|The University of Houston|
|Motto||In Tempore (Latin)|
|Motto in English||In Time|
|President||Renu Khator, Ph.D.|
|Provost||John J. Antel|
|Location||Houston, Texas, USA|
|Campus||Urban, 667 acres (2.70 km²)|
|Former names||Houston Junior College (1927–1934)
University of Houston–University Park (1983–1987)
|Colors||Scarlet red and albino white
|Athletics||NCAA Division I, Conference USA|
|Affiliations||SACS, ORAU, AACSB, GCU, UHS|
The University of Houston (also referred to as UH, U of H, or Houston) is a public research university located in Houston and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded on March 7, 1927 as Houston Junior College, UH is the third-largest university in Texas and 23rd-largest university in the United States with an enrollment of 37,000.
The university serves students in 12 academic colleges and in the interdisciplinary Honors College on a 667-acre (2.70 km2) campus in southeast-central Houston. UH offers over 300 degree programs: 112 bachelors, 135 masters, 54 doctoral, and three special professional degrees—law, optometry, and pharmacy. Awarding more than 7,100 degrees annually, the university's alumni base is the largest in the city of Houston. Also known for its diverse student population, it perennially ranks as the second most ethnically diverse national university in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
The University of Houston conducts research in each academic department and operates more than 40 research centers and institutes on campus. Interdisciplinary research conducted at UH includes superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration, and virtual technology.
The university hosts a variety of theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, and intercollegiate athletic events. Its varsity athletics teams—known as the Houston Cougars—are members of Conference USA and compete in the NCAA's Division I in all sports . The football team regularly makes bowl game appearances, and the men's basketball team has made sixteen appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament, including five Final Four appearances. The men's golf team has won sixteen national championships, the second most of any NCAA golf program.
The University of Houston began as Houston Junior College (HJC). On March 7, 1927, trustees of the Houston Independent School District Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution that authorized the founding and operating of a junior college. The junior college was operated and controlled by the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
Originally HJC was located in San Jacinto High School and offered only night courses. Its first session began March 7, 1927, with an enrollment of 232 students and 12 faculty. This session was primarily held to educate the future teachers of the junior college, and no freshmen were allowed to enroll. A more accurate date for the official opening of HJC is September 19, 1927, when enrollment was opened to all persons having completed the necessary educational requirements. The first president of HJC was Edison Ellsworth Oberholtzer, who was the dominant force in establishing the junior college.
The junior college became eligible to become a four-year institution in October 1933 when Governor Miriam A. Ferguson signed House Bill 194 into law. On April 30, 1934, HISD's Board of Education adopted a resolution to make the school a four-year institution, and Houston Junior College became the University of Houston.
UH's first session as a four-year institution began June 4, 1934, at San Jacinto High School with an enrollment of 682. In 1934, the first campus of the University of Houston was established at the Second Baptist Church at Milam and McGowen. The next fall, the campus was moved to the South Main Baptist Church, on Main between Richmond and Eagle, where it stayed for the next five years.
In 1936, philanthropists Julius Settegast and Ben Taub donated 110 acres (0.45 km2) to the university for use as a permanent location. Two years later, Hugh Roy Cullen donated $335,000 for the first building to be built at the location. The Roy Gustav Cullen Memorial Building, was dedicated on June 4, 1939, and classes began the next day. The first full semester of classes began officially on Wednesday, September 20, 1939.
On March 12, 1945, Senate Bill 207 was signed into law, removing the control of the University of Houston from HISD and placing it into the hands of a board of regents. In 1945, the university, which had grown too large and complex for the Houston school board to administer, became a private university. In March 1947, the regents authorized creation of a law school at the university, initially designated as the Bates College of Law but later renamed the University of Houston Law Center. In 1949, the M. D. Anderson Foundation made a $1.5 million gift to UH for the construction of a dedicated library building on the campus. By 1950, the educational plant at UH consisted of 12 permanent buildings. Enrollment was more than 14,000 with a full-time faculty of more than 300. By 1951, UH was the second-largest university in the State of Texas and was the fastest growing university in the United States.
