Author Archives: OLLUNewsletter

Cheer on softball team in RRAC championship today at 12:30 p.m.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to cheer on the softball team today at 12:30 p.m. on the OLLU Softball Field as the Saints play in the Red River Athletic Conference championship game against Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT).

OLLU is hosting the championship tournament for the first time this year. Saints fans are encouraged to head out to the field to cheer the Saints on for the win.

Melby endowed scholarship announced at spring commencement 

To mark the final commencement for retiring OLLU President Diane Melby, EdD, the Board of Trustees announced the Diane E. and David Melby Endowed Scholarship at graduation ceremonies on Friday.

The scholarship will benefit students who demonstrate financial need and are dedicated to leadership and service.

Under President Melby’s leadership, OLLU has completed a $55 million capital campaign, the largest in school history, built the Lake View Apartments, constructed new facilities for campuses in Houston and the Rio Grande Valley and secured a new home for the university’s counseling and speech and hearing clinics on the West Side.

David Melby, the president’s husband, distinguished himself as a community servant and was named 2022 Volunteer of the Year for Catholic Charities of San Antonio. He performed more than 1,500 hours of service, supporting The Guadalupe Community Center and St. Stephen’s Care Center, the Mobile Food Pantry, Project Hope, 40 Cans for Lent and Little Pumpkins Palooza. 

To learn more about the scholarship or to donate, visit the scholarship webpage.

OLLU Board of Trustees Chair Paul Olivier announces the Dr. Diane E. and David Melby Endowed Scholarship at the spring 2022 commencement exercises.

OLLU celebrates Spring commencement 2022

More than 360 graduates participated in commencement exercises amid a blast of confetti, Mariachi music and inspiring speeches on Friday at Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum.

Erika Prosper Nirenberg, Senior Director of Customer Insights for H-E-B, delivered the commencement address. The daughter of a migrant worker family from the Rio Grande Valley, Prosper Nirenberg challenged graduates to live boldly, urging them, at times in Spanish, to create a future to benefit humanity. 

Her husband, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, sat proudly on the coliseum floor, cheering on his wife with the rest of the audience. 

To view and download photos from spring 2022 commencement, please visit the OLLU Flickr site.

Professors presented study on Servant Leadership and Burnout

Esther Gergen, PhD, Professor of Leadership Studies, and April Martin, PhD, a Leadership Studies alumna, presented a study on Servant Leadership and Burnout in Healthcare Professionals last week at the 2022 International Leadership Healthcare Conference.

The study and associated paper was authored in collaboration with Mark Green, PhD, and Yu Sun, PhD, professors of Leadership Studies.

Fiscal year-end deadlines approach

It’s time to start considering and planning the University’s Fiscal Year-End, May 31. Please review your budget requirements now:

  • All merchandise MUST BE received before Friday May 20 to ensure that the invoice will have a May date.
  • Accounts payable will process invoices with a May date up until June 3. Please forward purchase orders and/or invoices by this date.
  • After June 3, any invoices with a May date will be processed against the 2023 Fiscal Year Budget.
  • Any invoices with a June date for products ordered in May will be paid out of the 2023 Fiscal Year budget.

In The News

Recent media coverage that brought attention to OLLU:

On May 7, a story on KSAT-12 about the OLLU softball team’s second-round victory over LSU-Alexandria in the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament:

On May 6, a story on Texas Public Radio about students at OLLU and UTSA who are collecting oral histories of women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces:

On May 6, a story on about Raymondville’s Jayson Cantu signing to play baseball at OLLU:

On May 5, a story on about a Weslaco High athlete, Kennedy Villalpando, who signed to run cross country and track at OLLU:

On May 4, a story on News4SanAntonio about eight McCollum High School students signing letters-of-intent to play college sports, including two at OLLU:

Late-game heroics propel Saints to conference championship

The No. 1-seed OLLU softball team downed No. 2-seed Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) to advance to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championship Game which will be played today at 12:30 p.m. on the OLLU Softball field. The Saints improve to 44-9 overall while the Eagles fall to 40-12.

Head Coach Bruce Lenington commented, “I’m very proud with how our team played today. Cassandra Valdez (JR/Brownsville, Texas) led us offensively and defensively. Joanna Gonzalez (SR/San Benito, Texas) and Kayla Dreese (SR/San Antonio, Texas) hit huge solo home runs for us. We’ll need another big day tomorrow to finish this thing off.”

