15:47 PM

ConGRADulations, Gator Graduates!


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The stage was set for more than 2,500 Gator graduates at the 73rd Commencement Ceremonies at Minute Maid Park on December 10.

The two ceremonies featured guest speaker Dr. Deborah A. Santiago, who addressed Gators at both ceremonies. Santiago is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education—America’s premier authority on efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Newly minted alums David Ramirez and Adga Helena Esperanza were the featured student speakers for the 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. ceremonies, respectively.

President Blanchard offered congratulatory salutations to the graduating class, “What a great day this is. Commencement is one of my favorite times of year because this is when we at the University of Houston-Downtown witness the transformative moment when you are conferred your diploma, and you move forward to the next place in your life. And you do so with a degree of value that will prepare you for your next steps.” The audience cheered as he continued, “Just like our University is on the rise, so are you. I applaud you for reaching this moment in your education, and today we applaud everything you’ve achieved.”

Learn more about the four Inspiring Gator Graduates highlighted during President Blanchard’s address. For more heartening stories of our Gator graduates, watch UHD’s ‘Stole of Gratitude’ Series.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.