Cardinals ‘leave mark’ on Engagement Center

By Renee Muniz


Welcome Week had new and returning students busy with special events but one that took place the second day of class will leave a lasting mark at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Students seemed to find the most awe in something that simply required a Sharpie – leaving their signature on a beam just before it was hoisted to the highest point of the Student Engagement Center under construction. The center opens next summer.

The beam-signing took place Tuesday, Aug. 23. Sister Kathleen Coughlin, vice president of institutional advancement, had some words of welcome and the Rev. Dr. Tom Dymowski, campus chaplain for University Mission and Ministry, blessed the beam before Joeris General Contractors put it in place.

img-9337   “What’s happening here today is something that will stay with all who put their name [on the beam] in perpetuity,” Coughlin said. “Your name will be there forever because you are helping us crown off this building — the building that will be the core of student life here at UIW.”

UIW’s Office of Communications and Marketing put the special event together, wanting students to “leave their mark” on this special milestone.

“This is a celebration of us reaching the highest peak of construction on the new Student Engagement Center,” said Taylor Nurmi, special events coordinator for the office. “We wanted to invite the community out to be a part of it. Everyone can leave their mark.”

Students surrounded the beam with excitement and smiles, taking Sharpies in hand to leave their mark.

“Even when I leave, even when I graduate, I’m still going to be here somehoimg-9308w,” said Jacinda Karr, a junior biology major.

Seniors Stephanie Varela, Marina Reyes and Stephanie Olson, who formed a friendship their freshman year, signed the beam together.

“I think this is very significant because it’s our last year and we get to experience this [together],” Olson said. “It’s just amazing how we’re going to come back to visit our school and we’re going to see our name on the beam.”

Students weren’t the only ones signing the beam. Dr. Denise Staudt, an associate provost and dean of the Dreeben School of Education, was equally enthused as the students.

“It feels like it’s going to be here forever,” Staudt said. “It’s really exciting to know that years and years down the road, my name is still going to be up there.”

Sophomore business administration major Isaiah Morillo said the beam-signing will be symbolic for future Cardinals as well.img-9294

“Every Cardinal that comes here later on will see all the people that signed it and were excited for this new building to be made,” Morillo said.

Obtaining the beam was pretty simple as Joeris provided the beam, and the Student Center provided the participants.

“The outcome is great,” Nurmi said. “It’s great to start the semester off [with this event], and everyone can be involved in new history that’s being made at UIW.”


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