Category Archives: Top Stories

Welcome Back event set for June 1

On June 1, OLLU will host an event to welcome all staff members back to campus. This ceremony will mark the official return to campus for all staff members following the university’s move to remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This time together will allow employees to reflect, reconnect and receive a special blessing as everyone enters this new era at OLLU.

The event will be livestreamed so that members of the OLLU Houston and La Feria campus can participate. The university encourages everyone not to miss out on this important milestone or on the free tacos!

RSVP at  https://ollu.formstack.com/forms/welcome_back_ollu_june_1st_2021 by May 25.

Welcome Back Event

June 1, 2021

9 a.m.

Main Building Plaza (Outside, in front of Main Building)

Livestream information will be shared soon.

Roy Terracina to receive Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters

For his many years of distinguished service to OLLU, Board Chair Emeritus Roy Terracina will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday.

Since joining the Board of Trustees in 2006, Terracina has helped strengthen and position the university for innovation and growth. His strong advocacy for online education and a return to intercollegiate athletics have yielded remarkable results.

Together, online learners and student-athletes represent 44.7 percent of OLLU’s enrollment.

“Roy has been a strong and instrumental leader in the growth of the university,” said President Diane Melby, EdD. “We are grateful for his service and proud to give him this Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.”

An accomplished businessman, Terracina has served as President of Sterling Foods, Vice Chairman of U.S. Global Investors and CEO of Sunshine Ventures. He recently became CEO of Sonar Co., which offers technology solutions based on sound.

Growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Chicago, Terracina struggled in high school. He excelled in boxing but didn’t like to study, graduating 254th in a class of 269 students. Motivated by peers whom he admired, Terracina became a first generation college student and earned two degrees from Marquette University.    

He has used his personal and business experiences to mentor OLLU students. Through his guidance, many have secured internships and jobs.

Inspiring students is one highlight of Terracina’s OLLU tenure. A second is receiving the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

“It feels wonderful,” he said. “Coming from my neighborhood and being the first in my family to finish high school, much less college, this is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Hybrid commencement exercises to be held Saturday

Spring hybrid commencement exercises begin Saturday at 9 a.m. via WebEX with the Veteran’s Graduation Ceremony.

A hooding ceremony for Doctoral and MFA candidates starts at 3:30 p.m. in Thiry Auditorium. 

The virtual commencement address ceremony begins at 5 p.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel and will be live-streamed to allow students to view the addresses from their preferred devices in their vehicles.

After commencement addresses, graduates will be able to proceed through the Main Building Plaza in their vehicles to receive their diplomas.

Graduates will exit their vehicles to take a graduation portrait at Elliott House, a portrait with President Melby and have their degree conferred in front of Main Building. Guests will remain in the vehicle, but will be able to view the graduate having their degree conferred as the vehicle will be allowed to drive in front of the commencement stage.

For more details, including a map, vehicle lineup information and procession guidelines, click here: https://www.ollusa.edu/registrars-office/graduation-information.html

Links for WebEx and live-streaming will be provided on Saturday on the same link above.

OLLU partners with Methodist Healthcare to raise healthy living awareness

The health of the OLLU community and its employees is a top priority for the university. With that in mind, OLLU has partnered with Methodist Healthcare to abide by a larger “social-distanced” initiative. This partnership will help protect and care for OLLU’s community members. 

To that end, Methodist Healthcare is sharing the following videos from former Spurs star Sean Elliott and his wife, Claudia Elliott, on how to make green smoothies, wild rice salad and energy bites:

Other recipes provided below are for simple strawberries and chocolate, energy bites, green smoothies, roasted red pepper miso sause, crispy-skin salmon and wild rice, mandarin and arugula salad.

University preparing to work on Providence Hall foundation

The university is preparing for the start of work on the foundation of Providence Hall. 

Due to the scope of work and the disruptions it could cause, it will be necessary to have all parts of the building vacated. Over the next five to seven weeks, all offices located in Providence Hall will be relocated to other parts of campus.

