Over the last two years, President Montserrat Fuentes has led St. Edward’s through transformative change, embarking on Strategic Plan 2027 and establishing the groundwork for becoming a destination university for a more just world. Throughout the past year, her commitment to lifelong learning and community engagement was evident whether in the classroom, on campus, in the Austin area or around the country. We invite you to take a look back at some of the highlights from our president’s 2022-2023 academic year on the hilltop.
Championing a Vibrant Hilltop
From welcoming new and returning students back to campus during Welcome Days to cheering on graduating classes during Commencement, Dr. Fuentes championed our university’s spirit of valuing different perspectives, made inclusive connections and celebrated our vibrancy. In the fall, Dr. Fuentes returned to her roots as a professor of mathematics to teach a course in applied statistics.
Students kicked-off the 2022-2023 academic year with "Toppers Up" spirit at the Welcome Days pep rally.
Hilltoppers enjoyed an evening filled with music, fun and friendship at the Block Party.
The St. Edward's community came together to celebrate the university's first-ever fall Homecoming.
Dr. Fuentes invited students, alumni, faculty and staff to enjoy Destination St. Ed's which celebrates the start of Homecoming Weekend.
Holiday spirit lit up the hilltop during the 42nd Annual Festival of Lights, our longest campus tradition.
Hundreds of Hilltoppers gave back to the community through service during Big Event 2023.
Dr. Fuentes rocked the blue and gold university colors at Hillfest 2023!
The 2022-2023 Presidential Award winners received academic honors and dedicated their time on the hilltop toward social justice, service and advocacy.
For the second year in a row, the Hilltoppers beat the St. Mary's University Rattlers for the Battle of the Saints Giving Challenge. Toppers Up!
Seniors celebrated their upcoming graduation at the Spring 2023 University Ring Ceremony.
Students, faculty, staff and families celebrated a historic Fall Commencement as we witnessed seven of the first-ever doctoral cohort earn their degrees from the new Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Higher Education program.
Spring Commencement speaker Austin Mayor Kirk Watson shared some words of encouragement with our graduating class at they prepared to receive their well-earned diplomas and take on their world.
Serving the Austin Community and Beyond
Dr. Fuentes’ commitment to community service spanned across the Austin region as evidenced by her active involvement in serving on various organization’s boards, including Ballet Austin and Ascension Texas. In addition, she continued to foster relationships between St. Edward’s and key business and community leaders as well as with leaders of peer institutions and our esteemed alumni. This was achieved through her participation in panel discussions and speaking engagements, where she addressed important issues relevant to our university’s mission.
Lawmakers adopted a resolution commemorating February 9, 2023 as St. Edward's University Day at the Texas State Capitol, honoring our long legacy of academic success.
The Hector and Gloria López Foundation (HGLF) awarded St. Edward's University a more than $2.1 million grant which will benefit future first-generation Latino students. Dr. Fuentes, HGLF CEO Sergio Rodríguez, Diocese of Austin Bishop Joe S. Vásquez and many other community leaders celebrated the special announcement on the hilltop.
Dr. Fuentes and College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) scholars enjoyed a day with alumna Luci Baines Johnson and Trustee Ian Turpin at their beautiful ranch. CAMP was started by Luci’s father, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, and has been at St. Edward's for 50 years.
Student researchers and their faculty advisors visited the Texas State Capitol to showcase their work and discuss the importance of undergraduate student research.
Dr. Fuentes highlighted the university's commitment to Environmental Justice as the keynote speaker for The Southern Regional Council on Statistics 2023.
Dr. Fuentes served as a keynote speaker at the 8th Annual Woman's Way Austin Woman Gala and Awards. More than 500 women leaders attended the event to celebrate how they're making a difference in Austin and beyond.
Actor and former student Gabriel Luna returned to the hilltop to meet with Dr. Fuentes and prospective theater students during a successful Scholarship Audition Weekend.
Alumni Weekend wrapped up with recognition of our 2023 Alumni Award winners. These Hilltoppers received praise for living out the university's mission and making outstanding contributions to communities beyond campus.
Dr. Fuentes traveled to San Diego for the ASU+GSV Summit where she served as a panelist, along with her Council of Independent Colleges colleagues, to discuss our efforts as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
Dr. Fuentes served as this year's keynote speaker for the Central Texas College Attainment Network at the Texas State Capitol. During the event, Dr. Fuentes highlighted important topics such as student success, especially for first-generation students, low-income students and students of color.
Latina leaders joined Dr. Fuentes for a discussion about how Austin's educational systems can improve support for the Hispanic and Latino community. The insightful conversation was then published in an article by The Austin Business Journal.
University presidents in the Lone Star Conference, the largest conference in the NCAA DII, came together for the NCAA Convention in San Antonio. Dr. Fuentes joined in on conversations regarding the enhancement of our student athletes.
Connecting with Hilltoppers Abroad
Our university’s global impact continued to grow with a population representing 46 countries and unique study abroad and international studies programs. In the spring, Dr. Fuentes led her first international trip to Panama City, Panama. During this trip, she — along with representatives from Enrollment Management and University Advancement — engaged with students at La Academia Interamericana de Panamá, Colegio Brader, and Balboa Academy, and visited with college counselors, alumni, donors and other supporters of St. Edward’s University.
During her first international trip as St. Edward's University president, Dr. Fuentes spoke about the high quality level of education Panamanians, and all international students, will receive on the hilltop.
Dr. Fuentes spent part of the Panama trip engaging with students at the Balboa Academy.
Representatives from Enrollment Management and University Advancement joined Dr. Fuentes as she connected with our Panamanian Hilltoppers.
There are more than 70 St. Edward's alumni living in Panama with degrees in Business, Marketing, Communication and Economics.
St. Edward's University has delivered higher education opportunities to Panamanians since the 1960s.
The trip convened a reception honoring our admitted students at the Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo hotel.
One of the highlights of the trip was the moment multiple Panamanian students decided to become Hilltoppers on the spot.