Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Institution has brought much to community

April 16, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated April 15, 2013 at 11:16 p.m.

Forty years is a considerable amount of time. When people reach their 40th birthday, they often receive gag gifts of anti-aging cream, walkers, canes, a tombstone cake and various lotions and ointments typically associated with growing older.

But for businesses and institutions, 40 years is an important landmark that is a testament to long-term stability and sustainability. The Advocate often features businesses when they reach such important landmarks and this year, it is the University of Houston-Victoria's turn.

According to the UHV website, the school began in 1973 as an off-campus center with about 350 students and 24 faculty members. The next year, the school grew to 450 students with about 50 faculty members offering 80 courses. Today, the school has about 4,300 students, more than 200 faculty members and confers about 875 degrees.

We and the city of Victoria have watched UHV grow over the past four decades from a small location into a campus in the middle of our hometown. We are glad to see this institution is still offering a quality education for residents of the Crossroads, and we look forward to many more years of education and growth.

But UHV brings much more to our community than education. We have enjoyed such offerings as the American Book Review series, athletic events, visiting speakers, artists and more. Two major parts of Victoria's musical culture were founded by UHV professors. In 1976, Dr. David Urness founded the Victoria Bach Festival, and Dr. Robert Lyall founded the Victoria Symphony in 1974. We applaud UHV for the continual stream of culture and fun it brings to the Crossroads through all of these various events.

Now, UHV is planning to bring even more as part of the 40th anniversary celebration. The university's special anniversary website outlines a list of events to commemorate this year and help the community take part in the celebration. The next event will be a visit from Douglas Foster, associate professor of journalism at Northwestern University, at noon Thursday as part of the Provost's Lecture Series to speak on his book "After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa." Foster's visit is sponsored by both UHV and the Victoria Advocate, and we encourage the community to come to the University Center Multi-Purpose Room and show support for UHV's work in both higher education and the community.

We appreciate UHV's ongoing efforts to bring a quality higher education offering to the Crossroads. Its years of faithful service are encouraging and exciting to see. We are impressed by how far the university has come during the past four decades, and we look forward to many more advances and developments.

Happy birthday, UHV. We are glad you are part of our community.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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