17:55 PM

UHD President's Message to Students; Good Luck on Finals!

Dear Gators, 

The last week of Spring 2021 is upon us, and I want to express my faith in the UHD student body to remain steadfast during finals week. You have shown remarkable resilience this semester, and I encourage you to stay the course and complete it on a high note. 

As you are wrapping up projects and studying for exams, be sure to take advantage of UHD’s many academic resources. The W. I. Dykes Library, computer labs, and a wealth of Tutoring Resources, including the Writing and Reading Center, Center for Math & Statistics, and more, are available to help you prepare for upcoming tests or end of the semester papers. 

Likewise, your mental and physical health remains just as important as your academic success. UHD’s Student Counseling Services is available to address mental health and wellness needs. Additionally, the Jesse H. Jones Student Life Center is now open, so you can exercise as a way to de-stress. I also invite you to attend tomorrow’s Food Fair hosted by Student Affairs and Student Activities in partnership with the Houston Food Bank. This drive-through event conducted on Girard Street will provide groceries to our students from 1 to 4 p.m. 

For those of you wrapping up your degrees this semester, I look forward to congratulating you during the Virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 15. I also hope to meet and celebrate your accomplishments once more during our in-person commencement on August 14. Additional details are forthcoming for that special ceremony. 

And I await the opportunity to spend more time with our students who are continuing their academic journeys at UHD this summer and fall. 

As we approach the conclusion of this challenging semester, I am buoyed by the sense of optimism I have witnessed among our campus community in the face of change and uncertainty. Our faculty and staff worked diligently so our campus could remain open with several safety protocols in place. Additionally, we hosted more than 500 coronavirus vaccination appointments on campus and continue to work with community health partners to ensure all Gators can access the vaccine. We also hosted multiple forums for public health officials to speak about COVID-19 and vaccinations. Additionally, our community continues to address racial strife as our country undergoes a reckoning on racism.  

On a personal note regarding this semester – my first one as a Gator – I am still warmed by the gracious, heartfelt welcome you have extended to me as President. Simply put, serving UHD in this capacity will always be one of my proudest accomplishments. 

In my time here, Gators have shown the determination to overcome adversity and reach your desired goals, both in the classroom and in your personal lives. This last week will undoubtedly allow you to demonstrate that same willpower. I wish you well during next week’s examinations and in the future. 


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