Exemplifying the university’s mission and commitment to leadership, scholarship, and service, Selma, Texas-native Antonio Flores ’22 is the first recipient of TLU’s Student of the Year Award. Established by donors David and Anna (Teggeman) Stock, the honor recognizes overall achievements and contributions of our students.
According to the Office of Student Affairs, Flores is a natural leader with a servant’s heart. The Stock’s generosity also established an endowment for this award which allows an opportunity to bestow this honor for years to come. The recipient is not only asked to deliver the Spring commencement address, but they also receive a plaque and a $1,000 grant.
An Information Systems major with a Business minor, Flores is also a third-year Peer Mentor, President of Black & Gold President’s Council (BGPC), President of the Habitat For Humanity club, and treasurer for TLU's Alpha Chi Honor Society chapter. He is a Newman Civic Fellow, a TLU Distinguished Leader and was given the Math, Computer Science, and Information Systems Departmental Scholarship Award for 2020-2021. Following graduation, he will work full time as a Senior IT Project Coordinator at WellMed, assisting IT teams that develop applications systems for doctors to use in-clinic.
Flores says he is humbled by this recognition.
“I was completely blown away when it was announced,” he said. “God has blessed me so much at TLU and surrounded me with some incredible people during my time here. I really think this award is a representation of them as well and not just myself. Most of my achievements have come from a team environment and while the leader gets the recognition, having amazing team members is where success truly comes from.”
For him, TLU has been like a home, providing me an amazing education and a place where he was able to grow and thrive.
’The number of opportunities that I’ve been able to take part in, and all of the skills that I have gained are far greater than I could’ve imagined,” he said. “I have met some of my best friends, professors that are as close as family, and I’ve made memories that I’m going to hold onto for the rest of my life.”
Some of his most memorable experiences include being a Peer Mentor and bonding with his classmates, as well as playing intramural sports and being active in local community service.
“Some of my best memories have come while working at Habitat For Humanity build sites,” he said. “Working with my friends to build these houses has been one of the most worthwhile activities I’ve participated in, and each build was just a great time for fellowship while we helped the people of Seguin.”
TLU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Gourjoine Wade says Flores epitomizes what this award represents and looks forward to having a soon-to-be graduate featured as the commencement speaker.
“Antonio has truly set the bar high as he's clearly demonstrated excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service to the community,” Wade said. “As the very first recipient of the Student of the Year Award, Antonio's overall achievement, service, and contributions are the very essence of what we expect of our students. Having a student deliver the commencement address is yet another affirmation about TLU's commitment to the student experience. Antonio's speech provides an opportunity to have a full circle moment that will resonate with our entire community.”
Flores is excited to see what his future holds, and says he plans to talk about endurance in his graduation speech. He says that college has been a journey for him, and he wants to share the mistakes he’s made along with the lessons he’s learned that ultimately helped him get to where he is.
“I hope to eventually pursue a master’s degree in Information Technology with the goal of being a Project Manager one day,” he said. “I’ve been admitted to UTSA’s MS IT program, but since I’ll be taking some time away from school, I may apply to more places to see what the best fit is for me. In any case, I’m confident TLU has instilled in me the passion of being a lifelong learner, no matter where I go, or what I do.”