By: Julianne Salame, UIW student

The sky is a soft, light blue and there is a warm glow on the red bricks of campus buildings. The morning sun reflects off the clock tower’s beautiful stained glass as the bells toll to signal the start of 9 a.m. class. The air is crisp on a breezy day and the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. Students from Incarnate Word High School and St. Anthony Catholic High School in plaid uniforms and ties are rushing to class beside you, eager to get a head start on their college education. Professors, students and faculty alike gather in the Student Engagement Center and the murmur of their discussions over coffee and tacos can be heard on every floor. Outside, the birds chirp and the squirrels chatter as the day turns to full swing. The next shuttle arrives, and the West Gate Circle is filled with students heading to class, ready to start their day. The Administration Building’s stairs seem to get steeper and more difficult to climb each time you dare take them on, and of course, your class is on the 4th floor. As you climb the stairs to the top of the building, familiar faces greet you. Finally you reach the classroom door and you’re welcomed with a warm smile and a friendly “Good morning!” This is home.  

All of this is why I love UIW so much. There may be thousands of universities across the nation – across the world – but UIW will always have that sense of family. Each day, the faculty, staff, mentors and leaders of this amazing institution are driven by the knowledge that they are making an impact and helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow. Every semester, more people enter the world ready to tackle what life has to offer because of the skills and experiences they have learned from UIW. Alumni are everywhere – in classrooms giving inspirational talks about their experiences, working on campus as faculty and staff, reaching out and giving back to the community, and some even professors now, teaching us in the same classrooms they once sat as students. 

One of the most unique things about UIW is the dedication of the professors. As a student, I know my professors truly care about their students. The close-knit, small classroom environment allows for personal communication and open discussion in the classroom. Students who are in the same major often take the same classes allowing them to grow closer through shared experiences and make long-lasting friendships. Professors are not out to fail students and keep them from graduation. Instead, they seek to provide them with all the tools necessary to be successful after they walk the stage at commencement.

Author Julianne Salame poses for a selfie with Red the Cardinal.

From the beautiful campus and the amazing professors, staff, and administration, to the friendships that are made and the memories that will last a lifetime, there are so many things to love about UIW. Whether you’re an alumnus or a freshman just starting your journey here, whether you spent your afternoons at Marian Hall or the Student Engagement Center, whether you are a transfer or attended UIW for a full four years, the University of the Incarnate Word will always be home to those of us lucky enough to have walked this campus. That is why I love UIW, and why I am thankful to be a Cardinal.  

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