A rendering of the former AT&T building at 4119 Broadway, a property the University of the Incarnate Word is transforming. Credit: Courtesy / UIW

The University of the Incarnate Word received its largest-ever academic financial gift last Friday as it begins to revamp and repurpose the former AT&T Building at 4119 Broadway, a property UIW announced it would purchase last May.

An anonymous donor gave the university $5 million to cover the costs for a new program that will “promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Central, and South America,” according to a university press release. It will be offered within the Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of Americas, to be located in the newly purchased facility, which will be called Founder’s Hall.

The institute will be named for the Lewis family, including Jack Lewis, Jr. and his late wife Peggy Lewis. Jack Lewis III was voted as the chairman of the UIW board Friday, taking over Charlie Lutz’s spot. Lutz served as chair of the board since 2014. 

“It has been a true honor to serve as Chairman of this Board,” Lutz said. “All the changes and growth I have seen at UIW over the past 17 years could only happen with the support of the entire San Antonio community, extraordinary efforts of faculty, staff and students, strong senior leadership at the university and a diverse and fully engaged Board of Trustees.”

The former AT&T building is an eight-story facility that contains 350,000 square feet of office space. The university received a second anonymous donation of $1 million on Friday to renovate and prepare it for students.

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.