This will necessitate movement of others on campus, as well, to provide appropriate spaces for the displaced offices. In addition, the building will not be available for residence hall space in the fall. This process is beginning now to provide staff and faculty the time needed to get settled before the start of the fall semester.

Facilities Management will be working with each affected office to schedule moves. The following is a list of the affected offices and the space to which they are relocating.

▪ Humanities and Social Science Faculty currently located in Providence Hall will be moving to Main Building, Suites 303 and 202.

▪ The two occupied offices in Main Building, Suite 303, will move to Main Building, Suite 326.

▪ The Wellness Center Staff – Counseling Services, Health Education and Accessibility Services – will move to a suite on the second floor of Walter Student Service Center currently occupied by ITS staff. The ITS staff in that suite will move to another ITS suite across the hall.

▪ The OLLU Cares Office will move to a vacant office on the Garden Level of Moye Hall, Room 009A.

▪ The Post Office will move to the former Print Shop located in St. Ann’s Hall, which is currently vacant. The student mailboxes will be moved to that location, as well.

▪ The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will move to space in Casa Caritas that was recently vacated by the University Events staff. University Events moved to the Durango House, which was vacant.

▪ Plans for the relocation of the lactation room, Veterans Lounge and Meditation Room will be announced at a later time. A timeline for project completion is still being developed and will be shared with the community when available.

Humanities and Social Sciences to host Senior Capstone Presentations

Humanities and Social Sciences Department to host senior presentations

The following students from OLLU’s Humanities and Social Sciences Department will be presenting exhibits, recitals and capstone projects this week. All presentations will be available virtually.

Monday
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Available at this link:
https://bit.ly/3n8JeyN
Desiree Ledesma, Music Program
“’Dearly Beloved:’ Musical Affect in the Kingdom Hearts Series”


Jessica Pruneda, Theology and Spiritual Action Major
“Young Adults in the Catholic Church: Theological Reflections”


Mia Sanchez, Comparative Mexican American Studies Program
Chicana Third Space Spiritualities: A Homeplace Ethnography” 


4 p.m.
Available at this link: Biliterate Certificate Presentation

Viridiana Mejia Montes, Biliterate Certificate Program
“Mercadotecnia: La línea entre el beneficio y el daño de una marca nueva“ 

Tuesday
12:30-1:45 p.m.
Available at this link:
Honors Capstone Presentations

Alexis Romero, Honors Program and Political Science Program
“The Impacts of DACA on Higher Education”


Savannah V. Hernandez, Honors Program
“Water Quality on Elmendorf Lake Before and After Rainfall”


Virginia Rodriguez
“Does Location of Quarantine Increase Anxiety Level?”


Wednesday
12:30-1:45 p.m.
Available at this link:
Political Science Capstone Presentations

Alexis Romero, Political Science Program
“The Impacts of DACA on Higher Education”


Rogelio Pacheco, Political Science Program
“Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage”


 Letzy Nunez, Political Science Program
“How Did The US Fail To Handle COVID?”


 Jacquelyn Joaquin, Political Science Program
“Why Hasn’t the United States Banned Bottled Water to Establish a Public Water Infrastructure?”


Thursday
12:30-1:45 p.m.
Available at this link:
Political Science Capstone Presentations (cont.)

 Joseph Anderson, Political Science Program
“The Impact of Antitrust Laws on the Modern Middle Class”


Alexus Gutierrez, Political Science Program
“Under What Conditions has Sexual Assault Increased in the Military?”


Nichole Infantes, Political Science Program
“Two Presidencies, Same Outcome: Phenomenon of Separation on Latino Children Separated at the Border”


Gracie Sibrian, Political Science Program
“Attitudes Towards Immigration During the Trump Era”

Thursday
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Available at this link: History Capstone Presentations
Lisa R. Guerrero, History Program
“Suppressed Yet Survived:  How Western Influence Failed to Silence Two-Spirit Native Americans”  

Kent Tucker, History Program 
“Pervitin in the Third Reich: Wonder Drug to Liability”

Changes to various roles within Athletics

The following is from President Diane E. Melby on changes within the OLLU Saints Athletics program.