In 1953, the university established KUHT, the first educational television station in the nation. During this period, however, the university as a private institution was facing financial troubles. Tuition failed to cover rising costs, and in turn, tuition increases caused a drop in enrollment. After a lengthy battle between supporters of the University of Houston, led by school president A.D. Bruce, and forces from state universities geared to block the change, Senate Bill 2 was passed on May 23, 1961, enabling the university to enter the state system in 1963.
In 1977, the University of Houston System was established, with the University of Houston named as the flagship institution of the system. The University of Houston appended its official name to "University of Houston–University Park" in the fall semester of 1983. This name change was an effort by the University of Houston System to give its flagship institution a distinctive name that would eliminate confusion with the other three UHS universities. While these three universities (UH–Clear Lake, UH–Downtown, and UH–Victoria) share the root name "University of Houston," they are essentially autonomous institutions, and each has its own president. By the end of 1987, the flagship institution reverted to its original name of "University of Houston" after controversy and a general resistance within the community to the name change.
In 1997, the UH System and the University of Houston administrations merged into a single governing entity. Arthur K. Smith, then the UH president, became the first person to hold both the UH System chancellorship and University of Houston presidency simultaneously. Smith was responsible for overseeing the successful merger of the UH System and UH administrations, the launching of the "Learning. Leading." image campaign, the planning and construction of major buildings at all UH System institutions, a growth in external funding for research, and an increase in student enrollment.
As of the merger in 1997, the University of Houston System administration is located in the Ezekiel W. Cullen Building on the University of Houston campus. On June 1, 2007, former UH President and Chancellor Dr. Jay Gogue left UH and UH System to become President of Auburn University. The University of Houston System Board of Regents appointed John M. Rudley, vice chancellor/vice president for administration and finance, to serve as Interim UH System Chancellor and Interim UH President.
On October 15, 2007, Dr. Renu Khator—who had served as provost and senior vice president of the University of South Florida—was selected for the position of UH System chancellor and UH president. On November 5, 2007, Khator was confirmed as the third person to hold the UH System chancellor and UH president position simultaneously, and took her position in January 2008.
The mission of the University of Houston is to "provide a range of educational programs that foster an intellectually and culturally diverse environment that enhances individual growth and development."
UH offers over 300 degree programs through its 12 academic colleges: 112 bachelors, 135 masters, 54 doctoral, and three special professional degrees—law, optometry, and pharmacy. In fiscal year 2004, the university conducted more than $75.9 million in research programs and ranked third in research expenditures within Texas when compared to non-medical institutions, and eighth when medical institutions were also considered.
The University of Houston's academic colleges are as follows:
The University of Houston conducts research in each academic department and operates more than 40 research centers and institutes on campus. Through these facilities, UH maintains creative partnerships with government, health care and private industry. Areas of interdisciplinary research conducted at UH include superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration, and virtual technology.
The University of Houston's faculty includes three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee, National Medal of Science recipient Paul Chu, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams. The University's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is home to the Creative Writing Program, which was founded by alumnus Donald Barthelme and offers M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Noted writers who have emerged from the program include novelists Robert Clark Young and Padgett Powell. The program attracts major authors, including international and award-winning authors. The Creative Writing Program was ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its first annual ranking of writing programs in 1997.
The University of Houston is ranked second among national universities for Campus Ethnic Diversity by U.S. News & World Report. It also ranks the Bauer College of Business as the top Undergraduate Business Program in Houston, third among public universities in the state of Texas, and 63rd in the nation among public universities. The ranking places the Bauer College in the top quartile of the approximately 400 AACSB-accredited undergraduate business programs and top five percent among all 1608 undergraduate business programs in the United States. It has been ranked the best entrepreneurship program by the Princeton Review.
The evening MBA program was ranked as the 27th best part-time MBA program in the country by Businessweek in 2007. It also ranks 5th among public universities for producing CEOs of S&P 500 companies, according to Bloomberg Markets. Houston was tied with the University of Michigan and Dartmouth. The EMBA Program ranked 17th in the U.S. among public EMBA programs according to the 2004 Financial Times ranking of the top 75 EMBA Programs in the World.
