CAMPUS: TAMIU celebrates historic Spring 2024 enrollment 

CAMPUS: TAMIU celebrates historic Spring 2024 enrollment 

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By Victoria Perez
Bridge contributing writer
Published Saturday, April 20, 2024

Celebrating its record-breaking Spring 2024 enrollment, TAMIU hosted a duck-themed celebration titled “Release the Quacken!” at the Acequia Fountain.

Starting April 10, dozens of yellow rubber ducks, stamped “TAMIU,” were hidden throughout the University. With the influence of the University’s social media accounts, students were encouraged to find the yellow rubber ducks and share their findings and experiences online, specifically on Instagram. This scavenger hunt lasted a week.

A giant inflatable rubber duckie and a bunch of smaller rubber duckies in a fountain.
Juan Carlos Puente | Bridge
Robber duckies, including a giant inflatable duckie, bear “TAMIU” in the Acequia Fountain on Thursday, April 18.

TAMIU student Rodrigo Gonzalez was one of those who participated in the activity.

“I think this was a very cool way to engage the students,” Gonzalez said. “I actually had a lot of fun looking for the hidden ducks.”

After a week of duck searching, the main event took place on April 18. Dozens of TAMIU students and faculty members gathered at the Acequia Fountain, between the Dr. F. M. Canseco and Anthony J. Pellegrino halls.

  University President Pablo Arenaz kicked off the main event by sharing his remarks. Standing alongside him were other TAMIU vice presidents, faculty and the athletic director, each holding posters facing themselves, which would eventually be turned around to reveal the Spring 2024 enrollment.

President Pablo Arenaz poses for a portrat.
Juan Carlos Puente | Bridge
TAMIU President Pablo Arenaz poses for a portrait with a giant rubber duckie near the Acequia Fountain on Thursday, April 18, to celebrate TAMIU’s historic Spring 2024 enrollment.

“Dustdevils have something in common with ducks,” Arenaz said to the TAMIU students and faculty in attendance. “We remain calm and steady amid project deadlines, exams, the busyness of our lives and life in general.

“We paddle along and we stay the course. Behind every duck is another duck paddling, and another paddling behind you, another faculty member encouraging you toward your goals, and hundreds of University staff members supporting you at your graduation.”

Arenaz proceeded by introducing the individuals standing alongside him. These individuals included: Vice President for Finance and Administration Juan Castillo, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Claudia San Miguel, Vice President for Development Rosanne Palacios, Vice President for Enrollment Management Juan Garcia, Athletic Director Griz Zimmermann and Vice President for Student Engagement Rosalinda Garcia.

Juan Carlos Puente | Bridge
Students collect ducks from the Acequia Fountain on Thursday, April 18.

After the crowd gave a round of applause in support of the faculty, the countdown of the Spring 2024 enrollment reveal began. Everyone present counted down from 10 to one. As everyone chanted the number one, the vice presidents and athletic director flipped their posters toward the crowd and revealed the 7,940 students enrolled for Spring 2024.

TAMIU has never, in its decades, had such a high number for Spring enrollment. The students made history this semester.

As the crowd of students and faculty cheered for the big reveal, Arenaz shared his gratitude and pride with everyone.

The celebration did not stop there. Students were given the opportunity to share semester thoughts or their most enjoyable moment this semester on duck-shaped notes. Then the message-covered notes were pinned to a board filled with them, with the possibility of being posted on the University’s social media accounts.

Students post duck-shaped messages on a board.
Juan Carlos Puente | Bridge
Students post duck-shaped notes on a board near the Acequia Fountain on Thursday, April 18.

Then, for the last activity of the celebration, students were given the chance to fish out a lucky ducky from the Acequia Fountain. The fountain contained hundreds of yellow rubber ducks that read “TAMIU.”

Arenaz shared the intended purpose of the lucky duckies.

“They are here to help you celebrate and provide an extra measure of support as you move on to those final assignments, final exams and, for some, Spring 2024 graduation,” Arenaz said.

Next, he announced, “The lucky ducky, release the quacken!” and students raced over to the fountain. With an overload of excitement and school spirit, students picked out their ducks.

TAMIU international graduate student Gbolahan Arowolo attended the celebration.

“It is so nice to see everyone’s school spirit here at TAMIU,” Arowolo said. “It’s events like these that make college life enjoyable.”

As the TAMIU historic Spring 2024 enrollment celebration came to an end, many students and faculty captured the moment by taking pictures with their lucky duckies and friends. Arenaz asked students to post those photos online with the hashtag #luckyducky.


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