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February 6, 2005

Contact: Eric Gerber
713.743.8189 (office)
713.617.7130 (pager)

Regent Chair O’Connor, UHS Chancellor Gogue, UHV President Hudson
Say Thanks for Community Service

HOUSTON, Feb. 6, 2005 – Jay Gogue, Chancellor of the University of Houston System, and UH-Victoria President Tim Hudson hosted a luncheon on Friday, Feb. 4, for UH System alumni who serve as city and county government leaders in Fort Bend County.

Held at UH System at Sugar Land, the event brought together more than 40 guests to receive heartfelt thanks from Chancellor Gogue and President Hudson.

On hand to give special recognition to the alumni was UH System Board of Regents Chair Morgan Dunn O’Connor. “We are so grateful for your support and for your service to your community,” said O’Connor. Other UH System regents in attendance were Leroy Hermes and Bo Smith.

Chancellor Gogue praised the guests for their contributions to Fort Bend County as community leaders. He said he was proud to have UH System alumni taking on leadership roles and becoming active citizens in Texas. He gave brief remarks about the UH System legislative priorities.

President Hudson introduced UH System at Sugar Land student Tonichia Williams who told the group about her positive experiences at UHSSL and thanked those present for providing support for her to improve her life.

President Hudson gave an update on plans for the expansion of the UHSSL campus, the facility that will be shared with Wharton County Junior College. He emphasized that to be successful in the new building campaign, the UH System will need to build on existing alliances with the state, Fort Bend County, community colleges, foundations, local government entities, and individuals.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet other public officials with whom I shared a common denominator: being a graduate of the University of Houston,” said Meadows Place Mayor Mark McGrath. “I was also pleased to see how dynamic the leaders of this institution are, not just System-wide, but particularly in Sugar Land. Based on today’s event, I am excited about the future of the UH System in Fort Bend County.”

Approximately 50 UH alumni hold national, state, city, or county government positions in Fort Bend County. From state representative to city attorneys, from mayors to volunteers on advisory boards, UH alumni enrich the community and provide leadership to one of the nation’s fastest growing counties.

U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay, a graduate of UH’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics, leads nationally. State Representative Dora Olivo, a graduate of the College of Education and the Law Center leads at the state level.

County Commissioners Tom Stavinoha and James Patterson are graduates of the UH College of Education.

Mayor Leonard Scarcella, a UH Law alumnus, has lead the city of Stafford for several decades. Other Law Center alumni include city attorneys Steve Weathered, and Cheryl Wilson; Judge Walter McMeans, and Sugar Land Zoning Board of Adjustments member Deloise Holmes Jr.

Other alumni lead in law enforcement and adjudication. Ruben Davis, a UH-Downtown Criminal Justice alumnus, is a Fort Bend County Constable, and UH Law alumni Cliff Vacek and Ronique Bastine serve as judges. Corey Dmajdalka, also a UH-Downtown Criminal Justice alumnus, serves as information service manager for Rosenberg.

UH has representation on four city councils in the county: Meadows Place (one member) Stafford, (one member), Rosenberg (two members), and Sugar Land (three members). Those representatives include David Piwonka, Michael Sachs, Russell Jones, Daniel Wong, Cyril Hosley, Tony Becerra and James Carl Hopkins Jr.

In Missouri City, Bob Graf, a UH Bauer College of Business alumnus, serves as economic development coordinator and Media Relations Specialist Elsa Malakoff is a graduate of the UH Graduate School of Social Work. Glen Gilmore, a graduate of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, leads the city of Richmond as City Manager.

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Betty Baitland is a graduate of the UH College of Education, and three Lamar Consolidated ISD Trustees, Mary Louise Dujka, Sam Hopkins, and the late Phillip Crosby are also alumni. Gregory Holsapple is a trustee on the Stafford MSD.

In addition to these positions, UH alumni serve in volunteer capacities on city advisory boards and commissions such as parks and recreation boards, zoning commissions, and Keep Sugar Land Beautiful.

The University of Houston System is the state’s only metropolitan higher education system, encompassing four universities and two multi-institution teaching centers. The universities are the University of Houston, a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting, comprehensive research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university beginning limited expansion into graduate programs; and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University of Houston-Victoria, both upper division and master’s-level institutions. The centers are the UH System at Sugar Land in Fort Bend and the UH System at Cinco Ranch. In addition, the UH System includes KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio and classical radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.