16:49 PM

Message from UHD President: Happy Independence Day

UHD President Loren J. Blanchard

Greetings, UHD Community:

As you are aware, Monday is the Fourth of July, the anniversary of our nation’s independence – and a holiday for the University of Houston-Downtown.

The day is unique to America as it commemorates the ratifying of the U.S. Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress. The 13 colonies were declared united, free, and independent states, and with the stroke of a pen, America was born.

In the intervening 246 years, we have continued to celebrate our independence every year, but we have never stopped the fight for freedom. It is worth taking a moment to consider a few American milestones since the signing of the Declaration of Independence:

  • 15th Amendment (granting Black American men the right to vote),
  • 19th Amendment (granting American women the right to vote),
  • Indian Citizenship Act (granting citizenship to the indigenous peoples of the U.S., although their right to vote would not be guaranteed until decades later),
  • Civil Rights Act (outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin),
  • Voting Rights Act (prohibiting racial discrimination in voting).

Monumental is the only word to describe these achievements, along with many significant others, which were born from the vision and spirit of the diverse population we call America. Clearly, we as a people know how to advocate for the rights of one another – even when the cost may be significant. Of that, we can stand proud.

The Fourth of July is not only a holiday for Americans to celebrate freedom, it is also a time to remember those individuals who fought strongly for our liberties. It is also a call to stand united in addressing challenges to justice and equity that remain in front of us.

At UHD, our response to these challenges is to generate knowledge, drive socioeconomic mobility, and graduate world-changing leaders to press for a just and sustainable future. I hope you will take a little time on this important holiday to consider what your individual response will be.

Have a safe, relaxing Independence Day,


Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
President, University of Houston-Downtown









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.