Category Archives: Top Stories

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.

Tuition, residence hall rates set for 2020-2021

Student open forum set for Jan. 15
OLLU tuition, fees and residence hall rates have been set for the 2020-2021 academic year with a slight increase to cover rising operating costs and to keep up with inflation.

Undergraduate tuition will increase by 2.5 percent and graduate tuition will increase by 2 percent. Residence hall rates will increase between 1-2 percent depending on the room type. Finally, meal plans will increase by $50 per plan. There will be no fee increase.

Rising costs for maintenance, utilities and insurance were among the higher operating costs that made an increase necessary. These were coupled with the need to maintain pace with inflation. 

“While the Board of Trustees approved an increase of up to four percent, the administration worked to contain costs and keep the increase to a minimum,” said Vice President for Finance Anthony Turrietta. “This academic year’s increase did not keep pace with inflation, so a slightly higher increase is needed for the coming academic year; however, we have worked to keep the increase as low as possible.”

OLLU continues to be the most affordable private university in the region with the lowest tuition costs and the lowest residence hall and meal plan rates. This increase will apply to the summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. 

Open forums have been set to allow students to ask questions about the tuition and residence hall rates. They are:

Wednesday, Jan. 15, in Providence Hall, West Social Room

  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Join OLLU during the 2020 MLK March

There are still slots available to carpool with the OLLU group participating in San Antonio’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. March on Monday, Jan. 20. The march begins at 10 a.m. in front of the MLK Academy in the 3500 block of MLK Drive. The march ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park at 1101 Iowa Street. The route is approximately 2.7 miles.

The group carpooling from OLLU will meet in front of the Worden Building at 8 a.m. For those wishing to meet up with the group at the march, look for the OLLU banner in the staging area where the march begins. The group will gather beginning at 9:30 a.m. 

To sign up, visit the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism Office in Worden Building, Room 23, call 210-431-3990 or email

Students can earn volunteer hours for participating in the march. 

OLLU to host news conference for National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and members of the City Council will be on campus Tuesday, Jan. 21, for a news conference to announce the launch of the National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights. The news conference will take place in Providence Hall, West Social Room beginning at 9 a.m.

The national institute has received funding from the San Antonio City Council and will be housed at OLLU.   

Mayor Nirenberg, OLLU President Diane Melby, County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez and other local dignitaries will speak at the conference. National Institute Chair Paul Ruiz will explain the purpose and importance of the institute. Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

OLLU set to confer degrees for nearly 400 students during fall 2019 Commencement Thursday

President of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, will serve as speaker as OLLU confers degrees for almost 400 undergraduate and graduate students during commencement exercises on Thursday.

A Vincentian priest, Father Holtschneider has spent his life working in the Catholic Church’s higher education, health care and social service ministries, always with a particular care for those who are poorest in our society. He served as president of DePaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic university, from 2004-2017. He chaired the board of Ascension, the Church’s largest Catholic health system, from 2008-2017, and from 2017-2019, served fulltime as its executive vice president and chief operations officer.

Father Holtschneider is currently a trustee of the Institute of Global Homelessness – a campaign addressing street homelessness in 150 cities worldwide – and the Pastoral Migratoria, a startup charity that intends to provide social services to immigrants across the nation.

A Detroit native, Father Holtschneider holds a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University and is a faculty member for several higher education leadership programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as the Boston College Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education. He chairs the boards of Niagara University, his alma mater, and the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California.

Graduation celebrations will begin Thursday morning with the Veterans Graduation Ceremony, Ring Blessing and Liturgy.  The schedule of event is as follows:

  • Veterans Graduation Ceremony – 8:30 a.m. – Chapel Auditorium
  • Ring Blessing – 10 a.m. – Sacred Heart Chapel
    Graduating students will have the opportunity to have their rings and other items individually blessed at this interfaith prayer service. Graduation regalia is not required for this event.
  • Alumni and Family Meet and Greet – 10:30 a.m. – Chapel Auditorium
  • Graduation Liturgy – 12 p.m. – Sacred Heart Chapel
    Graduating students and their families and friends are invited to celebrate Mass. Graduation regalia is required.
  • Commencement Ceremony – 5 p.m. – Freeman Coliseum
    3201 E. Houston Street
    San Antonio, Texas 78219

Photos taken by the OLLU Marketing and Communications staff during all events will be available to download for free next week on the OLLU Flickr page.

Modified noise making activities on Bird Island to begin today

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin low level noise-making activities at about 5:15 p.m. today in an effort to decrease the cattle egret population in Lake Elmendorf Park. The devices that will be used sound similar to fireworks. Beginning Thursday after finals are complete, much louder pyrotechnics will be used.

The original plan was to hold off on all noise-making activities until after finals. However, the USDA requested permission to begin the lower level noise activities this week to discourage the birds from roosting in trees near Bird Island now that tree trimming and clearing is complete on the island.

Efforts will take place today through Wednesday from about 5:15-6:30 p.m. The firework sounds will be intermittent and there should be no more than 10 in an hour. Beginning Thursday, the louder pyrotechnics will be used for about two hours before sunset. The noise-making activities could go on for several months depending on the activity of the birds.

The efforts to thin the egret population are a result of concerns regarding the threat of bird strikes in the heavily populated areas between Elmendorf Lake and Kelly Field.

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