The Saints were 5-7 against the Eagles prior to the game.

The Saints and Eagles engaged in a pitching batting until the fourth inning. Erika Richardson hit a two-run home run with two outs to give the Eagles the advantage. The Saints responded in the bottom of the frame when Valdez doubled to left field to score Ariel Montgomery (SR/Castroville, Texas) and Dreese. Gonzalez gave the Saints the permanent lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when she homered over the left field fence. Dreese added an insurance run for the Saints in the next inning with a solo home run to left-center field. The Saints won 4-2 to advance to the championship game in the RRAC Softball Tournament.

Valdez pitched the entire game in the circle and struck out seven batters to earn the win. Dreese had a multi-hit game and Valdez tallied two RBIs.

Up next
The Saints face TAMUT in the RRAC Championship Game tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.

Several Saints receive All-Conference Honors

Baseball’s Brandon Betancourt was selected Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Freshman of the Year, while four other members of the Saints team were selected to the All-Conference Team.

The conference’s coaches made the selections on the eve of the RRAC championship tournament, and the awards were presented between games at Sterlington Sports Complex on May 6.

2022 RRAC Baseball All-Conference Team

OLLU placed three players on the first team, including repeat first-team winners Jacob Mitchell and Brett Vasquez, as well as Robert Arredondo. Receiving Gold Glove recognition was Jacob Montejano, who also was the team’s Champions of Character winner.

Betancourt shares his Freshman of the Year Award with LSU-Alexandria’s William Vice. Betancourt, an outfielder, batted .386 in his first college season and drove in 19 runs.

Jacob Mitchell led the team in runs with 47, hits with 54, doubles with 17, homers with 11, RBIs with 49 and slugging with .741. He has a .378 batting average and a .497 on-base percentage.

Robert Arredondo leads the team in at-bats with 170, and he has the second-most hits with 52 and is tied with the most walks with 35. He is batting .306 and has an on-base percentage of .428 and a slugging percentage of .359.

Jacob Montejano has 48 runs, 42 hits, 10 doubles, 20 RBIs, 35 walks, a .457 on-base percentage and a .426 slugging percentage. He has 55 putouts, 89 assists and 13 double plays. 

Brett Vasquez has pitched in 84 innings and has 27 earned runs with 129 strikeouts. His ERA is .289.

Erika Prosper Nirenberg to serve as commencement speaker

Erika Prosper Nirenberg, Senior Director of Customer Insights for H-E-B, will be the speaker Friday when more than 360 OLLU students participate in commencement exercises.

Festivities will begin Friday morning with a special ceremony for graduates who are veterans. Events will continue with a Ring Blessing, Graduation Liturgy, Alumni and Family Meet and Greet and Graduation Exercises. To see a detailed schedule of commencement events and a list of graduates, visit:

Prosper Nirenberg, who grew up in a migrant worker family in the Rio Grande Valley, earned a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School, a bachelor’s degree in Plan II Liberal Arts and a second bachelor’s degree in Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2020, she earned an executive degree in Behavioral Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. At H-E-B, Prosper Nirenberg leads a team charged with helping guide the development of H-E-B’s strategic vision and operational efforts by providing customer insights to change business, gain share and establish a preference for the company. In the community, she has served the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as its chairwoman in 2018 and for six years on its executive board.

A former board member of Say Si Youth Arts, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and, she now sits on the Girls Scouts of Southwest Texas Board and Las Casas Foundation and is part of the advisory Board for iEmpower, the Latina Power Network and the SA League of Women Voters. Prosper Nirenberg also was the 2019 San Antonio Business Journal’s Woman of the Year, 2019 Governor’s Yellow Rose of Texas honoree, the 2016 H-E-B David Ashworth Community Service Corporate Winner and the 2021 H-E-B Linda D. Jimenez Diversity and Inclusion Corporate Awardee. Her proudest honor, however, was receiving the 2010 Association of Migrant Educators of Texas’ Migrant Alumni Award. 

As a co-founder and 2015-2016 Chair of the Latina Leadership Institute, much of Prosper Nirenberg’s passion revolves around efforts to help improve quality of life among underserved populations through girls and women empowerment, education and literacy. She and her husband, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, have one son named Jonah.

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