Recent resolution recognizes “St. Edward’s University Day”, marks continuation of university’s five-year plan


Nina Martinez / Hilltop Views

Members of St. Edward’s Student Government Association, like President Ella Ochoa (right), stand with university President Montserrat Fuentes at a next-day breakfast celebration.

A resolution recognizing Feb. 9 as “St. Edward’s University Day” was adopted by Texas lawmakers. During a House and Senate session on Feb. 8 in the Texas State Capitol, university and student leaders gathered in the chamber to witness the achievement.

“I feel incredibly excited,” university President Monterrat Fuentes said. “It’s wonderful to see that appreciation and recognition from the community.”

House Resolution 93 places strong emphasis on the university’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity,  justice and inclusion. The resolution is a stepping stone for future initiatives and aligns with Strategic Plan 2027, the university’s five-year plan.  

“I really see the resolutions and St. Edward’s Day as recognition of our commitment and to the community,” Provost Marianne Ward-Peradoza said. “(It’s) also us being embraced by the community as a partner as we work towards a better future for all in Austin and Central Texas.”

University alumni stand with President Fuentes and Brother Daly, CSC, for a group picture. (Nina Martinez / Hilltop Views)

According to President Fuentes, there are three priorities St. Edward’s University has: ensuring success and career opportunities for Latino students as a Hispanic-serving institution, investing in affordability and accessibility to private, higher education and advancing the development of a compassionate, bilingual and diverse healthcare workforce.

“We’re using this opportunity to engage with legislators and our community to support this institution,” Fuentes said. “It’s an ongoing, daily effort to be out there within the community and beyond. The more we do, the more we’re able to get this type of recognition. Every day we need to be out there serving the community.”

A draft of the resolution began last fall when Liz Johnson, director of external affairs for St. Edward’s, worked closely with Reps. Mary Gonzales and Lulu Flores. Gonzales, a St. Edward’s alum, and Flores, a former CAMP mentor, co-authored the bill, according to Johnson. 

The university also had the help of Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who worked to have the resolution recognized in the Senate. 

“It was a great opportunity to bring the community together, but then also to tell our story to a little more of the legislature as well with the resolution,” Johnson said.

In April 2009, the university was honored with St. Edward’s University Recognition Day at the Texas State Capitol with House Resolution 23, which was initiated by St. Edward’s alumnus Joe Romo, ‘94. Brother Richard Daly, CSC — who’s been a Hilltopper since 1962 as an alumnus, a former University Relations director and a current adjunct professor — was also present at both recognition days. 

President Fuentes and members of SGA socialize with Brother Daly at the breakfast celebration Feb. 9. (Nina Martinez / Hilltop Views)

“I think there’s a lot of people who, when they discover St. Edward’s, find out there’s been a gem in their midst for a long time that they didn’t know about,” Daly said. “First of all, it’s the most beautiful college campus in the state of Texas, but we have been a great service to our community. Even greater things are going to happen in the future.”

Several of the points highlighted in HR 23 were also reiterated in HR 93, like important achievements the university has committed.

“It was certainly a proud moment but also a moment of anticipation of what’s to come,”  Peradoza said. “It’s not about getting to this point; it’s really about launching even further towards our goals and our mission and our commitment to the community.”