To those who are new on campus, let me say welcome to the University of Houston. And to our many students who are returning, I’m very pleased to say welcome back.
This time last year, we were battling against the floods and fury brought by Hurricane Harvey. In my 10 years at UH, that was probably my most humbling moment, watching people suffer and yet offer their helping hand to those in even greater need. But, as a Cougar Community, we endured and prevailed and, in the process, established a new definition of what “Cougar Strong” really means. You are all a member of that community now.
You are also part of what will likely be a record enrollment at UH, with more than 45,000 students. I hope each of you came prepared to work hard, because our No. 1 goal is to help you reach the finish line and prepare you for that next phase of your life – whether that is in the professional arena or the further pursuit of your education. Achieving success, whether it is academic, personal or professional, requires you to make the choice daily to prioritize the tasks that support your goals. I believe you have the skills, focus and drive to achieve your dreams, and that is why you are here at UH.
As I do each year, I have been meeting many of you in person as I visit several classes during the start of the semester. Even if I don't make it to one of your classes, let me encourage you to reach out to my office at email@example.com if you genuinely find yourself unable to resolve a problem on your own.
Along with a dedicated faculty and staff committed to helping you, I also urge you to make good use of the many tools and resources available at UH to assist your academic progress. One of the outstanding options we recommend is The Guide.
This mobile app serves as an always-available adviser, letting you know how and when to get important things done to move effectively from orientation to graduation.
However, I believe your time at UH should be devoted to more than classrooms, labs and homework. It is also about showing school spirit, becoming part of a community and making lifelong friendships and lasting memories. To that end, I want to remind you about Weeks of Welcome, which continues through Sept. 2.
This amazing array of social and cultural events provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy yourself while becoming more engaged with your campus community.
Certainly, one great way to take become an official resident of “Coogs’ House” is to attend a football game at TDECU Stadium right here on campus (or, later this semester, a basketball game in the newly renovated Fertitta Center). The football team is drawing national attention and Ed Oliver, our exceptional defensive tackle, is featured on a Sports Illustrated cover as the nation’s top player. We kick off the 2018-19 season against Rice Sept. 1, and our first home game is Sept. 8 against No. 19 ranked Arizona. I'm sure it will be an exciting season, and I hope to see you at one of the tailgate events before the games. Of course, if you are not into sports, I encourage you to check out many of our music, theater and arts events that hold just as much promise.
As we embark on this new semester, I wish you all the best. And remember – on Fridays we wear red. Cougar Red Friday is how we recognize and celebrate being a proud member of the Cougar Powerhouse. Go, Coogs!
With warm regards,