A Message From President Loren J. Blanchard: Thank You, Gator Community
Dear Gator Community,
It is with great pride that I reflect on last week’s well planned and well executed celebrations in honor of our graduates, from the Graduate Hooding Ceremony on Thursday to both graduation ceremonies on Saturday. I sincerely appreciate the incredible effort and countless hours many of you contributed to ensure our 74th commencement ceremony was a memorable and celebratory event for all. Your work not only honored our students, but it also reflected our deep pride in the University of Houston-Downtown.
In addition to countless hours of pre-work within all departments, more than 150 faculty and staff members volunteered their time on Saturday, with most serving from morning through evening. Though I cannot possibly recognize each of you by name, I want to call out the contributions of a few individuals and groups:
- the guest management team for ensuring our guests were greeted warmly, provided programs, and directed to seating;
- those in robing who ensured all members of the platform party were welcomed and properly robed;
- those who ushered students in, directed them to the check-in station, led them to the procession, and queued them throughout the ceremony;
- the photographers and social media team, who not only captured amazing photos but gave the event a public presence;
- Facilities Management for their support in ensuring the transportation and set-up of items needed for each ceremony;
- our Provost and UHD Cabinet members; College Deans; Faculty Senators; and the Grand, Associate, and Faculty Marshals from each of our four colleges, as well as the leadership of our Shared Governance groups;
- members of the Enrollment Management team for their hard work in handling countless details, including finalizing contracts, taking care of staging, planning and executing the pre-show, finalizing seating, logistics, and ensuring names were pronounced correctly, just to name a few;
- the Events team and the President’s Office staff for their diligence regarding the arrangements for all platform guests, commencement speeches, and presentations; and
- our videography team, for their excellent work pre-planning and collaborating with NRG staff to produce the highest quality video, camera shots, and audio throughout the pre-show and full ceremony, and for providing onsite technology support.
While this list is not exhaustive, it does provide a glimpse into the many individuals and teams across our campus whose commitment to excellence made our fall 2023 commencement a success. Please join me in this expression of gratitude by thanking each other for what we accomplished together. We showed our graduates and their loved ones that we are truly one family with one mission, and we welcomed another 1,400 alumni who are now a part of the great legacy of the University of Houston-Downtown.
Way to go, Gator Community! I am truly proud.
Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
President, University of Houston-Downtown