UHD Celebrates the Academic Achievements of Over 2,100 Gator Alumni

Lights from the NRG Stadium will soon be shining on Gator graduates at the 71st University of Houston-Downtown launch ceremony. On December 18, the UHD will celebrate the academic achievements of its Fall 2021 class… and invite a few special guests to share their wisdom and wishes.

Kick-off ceremonies on this date are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (for graduates of Marilyn Davies College of Business and College of Sciences & Technology) and 2:00 p.m. (with a focus on graduates of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, University College and College of Public Service).

At both events, the University brought together local and state leaders, as well as representatives of the UH system.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will deliver remarks at the 8:30 a.m. ceremony and will be joined by Jack Moore of the UH System Board of Regents. During the ceremony, longtime lawmaker and current Texas Senator (representing District 13) Borris Miles will be presented with the President’s Medallion. During this event, the graduates will also hear from one of their own, Chidozie Oguejiofor, who is earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology and plans to prepare for medical school.

The 2 p.m. event will feature Texas Senator Carol Alvarado from District 6 delivering remarks and also receiving the President’s Medallion. UH System student Regent Derek Delgado will be on hand at this ceremony to offer his greetings, and the student speaker will be future Professor Jaida Doll who will earn a Bachelor of Arts in English.

The President’s Medal awarded to Senators Miles and Alvarado is awarded at the discretion of UHD President Loren J. Blanchard to individuals or organizations distinguished by their service to the University community.

This ceremony represents a return to graduation events planned following the disruption caused by COVID-19. Earlier this fall, the University hosted in-person ceremonies for 2020 and spring 2021 graduates who were unable to take the stage due to safety concerns during the pandemic.

About 2,100 graduates are expected to participate in the 71st launching ceremonies of the University. Among the graduates will be twins Jasmin and Jaquelin Amaya, both of whom will earn their bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice. Other Gator Grads will be highlighted in future editions of UHD News and on social media. In addition, Ricky Rodriguez will be graduating with a Bachelor of Health and Behavioral Sciences this fall. Rodriguez was a promising high school footballer, but an injury derailed his career. He found a new vocation in esports at UHD and was instrumental in launching the institution’s popular program and managed one of its teams. Another graduate, Titi Awoniyi, persevered despite personal difficulties such as a death in the family, a physical handicap and even being hit by a car in her wheelchair. Now she is ready to get her Masters in Business Administration.

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