There are currently 12 schools in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) plus one with special status for a total of 13 colleges. According to RRAC Commissioner Tony Stigliano, nine or 60% have full-time Athletic Directors. Most programs with full-time Athletic Directors field seven to eight teams. OLLU has one of the largest programs in the conference with 17 teams. In fall 2020, 311 student-athletes participated in one or more competitive programs which is approximately 24 percent of OLLU’s undergraduate enrollment. 

Athletics has grown in importance to the university’s enrollment and retention objectives. Therefore, effective May 1, 2021, the following changes will be made within Athletics. First, the position of Athletic Director will be converted to a full-time position. Shane Hurley, who was the first coach hired at OLLU when athletics began in 2007, currently holds a joint position of Men’s Soccer Head Coach and Athletic Director. Hurley will now serve as Athletic Director in a full-time capacity.

Second, the administration of the soccer program will be adjusted to accommodate a vacancy in the head coach position. Currently, the women’s and men’s soccer teams each have a full-time head coach and share a full-time assistant. Beginning May 1, Arthur Salazar will serve as head coach for both teams and each team will be supported by full-time assistants. Salazar started his career in 2008 assisting the men’s and women’s teams, and in 2013, he became head coach for the women’s team. That experience coupled with his record of building a winning record in both competition and academic persistence uniquely qualifies Salazar for this expansion of responsibility.

Finally, replacing the need for a full-time head coach with the hire of assistant coaches frees up funding to appoint a Senior Woman Administrator. This position is vital to the support of female athletes and has long been a priority initiative in the strategic plan for athletics. The position will be filled via internal search open to women connected to athletics and compensated by stipend. 

Honor a special woman with a gift through the OLLU Mother’s Day Fund

Mother's Day Fund

Members of the OLLU community are invited to pay tribute to a special woman in their life with a donation to the OLLU Mother’s Day Fund.

To honor a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend or teacher, give a donation to the OLLU Mother’s Day Fund that will support higher education for the next generation.

All donations benefit the OLLU Annual Fund, which supports student scholarships, technology and more. 

Those who give $250 or more will have their name and the name of their honoree published in the May 2021 issue of Today’s Catholic and on the OLLU website. Gifts must be received today, April 19, for public acknowledgment.

Those who give $100 to $249 will have their names and the names of their honoree acknowledged on the OLLU website.

Donations may be made online here. Checks should be made payable to “Our Lady of the Lake University” and include “OLLU Mother’s Day Fund” in the memo space. Checks should be mailed to Our Lady of the Lake University, Institutional Advancement, 411 S.W. 24th Street, San Antonio, TX, 78207.

In The News

Recent media coverage that brought attention to Our Lady of the Lake University:

On April 16, a WOAI-TV story about $1.5 million in donations stewarded to OLLU by Jim Drought: https://news4sanantonio.com/news/education/san-antonio-lawyer-makes-large-donation-to-ollu-to-help-students-in-financial-need

On April 13, an editorial in the San Antonio Express-News endorsing Adriana Rocha Garica, PhD, Assistant Professor of Marketing, for re-election to City Council District 4:

https://www.expressnews.com/opinion/editorial/article/Editorial-Incumbents-strongest-in-these-City-16098100.php

WSWO to hold virtual panel discussion with DACA students

The Worden Social Work Organization will hold a virtual panel discussion on Saturday, April 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with two Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students/activists.

The speakers, Reyna Montoya from Aliento, Joella Roberts from the University of the District of Columbia, and Frida Adame, a DACA student and social media content creator, will be sharing their experiences and encouraging advocacy. 

To join the event, click: https://ollusa.webex.com/ollusa/j.php?MTID=mf3fbcca10584ccef9b7aa947f24214c1 

Join by meeting number: Meeting number (access code): 187 542 1150

Meeting password: GQyY2e8e

Tap to join from a mobile device (attendees only)  

+1-408-418-9388,,1875421150## United States Toll 

Join by phone  

+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll  

Global call-in numbers

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