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UHV highlights its history during annual report event

Nov. 17, 2012 at 5:17 a.m.

More than 170 university representatives and local leaders gathered Thursday evening for the University of Houston-Victoria 2011-12 Annual Report and Excellence Awards presentation.

President Phil Castille started the evening by reflecting on how the university has made history during the past year and since its founding 40 years ago. He then announced that the theme of the annual report was "History in the Making."

"It was an historical year for me personally, as it marked my first year with UHV," Castille said. "Last year also was a year of dynamic growth for the university as we welcomed our second group of freshmen and sophomores, broke ground on a new residence hall, offered new degree programs, increased the student life on campus and added new teaching sites."

During the event, university representatives reported on 2011-12 academic achievements, student life, athletics and community partnerships. Video interviews of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners highlighted the university's accomplishments.

Several awards were given throughout the evening. The Student Leadership Award was presented to Moses Olukoya, a junior biology major from Sugar Land.

Olukoya is vice president of the Student Government Association, assists students as the housing senior resident assistant and is a member of the university's Housing and Dining Committee.

He previously earned the 2011 Spirit of the Jaguar Award, which recognizes integrity, respect, citizenship and academics. He also is one of the student faces featured on the Jaguar shuttle buses seen around Victoria.

"Before I started college, I knew that I wanted to be involved in some sort of leadership role at UHV so I joined the Student Government Association my first week here," Olukoya said. "Because UHV is a smaller university, I've had the opportunity to leave my mark. I've also been able to experience leadership opportunities that will play a big role in my future career."

Ken Stimson and Paige Streiff, owners of Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Victoria, accepted the Community Business Partnership Award. As the official furniture sponsor of the university's residence halls, Ashley Furniture HomeStore donated couches, chairs and tables to the lobby of Jaguar Hall and the lobby and lounge of Jaguar Court. The store also will furnish the lobby of Jaguar Suites, a new apartment-style dormitory, once it opens in fall 2013.

"Ashley Furniture HomeStore realizes the value in working with UHV," Stimson said. "The university is an important part of the community and we are honored to be a partner. It's a privilege to do our part to help the university grow and become an even bigger benefit to the city of Victoria, the county, the state and the U.S."

The Victoria Independent School District was honored for its longstanding relationship with the university by receiving the Community Organization Partnership Award. The school district has hired numerous alumni, allowed education majors to get real-world experience by student teaching in classrooms, and partnered with university faculty members on various projects. Sixty-eight percent of the school district's principals and assistant principals are alumni, and of the 28 principals, 20 of them are alumni.

Trey Edwards, principal of the Mitchell Guidance Center and a two-time UHV alumnus, accepted the award on behalf of VISD.

"On behalf of VISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich, Victoria School Board members and all VISD employees, we are honored with the presentation of this award," Edwards said. "I did my student teaching at a VISD school when I was a UHV student, so I understand the importance of this partnership. VISD strives for excellence in the classroom and that begins with providing exceptional staff to teach our students. UHV alumni in our school district are a huge part of our success because UHV does a great job of preparing teachers. It is a true value to have that level of expertise coming from teachers who are graduates of a university right here in Victoria."

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