Lindsay Smith/ The Paisano
By all standards, Zack Dunn is a pretty normal guy. He listens to all genres of music — from Hip-Hop and Country to Classical — notes “Braveheart” and “Gladiator” as some of his favorite movies and knows how important an education is. With his favorite colors being blue and orange (and green also being a top contender), it’s hard to believe that this president of the Student Government Association (SGA) almost did not come to the university at all.
Like any college-bound high school senior, Dunn felt the need to leave home and experience life and independence outside of his own comfort zone. UTSA, as Dunn describes it, “just kind of happened.”
As a freshman in his first semester, he was not too involved in university life. “I just kind of went to class and went home every day,” says Dunn. “Then the second semester I just really started to get engaged with what UTSA had to offer and it really changed my life.”
He has been going full-force ever since.
An average day for the junior finance major is fast-paced. Between conducting SGA meetings, attending classes and being a part of the Investment Society within the College of Business, Dunn is rarely bored. As it is, he does not have the time to keep up with television or reading historical fiction novels, his favorite pastime. His focus is on getting an education.
“It doesn’t take a toll. It’s something I love to do,” says Dunn. “I love what I do at UTSA. I love the classes I take, the people I interact with. It makes the day enjoyable.”
Dunn ran for the SGA presidency with goals to maintain sustainability on campus and, more importantly, increase the presence of UTSA within the San Antonio community, which, according to Dunn, will really make a difference for both UTSA students and the people of San Antonio. He also believes that building relationships between student organizations is important.
“You may be a part of one organization,” says Dunn, “but we’re all a part of the same university, so it’s important that we all at least have the network to connect with one another and that they know that SGA is here for them.”
Dunn, a San Antonio native, says he owes everything to his parents and, surprisingly, sports. He credits being a part of the football and wrestling teams in high school as contributing factors to the person he is today. Before high school, Dunn had never actually participated in either football or wrestling, but by actively learning the ins and outs of each, and as they become more competitive, he started to learn what it really meant to be a team member.
Also, having supportive parents has made Dunn feel blessed. “They definitely instilled a lot of strong values in me that I just continue to take with me,” says Dunn. “Them being engaged in my life I think made a huge difference in how I approach things.”
He was recently voted Mr. UTSA at the Homecoming football game, but it is hard to say what is next for Dunn. He fully realizes his luck of being at the right place at the right time to be able to take full advantage of the opportunities, but he is unsure of his next move.
He is still deciding whether that is attending law school or continuing to explore the potential of finance. Right now, Dunn is happy pursuing the “more educational aspect of life,” and does not regret attending UTSA.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but looking back I can’t imagine (it any other way) — I wish I could tell myself a few years ago to trust in it,” says Dunn of his choice to attend UTSA.
Whatever challenges life throws at him, Dunn hopes to be “blazing the path” for his passions.
“I’m really hoping that within the next ten years some of the visions of the rest of (my) life will maybe start to come to fruition or at least the goals will have changed, so that (I) can still develop plans for the future.”