I’m sure those of you fortunate enough to view the recent “Legacy of the Pride” exhibit in the M.D. Anderson Library will agree that it was a marvelous and inspiring display. The multimedia presentation, which traced our university’s evolution from a modest junior college founded in 1927 to its current status as a world-class institution, offered a rich array of historical artifacts, vintage photographs, period documents and a wonderful video putting this all in context.

The exhibit certainly helped me understand why “You Are the Pride” rings so resonantly with our campus community and our alumni. “Legacy of the Pride” was another reminder of what a truly impressive heritage our institution can claim. For those who missed this important exhibit, you can read more on page 8 then treat yourself to an online version at www.uh.edu/magazine/bonus.

We can talk at length about this university’s high-profile accomplishments and trumpet its internationally recognized researchers and scholars, renowned Olympic and professional athletes, show business stars, celebrated artists, prominent political leaders and powerful business magnates. That is indeed a legacy of which to be proud.

There is, however, another kind of legacy that is every bit as uplifting and personally pleasing to me.

When I’m invited to appear at local functions, I often ask those in attendance how many of them are UH students or alumni. A number of hands shoot up, usually making the “Go Coogs” sign as they do! Then I’ll ask the remaining folks how many have a friend or a family member who attended UH. More hands go up. Then I’ll ask how many work at a business alongside a Cougar? Or attended a football game or theater performance on campus?

I invariably wind up with every person in the room holding up a hand.

I could continue, of course. How many have children taught by school teachers and principals who graduated from UH? Gone to an optometrist or a pharmacist or a lawyer from UH? Been in homes and buildings designed by our architects? Driven across bridges devised by our engineers? Had medical treatment facilitated by our researchers? Eaten at a restaurant staffed by Cougars?

Semester after semester, year after year, decade after decade, the University of Houston has played an essential role in shaping and sustaining the city whose name we proudly bear.

And, we share a pride built on determination, achievement and success.

 

Renu Khator
UH System Chancellor and UH President