Message from the Regents



W. Wilson Sr.

The University of Houston had only 3,500 students by the close of the 1946 spring semester. A little more than three months later, 10,500 students had enrolled for the fall. I was one of them. Most were returning GIs from World War II.

There were only three permanent buildings on campus then. To accommodate the tremendous influx of students, housing was in the form of 300 army surplus house trailers located where the Bauer College of Business parking lot is today. My brother Jack and I lived in trailer number 67. The bathroom was a block and a half away — not exactly convenient during a cold and wet winter day.


My point is this - the University of Houston is still a very exciting place. A world-class campus with state-of-the-art laboratories, modern classrooms, nationally ranked academic programs and sports teams, an annual budget of almost $1.3 billion and 37,000 students.


Nevertheless, the University of Houston was an exciting place to be. We had few traditions and few rules. We students, the faculty and the administration were all “winging it.” I got a job as business manager for The Daily Cougar (then a weekly newspaper). I sold advertising, had six employees, contracted with the printers and, in effect, at age 18, ran a small business. What an opportunity for me! In 1949, I graduated with a business degree and got married the same day to a campus beauty named Joanne Guest. Last August, we celebrated 60 years together. I owe much to the University of Houston.

My point is this — the University of Houston is still a very exciting place. A world-class campus with state-of-the-art laboratories, modern classrooms, nationally ranked academic programs and sports teams, an annual budget of almost $1.3 billion and 37,000 students. We have renowned faculty members who are doing groundbreaking research and are inspiring our students. And we have strong leaders — including our incredible president — who are committed to seeing our university achieve Tier-One status.

This issue of the UH Magazine explores the meaning of the “Legacy of the Pride.” For me, that meaning is simple — I am as proud of our university today, and will continue to be, as I was when I first set foot on campus 63 years ago.

Welcome W. Wilson Sr. (’49)
Chairman, UH System Board of Regents