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Travis Merriweather

Travis Merriweather '13

From S.A. to L.A. Catching up with alumnus Travis Merriweather

 

Five years ago, Travis Merriweather '13 got the opportunity of a lifetime when he and his brother were invited among 1,000 students to the Clinton Global Initiative University. Founded by former President Bill Clinton, the forum offered university students the opportunity to meet with other student leaders from around the country to discuss solutions to global issues, including climate change, education, poverty and public health.

For Merriweather the forum, which took place in Washington D.C., was a was an "amazing experience," where he met entrepreneurs and world leaders, including Craigslist founder Craig Newman, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and even President Clinton himself, just to name a few

"My brother and I were the first UTSA students to attend the Clinton Initiative and that experience really shaped us into the adults we are today," said Merriweather. It was funding made available by a gift from Valero that made the trip possible. "We were so thankful to the Student Leadership Center, they played a huge role and were able to secure the funding from the Valero Energy Foundation for us to attend."

When he returned to campus, he was inspired: "I noticed a lack of fresh produce available on campus," said Merriweather. "So I promoted sustainability at UTSA and advocated to see more farmer's markets on college campuses in order to limit the distances food must travel to get from farm to dorm room table."

During his time at UTSA, Merriweather was also an active campus community organizer for the 2012 Obama campaign. It was through his demonstration of public service and commitment to the Obama administration that led him to an internship with former first lady, Michelle Obama.

Travis' first love, however, is music. After graduating from UTSA, Merriweather moved to California with hopes of catapulting Atlantis—the jazz inspired band he founded with his brother Rustein '13—into the spotlight. Upon arriving in L.A., he landed a job in the mailroom of mega talent agency Creative Artists Agency. It was during this time that Merriweather was recruited by the Hillary Clinton campaign— it was an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I got presented an opportunity to work with the Clinton campaign about a year into my work with CAA. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," said Merriweather. "I was part of her advance team and would travel ahead of the candidate to run the logistics and interact with the media."

Now that the campaign is over, Merriweather is re-focusing his attention on Atlantis. He and his brother recently released their single titled, Sabrosa. "We actually wrote Sabrosa at UTSA," said Travis. "We would perform it on campus, and it's pretty cool to see the evolution to where we are now." The twin brothers also released a video for the song.

When he's not performing with the band, you can catch Travis attending star-studded parties where he has been spotted with Clive Davis and also singing alongside former vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine. He's also had his photo taken with Oprah.

If it weren't for the gift from Valero, I am not sure my brother and I would have had these opportunities," said Travis. "When I look back now, I am so grateful there are donors who helped make my experience at UTSA so memorable. I really can say that gifts to UTSA made a difference for me."

-Yvonne Zamora Byrd

 (Photo: Matt Sayles)

To learn how you can support students call 210-458-4130, or email giving@utsa.edu.