Holiday Spirit Alive at UHD in 2020
This year, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is celebrating the holidays while safely distanced, but many Gators are still finding ways to engage in goodwill efforts throughout the city.
A number of initiatives are currently ongoing, including the Staff Council Holiday Giving Campaign, conducted in collaboration with the University of Houston-Downtown Police Department (UHDPD). Both organizations are collecting donations through Dec. 20 to provide holiday meals for families in need. Details on how to support this campaign can be found in this recent UHD News article.
UHDPD also continued its annual support of local children with two toy drop-offs at Ketelsen Elementary School. The most recent delivery to these students provided more than 70 items to students. Branden Kuzmick, Program Coordinator in the University College and Director of the GTF Scholars Program and students from UHD’s Greater Texas Scholars Program assisted in wrapping items.
“The GTF Scholars have participated in supporting UHD’s Police Department’s toy drive each of the three years we have had this program,” said Dr. Scott Marzilli, Dean of UHD’s University College. “This demonstrates that even during tough times, our humanity and our willingness to support others will get us through to the other side. I am so proud of Branden Kuzmick, Director of the GTF Scholars Program for always thinking about ways to support both our students and our community. We are lucky to have this great program with its amazing students here at UHD.”
The Office of University Advancement & University Relations (UAUR) also conducted an inter-office toy drive. This year, UAUR supported the Many Friends Toy Drive led by FOX26 host Isiah Carey with support from UHD alumnus and King’s Court Restaurant owner Jatin Patel.
Other toy drives this season included initiatives from Sports & Fitness (benefitting BEAR) and Omega Delta Phi fraternity (providing toys for kids in need that will be delivered on Dec. 25). Also, Gamma Alpha Omega sorority recently concluded its drive benefiting Toys for Tots.
"The spirit of the season is alive and well at the University of Houston-Downtown,” said UHD Interim President Antonio D. TIllis, Ph.D. “The many toy drives and charitable initiatives being undertaken by our faculty, staff and students speaks volumes about our Gators' commitment to our community. I applaud their efforts for taking the time to brighten the holiday season for many Houstonians.”
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.