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News & Events

Become a Student Ambassador

The San Antonio College Student Ambassador program is seeking new members for the 2014-15 academic year. Read More >

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Become a Student Ambassador

The San Antonio College Student Ambassador program is seeking new members for the 2014-15 academic year. Read More >

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EDGE Program Sparks Interest in Engineering

The EDGE summer program uses hands-on experience to spark high school students' interest in engineering. Read More >

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GED-to-College Class Accepting New Students

The Empowerment Center is currently accepting new students for its Fall 2014 GED-to-College class. Read More >

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Bike Safety at SAC

Important reminders regarding bike safety from campus police. Read More >

Dr. Robert Vela

New President Announced

Dr. Robert Vela named 12th President of San Antonio College. Read More >

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation

First time in college students are required to attend New Student Orientation. Read More >

Star Tower Named for ‘Top Gun’ Philanthropist

A special ceremony was held Thursday, May 22, to name the Star Tower at the Scobee Education Center. The Tower is now officially named the Charles E. Cheever Jr. Star Tower. 

The Cheever’s, family, friends and San Antonio College administrators were in attendance for the special ceremony highlighting the Cheever’s contributions and the Scobee Education Center.  

Visitors were able to tour the facility and even see a trailer and full-length show in the planetarium. Before all of that, attendees heard from Dr. Robert Zeigler, President of San Antonio College; Chris Cheever, Senior Vice President of Broadway Bank and a son of Charles E. Cheever Jr.; and Mr. Charles E. Cheever Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Broadway Bancshares.  

“This is an exciting day for all of us,” said Zeigler. We get to unveil this wonderful facility, which we are very proud of. We think this is going to be a real landmark for the city and a hub for STEM education throughout the region. 

Chris Cheever, said his parents, and grandparents, were instrumental in teaching him and his siblings the value in giving back to their communities. These were values imbedded in his father from his parents, Chris’s grandparents, Col. Charles and Betty Cheever. When they weren’t busy at the bank, they were teaching us other things. 

“They were very busy teaching us to brush our teeth, dress properly, study, not watch TV, EVER, and getting all of us engaged in our communities,” said Chris. “That’s something we inherited.” 

His grandparents were huge fans of the NASA program. His grandfather even rolled in a big TV to the bank so everyone could watch the moon landing. It was one exception to the no TV rule. 

A picture of the moon landing, which the grandfather originally commissioned for the bank by Bob McCall, will now hang at the Scobee Education Center.  

Chris continued saying he remembers attending many non-profit events while growing up and continuing to this day. Personally, he said, he will never forget the day his dad ‘discovered’ the Challenger Learning Center. He said after that first trip, he was hooked and impressed with what it had to offer.  

“I understood why my dad could not stop talking about it,” said Chris.  

He knew how important this project was to San Antonio. My father worked hard to help keep it afloat before and after the loss of the old building at Brooks City Base.  

The engagement this provides to children is infectious. It is mind blowing how cool it is. Then to see these young kids get hooked into science, engineering basics, math, communications, and everything else, said Chris. “It’s a legacy for future generations of San Antonio.” 

To have this tower named after my father is awesome. It’s only fitting for a guy that flew F86’s and P51’s for the Air Force. When he moved recently, he made sure some plastic models of those planes were very well taken of. 

The family calls my father ‘Top Gun’ after the movie and for his baseball cap that bares the name that he wore all the time. My dad is modest and did not want the tower named after him, but we insisted, and he finally relented.  

“This will be a beacon to all,” said Chris Cheever of the Tower and Learning Center. 

Charles Cheever Jr. said he wanted to give a big thanks to the person who got all of this started, June Scobee. She undertook this project, almost single-handedly, eventually gaining the support from people like President George H.W. Bush, and got the Challenger Learning Centers going, and now we are here today. 

“She’s one heck of a person,” said Charles.  

It’s been remarkable to partner with San Antonio College. It’s been a match made in heaven.  

“The Challenger (Center) could have been successful before. It’s going to be 10 times more successful as part of the San Antonio College team,” said Charles. “It’s the best thing that has every happened to this.” 

He continued to thank the committee’s that have helped get the project going here and the donors. Charles added that he was not the only one that helped out in getting the funds for the Scobee learning Center. “All the donors are very important in this.” 

This wasn’t all smooth sailing. He said, at first he did not like the thought of having the Star Tower named after him. 

“Honors like this should go to people after they die,” said Charles Cheever.  

I finally said okay, and the rest is history. 

I have been passionate about the Challenger Center for years. I realized it was doing a very good job at generating interest in young people to be more aggressive in their class selection in high school, and taking some of the harder classes. They realized the sciences were very important. It got them involved, Charles said.  

Charles said the Center is very important because it helps get children interested in the sciences. He thinks it is exciting to know soon there will be busloads of children arriving at the Scobee Learning Center. 

With the partnership with San Antonio College, not only are the kids going to get exposed to what the Center has to offer, but they will be exposed to the college and learn that a good community college is right here, said Cheever.  

After a brief trailer of what is to come at the Planetarium, Zeigler said, he always thinks things like this should have a ‘wow’ factor, "And this definitely has one."   

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Mr. Charles E. Cheever Jr., as well as his six children, has demonstrated exemplary public service to San Antonio College, one of the Alamo Colleges, in his volunteer role as campaign general chair for the Challenger Learning Center capital campaign. As of January, the campaign has raised more than $3.6 million and is on track to reach the goal of $5 million for construction and $2 million for endowment.  

The Cheever Star Tower is only part of the Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College. The Center is part of a global initiative to continue to pursue the mission of those astronauts who lost their lives in the 1986 Challenger Shuttle accident. The Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College is scheduled to open in early October 2014. The Center will offer simulated space missions, science education and teambuilding programs.  

Mr. Cheever has devoted much of his life to public service and philanthropy. In addition to serving as General Chair for the Challenger campaign, Cheever is also a charter member of the Walter McAllister Society at San Antonio College, and is the Founding Chairman of the San Antonio Education Partnership and Project Quest.

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