Additionally, the college's Entrepreneurship program ranked number 1 in the nation by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine in 2008, up from number 2 in 2007.
The University of Houston Law Center is a Tier I law school, currently ranked 59th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the news magazine ranks three of the Law Center's specialty programs in the top ten in the country: the Health Law and Policy Institute (Healthcare Law), the Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law (IP Law), and the Blakely Advocacy Institute (Trial Advocacy).
The Hines College of Architecture is one of only 36 schools to have an accreditation certificate from the NAAB for both Bachelor's and Master's Degree programs. It recently added an industrial design program, the first in the state of Texas. In 2002, the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management ranked third in the nation in hospitality management by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education. Additionally, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, five of the top fifty cited physicists in the world come from the university's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
The University of Houston (formerly University of Houston–University Park) is a single-campus university located approximately three miles southeast of Downtown Houston off of Interstate 45 at Texas Spur 5. The official university address is 4800 Calhoun Road and its campus is roughly bisected by Cullen Boulevard—a thoroughfare that has become synonymous with the university. This was a former location of the "Central Campus" when UH was a multi-campus university from 1973 to 1983.
The 667-acre (2.70 km2) UH campus includes numerous green spaces, fountains, and sculptures, including a work by famed sculptor Jim Sanborn. Renowned architects César Pelli and Philip Johnson have designed buildings on the UH campus. Recent campus beautification projects have garnered awards from the Keep Houston Beautiful group for improvements made to the Cullen Boulevard corridor.
The LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting houses the studios and offices of KUHT-TV Houston PBS, the nation's first public television station; KUHF (88.7 FM), Houston's NPR station; the Center for Public Policy Polling; and television studio labs.
The Blaffer Gallery exhibits the works of both visiting artists and those of students in the University of Houston School of Art. The campus also has the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Performing Arts which houses the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre and Moores Opera Center.
The 264,000 ft² (25,000 m²) Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, which is home to the nation's largest collegiate natatorium, was recognized by the National Intramural-Sports Association as an outstanding facility upon its completion in 2004. The venues for most UH varsity athletic teams are located on the campus, including Hofheinz Pavilion, Robertson Stadium, and Cougar Field. The athletic facilities are situated in a contiguous block of land between Cullen Boulevard and Scott Street, with the exception of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
The 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex (SERCC) was designed by architect César Pelli. It houses facilities for many interdisciplinary research programs at UH including bionanotechnology. The university has an on-campus Hilton hotel that is part of the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. This hotel was established with a donation by the founder of Hilton Hotels, Conrad N. Hilton, and is staffed by students in the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
In addition to parking facilities including garages and lots for commuters, public transportation is available to and from the University of Houston via several METRO bus routes. UH operates an air-conditioned shuttle bus service that is free to anyone with a university identification card.
The University of Houston is notable for its diverse student body, and U.S. News & World Report ranks UH as the second-most diverse research university in the United States. With 37,000 students, the university has significant Asian American and Hispanic populations. Its international student population is primarily from Asia. As of fall 2006, the demographic makeup of the student population was 38.5 percent non-Hispanic white, 19.5 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 19.3 percent Hispanic (of any race), 13.2 percent non-Hispanic black, 0.4 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native, 7.3 percent International (regardless of race), and 1.8 percent other or unknown.
Twelve percent of UH students live on campus. UH has two main housing areas for dormitories: Moody Towers and the Quadrangle. Moody Towers, frequently just called "The Towers", is one of the tallest complexes on campus and the largest area of residence halls. Each of the two towers consists of eighteen stories and together house 1,100 students. The Quadrangle, also known as "The Quad" is the oldest housing area on campus and consists of several coed dorm halls: Bates, Law, Oberholtzer, Settegast, and Taub. The Quadrangle houses 800 students. In addition to traditional dormitories, UH has an apartment-style dormitory called Cougar Place that is a housing area consisting of 400 units.
UH also has several privately-owned apartment complexes on campus that are Cullen Oaks, Bayou Oaks, and Cambridge Oaks. In August 2009 Calhoun Lofts, a new university-owned and operated residential facility aimed at graduate and professional students that will include retail stores, lecture halls, recreation facilities, will open.
