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)—the second-largest university in Houston—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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.