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2023 Texas LDZ at St. Mary's University in San Antonio

Texas LDZ Returns to San Antonio

July 16-23, 2023

Imagine convening 200 or more talented, ambitious, and aspiring students from throughout Texas. Instantaneously, the chatter, voices, and laughter create a special environment. Soon, you realize this place is different. People are sincerely interested in you. They seek out your opinions, encourage you to take the lead and soon, you are swept up in a role of significance. People recognize and applaud you because you are a leader. This is the historic Texas LDZ!

LDZ was established in 1982 as a pilot-program. In 1983, the Texas LDZ was launched in Austin as NHI's first statewide, 8-day long session. Since then, the LDZ has expanded beyond the Lone Star State but the history of this transformational, life changing experience started in Texas.

The 2023 Texas LDZ will once again take place on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio. San Antonio is one of the nation's booming cities but it also the center of a lot of this nation's Latino history and tradition. The perfect setting for top leaders to dream what our world will become. Texas LDZ programming takes place on the undergraduate campus as well as the St. Mary's University School of Law. 

In an 8-day residential experience, students follow NHI’s signature community equity building approach to form communities, develop constituencies and craft strategies to leverage strength and capacity. LDZ prompts personal transformation whereby a student feels competent, in control of their life direction, and valued in the eyes of others.  Delegates become inspired and committed to engage in adding equity and worth to their community. As they say, "everything is bigger in Texas." The Texas LDZ is the largest and oldest NHI program celebrating a legacy that spans four decades. 

Texas LDZ faculty and staff are alumni of the program as well and come from universities and cities across the Americas. Meet top college students from some of the state's best institutions like UT, A&M, St. Mary's, and Baylor but also connect with Texas alumni who study out of state and abroad. The Texas LDZ shares a unique flavor being led by NHI alumni and Texas LDZ alumni, NHI Board Chair Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, Esq., '83, and George Rodriguez, Esq., '84. They are often joined by their children, Bella, GD '19, and George Nicolas, GD '13, LDZ '15, CWS '15.

About St. Mary's University

St. Mary’s University in San Antonio is a private liberal arts school and the oldest Catholic university in Texas. Through small classes, close student-faculty relationships and an engaged community, teaching and learning flourish at St. Mary’s. We offer a variety of academic programs in humanities, sciences and business, and options to pursue graduate, doctoral and law degrees. Our students engage in learning and social opportunities through undergraduate research, internships and community engagement.  

As a nationally recognized Hispanic-Serving Institution, St. Mary’s has a diverse student population of about 3,500 of all faiths and backgrounds. Students experience a nurturing and vibrant community rooted in the University’s Catholic and Marianist commitments to providing a holistic education in a faith-centered, family-spirit environment.  

In 1852, four Brothers of the Society of Mary founded St. Mary’s Institute, the first institution of higher education in San Antonio. St. Mary’s is the first Catholic college and only the fourth college in Texas. It quickly developed a reputation for hard work and successful learning in a community of faith and openness.


About St. Mary's University School of Law

Eighty years later, St. Mary’s approached leaders of the San Antonio Bar, which in 1927 had founded the San Antonio School of Law, a part-time school that met at night in the courthouse. St. Mary’s offered to make it a university law school, with a stronger curriculum and a full-time faculty. In 1934, the law school acquired its name, its Catholic and Marianist mission, and its commitment to excellence in preparing lawyers to national standards of skill, knowledge, and professionalism.

For 90 years, St. Mary’s has attracted brilliant scholars to teach students who grew to lead in their communities, the state and the nation. 


El Paso and Cathedral NHI Alumnus Ramon Macias, IV, graduates from St. Mary's School of Law.

National Hispanic Institute

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Maxwell, Texas 78656

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