications, research and leadership positions. At the University, she has served on the Board of Trustees, been a faculty member, and served as director and dean of the School of Nursing. In 1996 she was elected to a six-year term as General Superior of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

The day’s exciting program also featured fifteen alumni from the class of 1953 who were honored as Alumni of Distinction at commencement. They celebrated their 50 years as alumni of Incarnate Word by joining in a second commencement ceremony, and in doing so they became examples to those graduating on this day by encouraging them to look forward to their own 50th graduation anniversary in 2053.