On October 16th, SACIV celebrated three decades with our “30th Anniversary Dinner”. At this milestone event, hundreds of guests gathered to listen to remarks from our Keynote Speaker, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, on the importance of citizen diplomacy and the value of our work in the community, as well as honor our 2019 “International Leadership Award” recipient, Ms. Betsy Erne Cameron, for her contribution to SACIV. They enjoyed the international entertainment, which included several performances by local cultural groups, while sampling a variety of global cuisines. Additionally, the SACIV Board of Directors was delighted to announce the creation of the “Irma Reyes Citizen Diplomacy Scholarship”.
The evening brought together members of San Antonio’s internationally-minded community to exchange ideas, enjoy a meal while watching cultural dances, and recognize SACIV’s accomplishments in citizen diplomacy. The event took place at the University of Incarnate Word’s Rosenberg Skyroom, where guests engaged in cross-cultural dialogue and discussed their own experiences forging international friendships.
As the program began and everyone took their seats, SACIV Executive Director, Cecilia Cross, thanked the SACIV Board Members for their contributions and commitment to the organization. Additionally, the event sponsors were recognized for their support in making the event possible.
After a thoughtful invocation from Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, the meal began and as attendees sampled various international entrees, including Italian, Vietnamese, French, and Thai cuisines, several Texas Folklife Festival musical and dance groups performed for guests as part of the “cultural extravaganza”.
Chair of the SACIV Board of Directors, Jo Ann Andera, recognized the past recipients of the “International Leadership Award”, thanking these individuals and groups who have worked tirelessly to promote citizen diplomacy, in its many forms, in San Antonio and to our community for many years.
Next, Janet and Sam Scott presented Ms. Betsy Erne Cameron with this year’s “International Leadership Award”, honoring her for her work to promote and support international relations, business, and education in San Antonio.
Later, Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, Provost of the University of the Incarnate Word, introduced the night’s Keynote Speaker, Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Mayor Nirenberg shared his commitment to nurturing San Antonio’s diverse economy, promoting its leadership on an international stage and pursuing strategies that foster resilience and equity in all sectors of the city. He highlighted the importance of international ties for the betterment of the San Antonio community at large and for the enrichment of all residents. He congratulated SACIV for its thirty years of building international bridges, fostering global friendships, and making San Antonio one the most welcoming cities in the nation!
The evening concluded with a special announcement from the SACIV Board of Directors, who were pleased to share with the community the creation of the “Irma F. Reyes Citizen Diplomacy Scholarship”, established to honor all the work, support, and dedication of Irma Reyes to SACIV for the past thirty years. This scholarship will support the education of students interested in pursuing an international related degree.
The event was a tremendous celebration of citizen diplomacy and SACIV is grateful for all those who made night such an extraordinary success!