SAN ANTONIO—On the eve of Fall graduation, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is ending 2019 with several major announcements including a new name for the property at 4119 Broadway, a new Chairman of the Board, a new international initiative and two transformative gifts, including the largest outright academic gift ever received by the University. All of the proposals were approved during today’s meeting of the UIW Board of Trustees.
First, the university announced that the former AT&T building will now be established as Founders Hall. The eight-story, 10-acre property was purchased by the university in the Summer of 2019. The 350,000 square feet of office space, the adjacent parking garage and the surrounding land will increase the UIW footprint at the corner of Broadway and Hildebrand by 20 percent.
“The timing is a true blessing,” says UIW President Dr. Thomas M. Evans. “How appropriate it is that, during this Jubilee year honoring the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of the incarnate Word, we establish Founders Hall. This is the first of many steps, but it is truly a meaningful one.”
The UIW Board also announced an anonymous gift of $5 million, the largest outright academic gift in school history, to fund the first new program to be located in Founders Hall. The Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas will be established to promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Central and South America through cooperative study, research, service and dialogue. The Institute will serve as a central resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, expand business opportunities and develop policy options. It will also advance the university’s goal of establishing international relations already exemplified by the UIW campuses in Mexico City and Irapuato, Mexico. The Institute of the Americas is named after the Lewis Family, including the late Jack Lewis, Jr. and his late wife Peggy W. Lewis, in honor of their years of hard work and dedication to the university. Work that will continue as Jack Lewis III was voted in as the new UIW chairman of the Board on December 13, taking over from Charlie Lutz whose term has expired.
“This is both exciting and humbling,” says Lewis. “The University of the Incarnate Word has become a bit of a family affair for us, so this is special. I truly appreciate the Board showing faith in me as Chair and I want to thank them for the opportunity. I know we as a board are inspired by the work that goes on at UIW every day and we are all looking forward to this time of great change.”
In addition, through the facilitation of outgoing board chairman, Charlie Lutz, the board announced today a second anonymous gift of $1 million. Those funds are to be used for the acquisition and renovation of the newly named Founders Hall. Lutz has served on the Board of Trustees since 2002, as chairman since 2014.
“It has been a true honor to serve as chairman of this Board,” said Lutz. “All the changes and growth I have seen at UIW over the past 17 years could only happen with the support of the entire San Antonio community, extraordinary efforts of faculty, staff and students, strong senior leadership at the university and a diverse and fully engaged Board of Trustees. It will be with that continued support and enlightened leadership that UIW will thrive and flourish in the years to come.”
“This is truly a transformational time for the University of the Incarnate Word,” says Evans. “We want to thank Charlie Lutz for his years of service and welcome Jack Lewis III as Board Chair. And while we certainly plan to be deliberate and meticulous about how Founders Hall comes together, we know change is on the horizon and we are prepared and excited.”