College degrees in half the time

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May 24, 2019 By Richard Zowie

Hallmark University offers programs in business, nursing, information technology, cybersecurity and aviation maintenance


For students craving hands-on learning at a fast pace and an early start on their career, there’s a perfect fit: Hallmark University.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary of changing lives, Hallmark was founded by missionaries Richard and Carolyn Fessler. Beginning as an aviation maintenance school named Hallmark Aero-Tech at Stinson Airfield, Hallmark University’s excellence has resulted in the university branching out to business, nursing, and information technology. 

“Dad’s mission field turned out to be right here in San Antonio,” says Brent Fessler, Chief Advancement and Institutional Effectiveness Officer and son of the founders. “We have a sacrificial desire to see our students succeed.”

Students work under a CFM56 jet engine donated to the College of Aeronautics by Southwest Airlines.
Students work under a CFM56 jet engine
donated to the College of Aeronautics by
Southwest Airlines.

As a result of its origins in aviation maintenance, many misperceive Hallmark, believing it’s a trade school. “Far from it,” says Brent. “Hallmark has evolved into a thriving university that takes a unique approach.”

“We’re not a liberal arts university, but we are professionally focused in all our degrees,” he says. “We let the industry drive the offering of our degrees. This makes us look different, and potential students and families can confuse us with trade schools.” Hallmark offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the same vein as ‘high-demand universities,’ such as UTSA or University of the Incarnate Word.”

Brent described Hallmark’s current programs of study as a response to San Antonio’s needs. Hallmark created the nursing program as a result of the reality that San Antonio has a significant shortage of registered nurses. 

Student learns cybersecurity in one of Hallmark University’s hands-on classrooms.
Student learns cybersecurity in one of
Hallmark University’s hands-on classrooms.

“The model set for us early on was to have two customers: students and industry,” Brent says. “We’ve always tried to respond to industry, and they have helped design our biggest programs. We work very closely with the industry to design the academic programs.” Because of this approach, over 90% of Hallmark’s graduates in 2018 found careers in their chosen industry.

Hallmark’s four schools include the Martha Fessler School of Nursing, the College of Aeronautics, the School of Business and School of Information Technology.

“What sets us apart is we offer professionally-focused degrees in half the time,” Brent says. “We don’t take summers off. The students go year around. They have three very full semesters instead of just two. When you do that, it takes 28 months instead of four years. Part of this stems from our ‘go fast’ passion in aviation. It’s going fast, but safely. We don’t like wasting time, and we find our students don’t like wasting time, either.”

Pulmonair and Hallmark University share similar origins. We are both Christian family-founded and Kingdom-focused organizations. Hallmark University has taken education on innovatively by offering affordable, accelerated degree programs rooted foundationally in a set of specific core values. More and more employers like Pulmonair are using organizational core values to measure their candidates during the hiring process.   Hallmark University focuses on building character for the future leaders of our communities. They are uniquely equipped to position the next generation
to succeed at a higher level.

John Raimondo, D.C., CEO, Pulmonair
  John Raimondo
, D.C., CEO, Pulmonair


Octavio Roque, Hallmark University Class of 2004, came from a struggling family.

“When I went to Hallmark and saw what they could do for me—get me into a position where I could start making money to help my family out—that’s what really opened the door for me there,” says Octavio, who studied in the aviation program. 

We offer professionally-focused degrees in half the time. 

Classes began May 6 for Hallmark University’s newest program: Eastside Cyberforce Prime. 

As a community minded university, Brent describes the program as one where they worked to help the community build relationships on San Antonio’s underserved east side, an often-overlooked area for talent. Demand has been high, as they received 40 applications in the first week for the 16 seats available, offered at no charge for aspiring students that are accepted. Hallmark officials see cybersecurity as being in growing demand on the east side and decided to use the program to reach the underserved community.

Hallmark University’s innovative Character Program and their focus on having their students serve with other nonprofits and mentor local high school students who attend their Summer Intensive Programs sets them apart from other universities. We have hired several of their graduates for our clinics in the recent past with excellent outcomes. Add the opportunity Hallmark provides for our community by offering a hand up and a head start on a new life and it’s easy to see the reason Hallmark University is so important to us and to the rest of San Antonio. I encourage you to support Brent, his team and the difference Hallmark University is making.  Here is to another 50 years of changing lives!” 

John Raimondo, D.C., CEO, Pulmonair
  John Raimondo
, D.C., CEO, Pulmonair

“In the parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:30–37], Jesus challenges us to be a neighbor to those who are different,” Brent says. 

“Programs like Cyberforce Prime and scholarships for single mothers or victims of sex trafficking enable us to bring life-changing education to those unable to pay the cost. These programs require financial support from our community.”

Besides teaching students skills, Hallmark administrators and teachers aim to develop “the whole person,” building on the foundation of Christian faith to provide this framework. The university teaches character by having every program integrate ethical decision-making scenarios and equipping students with a strong sense of leadership. They do this by teaching character traits of integrity, servanthood, stewardship, communication, dependability, leadership, and agility.

This is the same character employers look for: high integrity; serving others more than oneself.

“Character traits are rooted in Christ’s love but universally accepted,” Brent says. “We have chapel services, and we see lives change as we develop the character of the students to become more like the character of Christ. This is the same character employers look for: high integrity; serving others more than oneself. Students realize that employers look for character as much as skill, whether the employer is faith-based or not.” 

Home-schooled students can gain acceptance into Hallmark University, provided they comply with Hallmark University’s entrance testing requirements and present an official transcript for home school education.

If you or someone you know is looking for a career that provides hands-on training and allows you to graduate sooner, rather than later, in a position that pays well in an outcome-driven environment, consider Hallmark University. It’s a private, nonprofit, affordable San Antonio university. Hallmark is providing a proven path to purpose.

Hallmark University

Main campus: 10401 Interstate-10 West
College of Aeronautics: 8901 Wetmore Rd 
Eastside Cyberforce Prime: Ella Austin Community Center, 1023 Pine Street
San Antonio, Texas 78249
(800) 880-6600


Be A Light.

Pray: Ask God to send revelation and guidance as Hallmark University continues serving San Antonio’s career needs and looks to what’s on the horizon. Support: You have the opportunity to help support and provide an education to disadvantaged students including abuse victims that otherwise may never go to college. Donate to Hallmark University:

Story made possible by Pulmonair
Improving healthcare one patient at a time. 

5563 De Zavala Rd, Suite 130, SAT 78249
(210) 923-9500   |

It’s our passion to honor God selflessly by helping patients, families and the medical communities breathe easier.  We do this by providing quality and innovative healthcare solutions. We create opportunities so people can live better. We consider it our responsibility to make a positive impact in the communities we serve. At Pulmonair we are passionate about helping people live better lives. We help people suffering from a wide array of breathing related challenges like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, ALS and neuromusculoskeletal diseases breathe easier and live life to the fullest. 

Watch our patient testimonials:


We are offering qualified patients the opportunity to try our innovative life changing IPV breathing treatments for 30 days FREE. Please contact us at or 210-923-9500 today for more information.

Written by

Richard Zowie

Richard Zowie lives in Fredericksburg and spent 15 years as a full-time journalist. He now works as a radio broadcaster at Texas Rebel Radio, AM 910 KNAF and as a freelance writer. HIs work has appeared in various publications.


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