Susan Pape ’86, who graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Business with a degree in accounting, has been named Chief Operating Officer of the San Antonio Express-News.
Pape, a Boerne native, has spent her entire career in San Antonio. She worked for an accounting firm shortly after graduating from UTSA, but soon moved into the media world with financial work at local television news station KENS.
“Working for a media company was a big change,” Pape said. “They’re much more focused on the community, and everything is grounded in that. The coverage is all about supporting and educating your city with the content that you create.”
Pape left KENS to work for the San Antonio Express-News in 2005. In addition to her new position as COO, she will continue to serve as chief financial officer for the Express-News as well as the Houston Chronicle.
“My main goal for the paper is to continue our excellent track record of being an essential part of San Antonio,” she said. “We have a very important role in the community, which is to be a trusted voice and source of truth.”
Pape believes her career would be very different if she hadn’t attended UTSA. She was one of the university’s earliest students, recalling the excitement of the opening of the University Center, where she socialized with students and professors.
“We were a close-knit group,” she said. “The professors would bring in professionals from the business world in San Antonio, and that had a huge impact on me.”
With her professors’ help, Pape gained numerous business contacts in San Antonio while still a student. This, she said, made it possible for her to stand out from other job candidates after she graduated.
“Having the opportunity to be exposed to the real business world, instead of remaining in a strict academic environment, was invaluable to my education,” she said. “I had a much better understanding of the real world. I honestly think if I had gone to a different university, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Pape continues to go to UTSA sporting events and expresses pride at her alma mater’s growth since she graduated.
“UTSA has had a great impact on me and the community I’m a part of,” she said. “Knowing that there are thousands of students still having that experience makes me very proud.”