UHD's Community Engaged During GatorServe
By Mike Emery
Dark skies and wet weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of approximately 100 University of Houston-Downtown volunteers. During the annual GatorServe event (coordinated by the Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning) honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., UHD’s Gators showed their support for neighbor schools Kashmere Gardens Elementary School and Betsy Ross Elementary School.
Along with partners from TDECU and Wells Fargo & Company, faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteered at both schools. In spite of soggy conditions, volunteers swept, cleaned, gardened and power washed at these campuses.
The day began with a performance from the Kashmere Gardens drumline and dance and cheer teams followed by remarks from Dr. Eric Link, senior vice president for Academic & Student Affairs and Provost and Texas Rep. Christina Morales.
“It is always a pleasure to get out in the community and give back,” Link said. “It’s a noble endeavor for a great cause. It’s just one of the things that we do at UHD to show our neighbors that we care.”
Rep. Morales acknowledges that UHD sits firmly in the district she represents (District 145), and she is always honored to participate in University events such as GatorServe.
“What you’re doing here today is transformational,” she said. “When you volunteer, you recognize when people are at their most vulnerable and you recognize the needs of the community.”
UHD's musical ambassadors Admission Possible also were on hand to get volunteers in the spirit of things.
This event is the first of two GatorServe projects during 2020. Each year, the Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning leads volunteer efforts focused on Martin Luther King Day and the anniversary of 9/11.
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.