Dr. Yvonne Katz ‘74, a school superintendent who earned her master’s degree in UTSA’s first graduating class, has made a million dollar commitment to support the UTSA Office of Alumni Programs and students who are pursuing careers in education. UTSA will dedicate the Dr. Yvonne Katz Alumni Programs Office later this year to celebrate the nearly four decades of support she has given to UTSA.
Katz’s love of UTSA began in the early 1970s, when she began pursuing her master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Following graduation, she worked with more than two dozen other alumni to create the UTSA Alumni Association in 1977. She also served as the association’s first president.
She began giving back to UTSA by establishing its first fund for student scholarships in honor of her parents, Norman and Valley Fern D’Olive. More recently, she joined the UTSA’s planned giving Sombrilla Society by establishing a charitable trust in her estate plan. Now, she is one of the first alumni to contribute to UTSA through a gift annuity.
“Dr. Katz has been a wonderful supporter of UTSA for a very long time,” said Jim Mickey ‘78, UTSA vice president of Marketing and Alumni Programs. “She has given so much of her time to advance UTSA, and she has given dozens of gifts to support our students.”
Katz hopes her gifts will encourage other working class professionals to give back to the university. “My parents taught me to give back to my community because someone gave for me to pursue my dreams as a young person,” said Katz. “It's important for me to help those wonderfully talented and very smart students from our public schools to attain their dreams at UTSA."
For more than three decades, Katz has built a successful career in education. She has served as the superintendent of Harlandale Independent School District, Spring Branch Independent School District and Beaverton School District in Oregon. She also served as the principal of a Northside Independent School District middle school.
The loyal Roadrunner has also been an active member of the community. Throughout her career, she has served many public and private organizations such as the International Women’s Forum, Rotary, the San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce and others, and she has been honored many times. In 1980, she was named UTSA’s Outstanding Alumnus, and Executive Educator magazine has twice named her one of its Outstanding 100 School Executives in North America. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Alamo Community College District.
“For nearly 40 years, Dr. Katz has set an inspiring example of how alumni can continue to make a difference in the lives of the UTSA students who are following in their footsteps,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. “It is very fitting that we honor Dr. Katz by naming our new Alumni Programs office in her honor. As graduates and guests return to UTSA to share in our growth and to meet our new students, we will be able to share her inspiring story for years to come.”