UHD Alumni Association Hosts Festive Jingle Mingle
By Betty Cruz (’18)
Saint Arnold Brewing Company was the place to be for the UHD Alumni Association’s annual Jingle Mingle Ugly Sweater Party. The Gator tradition began in 2016 and is now back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
UHD Alumni Relations invited alumni to mingle, meet old friends, and make new ones. An ugly sweater contest was thrown into the mix to increase the fun. UHD staff greeted guests with Gator-branded swag and customized pint glasses. More than 100 people attended the convivial party.
Gator Alumna Danielle Soria-Orozco (’06), Program Manager in UHD Alumni Relations, organized the holiday party for the first time with assistance from UHD’s Advancement & University Relations and Special Events.
“I was excited to host the event,” said Soria-Orozco. “It was a really great time to come back with everyone now wanting to return to in-person events. I also wanted to see how everything would turn out as well as hear from our alumni about their experience.”
While the event kept its signature format, Soria-Orozco introduced something new to the festivities to make the event more special and memorable – a toast to future alumni who attended the party and were also graduating at the 73rd Commencement ceremony in December. The event featured speeches from University staffers, including Soria-Orozco and Javier “Jay” Zambrano, UHD Vice President of Advancement and University Relations.
The evening’s highlight, the Ugly Sweater contest, afforded 15 eager participants the opportunity to place in the top three for prizes. The winners are:
Lynn Longoria (’17) received a swag bag filled with Gator goodies and UHD diploma frame.
Guest Brendon Singh (UH ’07) received a UHD-branded blanket and a swag bag.
Gabriel Morales (’17) took home a swag bag.
Soria-Orozco hopes to take the future ugly sweater competitions “up a notch” by including sub-categories to make them even more enjoyable. The UHD Alumni Association along with the Office of Alumni Relations plans to create more programming in the new year to engage Gators.
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.