Category Archives: Top Stories

OLLU to welcome incoming students to the first Lake Day on Friday

A group of incoming students will be on campus Friday for the first Lake Day Orientation. More than 95 students and their guests are expected to attend.

Check-in will be in the Renaissance Parlors followed by breakfast in the cafeteria. The Lake Day Welcome Session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Chapel Auditorium.

The full-day schedule is below. All are encouraged to keep the schedule handy in case students or family members need assistance.

Student Leadership and Development Office changing name to Center for Student Involvement

The Student Leadership and Development Office is undergoing a name change to the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).

In 2020, the International Folk Culture Center, Campus Recreation Office and the Lake Day Orientation duties became part of Student Leadership and Development. With the added areas, a new name was sought. Through a variety of meetings, student focus groups and surveys, the office was able to finalize a proposal that was approved by the President’s Council.

Summer Step Challenge: 30 million steps in 30 days

OLLU Houston Campus Leadership and Campus Recreation are collaborating to host a Summer Step Challenge which starts tomorrow.

The goal is to have 100 participants on 10 teams across all three OLLU campuses who achieve 10,000 steps per day for 30 days. This will lead OLLU to the overall goal of 30 million steps in 30 days during the month of June. Teams are already forming. Use the linked form to sign up to participate.

To assist and encourage participants, Kyle Belback, coordinator of Campus Recreation, will provide tips each week for team members.

Week 1: Tips for Steps

Tip 1 – Set a reminder on your phone to walk around. Take your purchase orders to Accounts Payable yourself.

Tip 2 – Park farther away. Parking a little farther away could add a couple hundred steps to your office in the morning, and then another couple hundred when you leave for the day.

Tip 3 – Starting June 6, Campus Recreation will lead morning walks around Lake Elmendorf at 7:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. For Houston and RGV colleagues – arrive early and take laps around the building before you clock in for the day. You could have a few thousand steps in before you even clock in!

OLLU claims eighth Red River Athletic Conference All-Sports Award

With the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) resuming a normal schedule this year, OLLU also returned to the top of the mountain in the race for the 2021-2022 RRAC All-Sports Award. The Saints’ athletic program claimed the award for the eighth time in nine years, missing out only on last year’s trophy in a run that stretches back to 2013-2014. 

“We are all extremely excited and proud of the accomplishments of our department and teams,” says OLLU Athletic Director Shane Hurley. “Returning the conference’s All-Sports Award to OLLU is a wonderful measure of everyone’s efforts, and we will continue to strive for success in competition and in the classroom as we represent OLLU and the RRAC!”

The All-Sports Award is given annually to the RRAC athletic program that performs best across the conference’s sports in a given academic year. Points are awarded to the top five teams in regular-season conference standings using a 10-8-6-4-2 scoring system, while results in conference tournaments and championship events merit additional points on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. In sports such as tennis, track and field, golf and cross country, postseason team finishes are awarded regular season and postseason points. A sport must have at least four schools participating and competing in an RRAC tournament to qualify for inclusion in point calculations. 

OLLU edged out the Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) for the title while winning four championships. The Saints had their best year ever in softball, winning that regular-season title in that sport and women’s basketball. They also repeated as men’s and women’s cross country champions and won the RRAC women’s basketball tournament. OLLU teams scored points in 11 sports and finished second in men’s soccer, golf and volleyball.

OLLU designated a Vetted Teacher Residency Program

OLLU has been named a Texas Vetted Teacher Residency Program, one of 22 schools in the state – and one of two in San Antonio – to receive the Texas Education Agency designation.

The program pairs a teacher candidate with an experienced and highly effective mentor teacher for a full year of clinical training and co-teaching in a K-12 classroom.  

The designation makes OLLU eligible for grants known as the Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports (TCLAS). Designed to accelerate student learning in the wake of COVID 19, the grants provide funding for teacher resident stipends, instructional materials and other needs. 

OLLU’s clinical teachers will be eligible to receive payment through TCLAS schools. 

“The education program at OLLU has a long history of preparing outstanding teachers for the schools and communities that need them most,” said Alycia Maurer, PhD, Associate Professor of Education and Education Department Chair. “We often receive requests from our district partners looking to hire our graduates. This designation is another recognition of the good work that we’ve been doing for years.” 

Strategic Plan community update

OLLU’s Vision for 2025 Strategic Plan progress was showcased at an OLLU community event on May 10.  To view the Strategic Plan Shout Out for Strategic Plan Progress, click here:

The OLLU community is encouraged to show their appreciation to its strategic initiative team leads. The 29 team leads were recognized for their passion and dedication to leading OLLU’s strategic plan initiatives.

These individuals have helped move OLLU forward, strengthening academics, student success, vibrancy and innovation. Strategic Initiative team leads are Kyle Belback, Joan Biever, Jennifer Bendele, Maria Cabaniss, Diana Cavazos, Joan Dolloff, Cat Fragoso, Johnny Garcia, Rosalinda Garcia, Karina Gil, Anne Gomez, Haley Holzem, Carol Jeffries Horner, Shane Hurley, Julie Kneupper, Carlos Laird, German Medina, Christina Miranda, Nicole Monsibais, Jared Montoya, Teresita Munguia, Veronica Reyna, Jamina Scippio McFadden, Briana Salas, Doug Seaman, Kate Solis, Jackie Walter, George Williams and Candace Zepeda.

To learn more information on the Higher Education, Higher Purpose, Our Vision for 2025 strategic plan, contact Mary Scotka, Assistant Vice President for Administration at 210-431-5590 or email

Support OLLU before end of fiscal year

OLLU has reached the end of this academic year, and the university is grateful for the tremendous generosity the OLLU family has shown. Students rely on the support of alumni and friends of the university through donations to the OLLU Annual Fund.

Alumni support and participation are vital in advancing OLLU’s mission and helping increase its national ranking. OLLU needs 125 individual alumni donations before the fiscal year ends to meet its alumni participation goal and make a greater impact!

All are encouraged to help build a legacy for future generations with a gift, of any size, to the OLLU Annual Fund before OLLU’s fiscal year ends at midnight, Tuesday, May 31. The university is appreciative of all donations to OLLU this year that have already been made.

Every gift helps OLLU continue growing the core values of Community, Integrity, Trust and Service. For more information or to give, click here.

Trustees create endowed scholarship for President Melby and husband 

The Board of Trustees has created the Diane E. and David Melby Scholarship. This endowed award will benefit students who demonstrate financial need and are dedicated to leadership and service.

The Trustees created the scholarship to honor the contributions of President Melby and her husband, David.

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 San Antonio’s West Side.

David Melby, meanwhile, 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. 

The scholarship was announced on May 6 at spring commencement. Approximately $10,000 has been raised. The target is $50,000. To learn more or to contribute, click here.

Updated summer hours for OLLU Bookstore

Starting today, Monday, May 16, the summer hours for the OLLU Bookstore will be:

Mondays – Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Fridays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sundays, Closed

The hours will be extended on Lake Days or other campus events as needed. This information will be posted on the OLLU Bookstore website and on the front doors. 

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