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President's One Main Message: Spring 2019 Commencement

The spring semester has concluded, and this weekend we celebrated the accomplishments of 1,400 Gators who Finished UHD Strong. Congratulations to all of our graduates, and also those students who successfully completed the spring semester.

Spring was certainly a productive semester, and summertime is shaping up to be another busy time for UHD. Many students soon will venture overseas for Study Abroad programs, and our campus will begin summer sessions in just a few weeks.

The summer months also will bring many area high school students to UHD for camps such as Houston PREP, CompuCamp, Engineering Camp, Summer Academy and many others. For the high school students attending these camps, who have never visited a university campus, UHD will offer their first view of an institution of higher learning.

Of course, we’ll also welcome a new cohort of UHD students during Gator Gateway this summer, and construction on the College of Sciences & Technology is still on schedule to open the fall semester.

All of UHD’s forward momentum heading into summer can be attributed to the hard work of faculty, staff and students. Thank you for contributing to the continued growth of our university and helping your fellow Gators Finish UHD Strong.

This edition of the One Main Message reflects on recent Commencement activities and some of the Grads with Grit who earned degrees over the weekend.

Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz
UHD President

graduates turning tassles

Two Ceremonies – 1,400 Degrees Conferred

For the first time, UHD hosted two Commencement ceremonies in Houston’s historic Minute Maid Park. Approximately, 1,400 degrees were conferred on Saturday, May 18, and our graduates heard inspirational speeches from two outstanding students and special guests Chris Gardner and Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. As I told the graduates and families in attendance, few experiences can compare to a UHD Commencement at Minute Maid Park.

harold gates at commencement Harold Gates wayne lake at commencement Wayne Lake

Grads With Grit

UHD remains one of the most diverse universities in the city, if not the nation. This weekend, I was proud to award degrees to three non-traditional students who worked diligently over the years to complete their degrees—one of which also overcame a disability to Finish UHD Strong. I commend our two oldest graduates Harold Gates and Linda McCullum for their persistence in earning their degrees. Likewise, I am impressed by the tenacity of Wayne Lake, who overcame a severe visual impairment to earn his bachelor’s degree. All three are great examples of Gator Grit.



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.