Posted on January 29, 2024 by Amanda Cerreto

Patterns of Saturn

Patterns of Saturn

Lauren Walthour ’97, an alumna of the Master of Public Administration program at UTSA, has recently published a memoir to add to her impressive collection of published works.

front-cover-book.jpgPatterns of Saturn explores the patterns and cycles of a woman’s journey. Its themes explore the progression of growth and maturity, lack and loss and negotiating peace through two and one-half revolutions of the planet Saturn. 

Walthour’s previous works include Snow in Summer and Other Atmospheric Attitudes (1987), Subtleties: Echoes and Reflections (1999) and Mahalo’s Puppies: A Texas Hill Country Love Story (2009).

“I started writing when I was nine years old,” Walthour said. “It’s just something that struck a chord in me, being a storyteller.” She knew she couldn’t make a living writing poetry, at first, so she had to decide how to divide her time between a career that would earn her a living, and also pursue her passions. That decision eventually led her to the Public Administration program at UTSA.

She came to San Antonio from Austin with an undergraduate degree in letters from the University of Oklahoma. As she was always drawn to nonprofit work, she decided to pursue a Master of Public Administration.

“I loved the program,” Walthour said. “I love learning, and it was so interesting to meet professors from different disciplines.”

After earning her MPA, Walthour worked with the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (now known as the Mays Cancer Center), as a leader in their $35 million capital campaign. From there, she returned to UTSA to serve as the associate director of development for the College of Public Policy – which eventually morphed into the College for Health, Community and Policy (HCAP).

“I hadn’t considered coming back to work for UTSA, but when I saw the listing I had to do it,” Walthour said. “It was a brand new college, so it felt like a startup.”  

photolaurenwalthour_small.jpgThe job involved a lot of ground-level work, building processes and making connections. Both challenging and fulfilling, Walthour enjoyed her time there, and appreciates the fact that the College of Public Policy went from the university’s smallest college to HCAP, which is now the largest.

When Walthour’s time at UTSA came to an end, she wanted to remain involved both as an alumna and as a staunch believer in the power of education.

“Education is the key,” Walthour said. “Uncle Sam helped me fund my education through grants, and I received scholarships. Education is the way out of physical and mental poverty.”

To that end, she established the Lauren Miller and Steven Douglas Walthour Endowed Scholarship. “I wanted to create something that would help students that maybe were not able to do it on their own,” Walthour said. “I encourage my fellow alumni to create their own scholarship or band together to help deserving students in need.”

Looking forward, Walthour plans to remain active in the UTSA alumni community while continuing to promote her newest book – and of course, to keep writing.

“I cannot not write,” she said. “Hopefully, it will be a very healing experience for someone to read Patterns of Saturn, because it shows that you’re not alone. You’re not the only one who feels the suffering of the world, and here’s how you can rise above that to find joy and happiness.”

— Amanda Cerreto