Out from its online curtain

Mason Hickok, Editor-in-Chief

It is one thing to prepare for the future, but what about embracing the past? Do you know who the “Father of UTSA” was? What about the traditions that bring about student passion?

Frank Lombardino, a former Texas House Representative, is the one who was given the name the “Father of UTSA.” Lombardino’s role in the late 1960s was integral in helping to secure legislative funds for establishing UTSA. 

There are several avenues where UTSA’s history is displayed online, such as the 50th-anniversary website. Of course, in this day and age, online accessibility is a practical option; however, physical objects can foster inspiration and education. The Spring 2019 issue of the Sombrilla Magazine celebrated UTSA’s 50th anniversary. In that edition is a section called “The Story of UTSA in 50 Objects.” Of the pieces of history — many of which are housed in UTSA’s Special Collections — is the lead architect of UTSA, O’Neil Ford’s hand-drawn mockup for what the university should look like. Imagine a growing display of images and drawings of what the main campus looked like through the years. A space where new students could see into the beginnings of their university while alums can visit and see what has changed. Traditions help bolster engagement and honor significant parts of the university. For UTSA, these include traditions such as the mariachis that play during graduation and the “Milagros” hearts that adorn the Downtown Campus. 

In the midst of UTSA’s Campus Master Plan, and as the “one university mindset” takes shape, the university should consider a physical space — a dedicated museum of sorts — in which you could place the very objects that helped to create UTSA. Likewise, UTSA’s history deserves to be brought out from its online curtain.