On March 7, the University of Houston celebrated its 88th birthday. Since its founding as Houston Junior College on March 7, 1927, the University has grown into a Top Tier Research University (designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) and is the third largest university in Texas, with more than 40,000 students currently enrolled.
On Friday, March 6, UH hosted a birthday celebration in front of the recently renovated UH Student Center (former UC). The event featured a giant cake, decorated with the hashtag #HappyBdayUH written in Cougar Red across the top. The UH band, mascot, cheerleaders, and dance team attended the event, energizing the crowd. Attendees also enjoyed the music of DJ Power Plant (from Coog Radio), and got creative posing with fun props in the photo booth (supplied by Houston Photo Booth). The UH Social Media Team shared live updates from the event on Snapchat and gave away prizes to those who used the hashtag #HappyBdayUH and followed UH on at least four social media platforms.
During the birthday weekend, UH hosted a contest on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in which fans were encouraged to observe the festive birthday and share photos for a chance to win an iPad Mini. Suggestions for ways to celebrate included honoring the legacy of UH alumni astronauts at Space Center Houston, taking a stroll through the Cullen Sculpture Garden at the MFAH to honor UH donors, visiting the HMNS chemistry hall to honor the work of UH researchers and stopping in at the Houston Zoo to say hi to the live UH cougar mascot, Shasta.
Several famous UH alumni shared their birthday wishes, including astronaut Rex Walheim, and television news figures Dominique Sachse, Erik Barajas and Jennifer Reyna. UH Birthday received on-air coverage from KTRK and KPRC, and an online story from the Houston Chronicle.
Those interested in the UH Birthday conversation online could visit the aggregating website uh.edu/birthday, which drew in publicly shared tweets and Instagram posts with the hashtag #HappyBdayUH. Fans could also browse through the UH Birthday Pinterest board, to see UH-inspired birthday celebration ideas like red velvet cake and fun ideas for things to do around town.