Category Archives: News

OLLU announced as home to institute on Mexican American civil rights history

San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg announced today that the National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights will be housed at Our Lady of the Lake University. 

Speaking during a news conference at Providence Hall, West Social Room, the mayor also announced that the City Council has allocated $250,000 to start the National Institute and will contribute another $250,000 next year.

OLLU president Diane E. Melby, EdD, City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales and other local leaders said the university is the perfect site for the National Institute.

“Providing the home for this important and historic institute is a fitting next chapter for OLLU,” President Melby said. “The university was founded on the social justice mission of the Sisters of Divine Providence. We continue to carry out their heritage, and it remains a central purpose to the education we provide, the graduates we produce and the work that we accomplish.”   

The news conference featured remarks from a number of speakers, including National Institute Chair Paul Ruiz.

“The National Institute will teach, educate and showcase the significant struggles and contributions forged in our own Mexican American community to advance the civil rights and fair treatment of all people,” Ruiz said.

Other speakers included National Institute Interim Executive Director Ezequiel Peňa, an OLLU associate professor, San Antonio First Lady Erika Prosper and County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez.

Math and Science department to host STEM speaker series

The Math and Science department is continuing its STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) speaker series this semester. This speaker series serves to encourage students in their pursuit of STEM degrees at OLLU; educate them on STEM fields they may not have considered; give them a feel of how the STEM education they are receiving at OLLU is used by professionals; and show them how OLLU alumni are putting their education to use in their communities.

The schedule of speakers for spring 2020 is as follows:

  • Jan. 24 – Dr.Glorianna Villareal – OLLU alumna and Pharmacist at UIW San Antonio
  • Jan. 31 – Mrs. Alyssa Guerra – OLLU alumna and Assistant Athletic Trainer
  • Feb. 4 – UT Health Science Center Medical and Dental School representatives
  • Feb. 21 – Bisi Adeniji Adele – Mechanical Engineer, Design Engineer at Chevron in El Segundo, California
  • Feb. 28 – Dr. Jeannette Wong – OLLU alumna and Optometrist at UIW San Antonio
  • March 20 – Kathleen Gately – Robotics team coach/tournament director for the regional robotics championship
  • April 24 – Professor Nathanael Salako – Doctor of Dental Surgery, UT Health Science Center Dental School, Houston

All sessions will take place from 12:30-1:30 p.m., in Metz Hall, Room 407.

Mission and Ministry seeking mentors for Theology Institute this summer

The Mission and Ministry Division is seeking 15 OLLU students to serve as mentors for the Encuentro High School Theology Institute that will take place June 11-18, 2020.

Through the institute, 25 high school students from around San Antonio will participate in workshops, activities, service and discussions to help them deepen their own faith and apply it toward challenges within their community. Mentors will help facilitate planned activities and provide logistical support throughout the week.

Benefits to mentors:

  • A $1,600 stipend will be offered to mentors upon successful completion of the institute
  • On-campus housing and food will be provided during the event
  • Opportunities to develop leadership and facilitation skills while sharing their faith

To apply, download and complete the application. Submit completed applications by Tuesday, Feb. 11, to Roxanna Chavez in the Elliott House, Room 103.

For more information, contact Roxanna Chavez at or 210-528-7171.

Leave forms for December 2019 are due today

Monthly employees are reminded to submit their leave forms for time taken in December 2019 by the end of today. Human Resources will be adjusting vacation balances to be in compliance with the “use-it-or-lose-it” end date of Dec. 31, 2019, so it is critical that all leave forms are submitted timely to prevent incorrect leave balances. Approved leave forms should be submitted to the Payroll Office and any questions on the “use-it-or-lose-it” policy should be directed to Human Resources. 

Information on 2019 W-2s

W-2s for 2019 will be available by Jan. 31, 2020.  Current employees who have opted in on the portal to have their W-2 electronically available to them will not receive a paper copy of their W-2 in the mail. Once processing is complete, their W-2 will be available for printing through the myOLLU portal. Current employees who did not opt for an electronic W-2 before Jan. 15, as well as employees who are no longer with the university, will have W-2s mailed by Jan. 31, 2020 to the address on file in Colleague. 

For more information, contact the Payroll Office.

New IRS W-4 Form in effect for 2020

The IRS has released a new W-4 form for 2020. The 2020 Form W-4, “Employee’s Withholding Certificate,” is different from previous versions. This is due to the federal law changes that took place in 2018. The IRS is not requiring all employees to complete a revised form; however, all new employees hired in 2020, as well as current employees who make changes to their tax withholdings, will be required to use the new form. 

Note:If a new form is not submitted, withholdings will continue based on previously submitted forms.

Even though the IRS does not require all employees to complete the revised forms, and even if an employee’s tax situation has not changed, it is recommended that employees perform a “paycheck checkup” to see if they need to make adjustments to their current withholdings. To conduct a checkup, use the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator ( To use the estimator, it is helpful to have a copy of the most recent pay stub and tax return. 

The IRS has also published frequently asked questions that employees may find helpful if completing a new form. The information can be found at

Professor Benavides receives grant for podcasting training

Yvette Benavides, MFA, professor of English, is the recipient of a grant from the Knight Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange for an intensive training on “Podcasting for Journalists.”  Starting next month, she will be hosting and co-producing “Book Public,” a books podcast from Texas Public Radio featuring reviews and author interviews. Her essay, “All in the Cards,” was published in the most recent issue of “Creative Nonfiction” magazine and featured in “Literary Hub” this month. Professor Benavides has also been named editor of the second edition of “Great Lives from History: Latinos” (Grey House Publishing)She is also the editor of the anthology series “EQ: Creative Nonfiction on Social Equity” (Trinity University Press).

OLLU women’s basketball No. 16 in the NAIA for third time in a row

For the third consecutive time, the OLLU women’s basketball team has been picked No. 16 in the 2019-2020 NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Saints were selected 16th in mid-December and in early December. In the preseason poll, the team earned the No. 6 rank.

The Master’s University is the No. 1 pick this week after overcoming Campbellsville. Other Red River Athletic Conference members in the poll are LSU-Shreveport, who debuts at No. 23 and LSU-Alexandria, who received five votes. Read full story online.

OLLU men’s basketball earns first conference win against Wiley College

The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men’s basketball team defeated Wiley College (WC) 73-71 on Saturday. The Saints improve to 5-13 overall and earn their first win in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) this season to move to 1-7 in conference. The Wildcats fall to 6-7 overall and 4-3 in conference.

Head Coach Chris Dial commented on the win, “We’ve had the tendency to be up and down this year in terms of consistent effort and energy. This road trip was no exception. I am proud of the way our guys responded and fought.” Read full story online.

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