The University of Houston operates a public television station, KUHT, and public radio station, KUHF. Both stations are licensed to the University. KUHT (Channel 8) is a PBS member station and the first public television station in the United States, and KUHF (88.7 FM) is an NPR member station. Both stations broadcast on campus from the LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting.
The UH Student Video Network, a student-run network, appears on the University of Houston cable network and is one of the few fee-funded student organizations on campus.
Cougar First Impressions, a program headed by the UH Staff Council, takes place every year on the first two days of classes, when faculty and staff turn out to welcome new and returning students. Frontier Fiesta, a re-creation of a 19th-century Western town, with music, food and historical exhibits, is a major event on campus each spring semester. The student led festival is a part of a long-standing tradition at UH dating back to the 1940s.
The official colors of the University of Houston are scarlet red and albino white. These were the colors of Sam Houston's ancestor—Sir Hugh—and were adopted by UH at the same time as the official seal. Scarlet red symbolizes courage or inner strength to face the unknown, and white symbolizes the goodness and purity of spirit embodied in helping one's fellow man. The seal of the University of Houston, officially adopted in 1938, is a stylized version of the coat-of-arms of General Sam Houston. The first official version was placed on the floor of the Roy Gustav Cullen Building.
The Frontiersmen are a group of students who participate in university events to drive school spirit. At football games, the Frontiersmen—donning cowboy hats, Wrangler Jeans, and dusters for attire—run across the field with the university's flag and the Flag of Texas after each score.
The Cougar Paw is a popular hand sign used by University of Houston students, faculty, alumni, and athletics fans to represent camaraderie and support. The Cougar Paw tradition was adopted through several athletics events between the University of Houston and The University of Texas. The first time UH played UT in football was in 1953, and since this was their first meeting, members of Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity in charge of taking care of Shasta I, the university's mascot, brought her to the game. During the trip, Shasta's front paw was caught in the cage door and one toe was cut off. At the game, members of the opposing team discovered what had happened and began taunting UH players by holding up their hands with the ring finger bent. UT went on to win this game 28–7, and UH students began using the sign as notice that they would remember the taunts. In 1968, at their second meeting, the Cougars, holding up the now-adopted symbol of UH pride, played UT to a 20–20 tie. UH did not play UT again until 1976, the first year UH was a member of the Southwest Conference. In front of a record crowd, UH defeated UT 30–0. This solidified the use of the Cougar Paw as a tradition.
The 1996 film Tin Cup depicts Kevin Costner's and Don Johnson's characters as former teammates on the University of Houston golf team. The film featured several real-life UH alumni and former men's golf team members, including Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, and Bruce Lietzke. The 1999 film Arlington Road was partially filmed on-campus. Jeff Bridges' character and his girlfriend are seen walking between Melcher Hall and the University Center. Other locations on campus are the inside of a classroom in Agnes Arnold Hall and a telephone booth in the College of Technology Annex. Also filmed on campus was the 2003 movie Dude, Where's the Party?, where Kal Penn's character attends the university.
In the long-running television show Reba, Steve Howey's character, Van, receives a scholarship to play as a cornerback for the Houston Cougars football team in the episode "Labor for Love." In a later episode, "Skating Away," Van, his wife, Cheyenne, and their new baby move into an on-campus apartment at the university while Van plays football.
UH's 16-sport intercollegiate program is a member of Conference USA. Since the conference was formed in 1995, the Cougars have won 33 C-USA titles. After 61 years of athletics at UH, other notable achievements include 16 national titles in men's golf, five NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four appearances, and two College World Series appearances.
More than 50 Olympic athletes have attended UH, bringing home 33 medals, including 19 gold. Former Olympian and UH alumnus Leroy Burrell returned as the men's track and field head coach in 1998, while in March 2004, Tom Penders was named the seventh men's basketball head coach. In December 2007, Kevin Sumlin was introduced as the university's twelfth head football coach.
In addition to varsity sports, the University of Houston offers a variety of intramural sports programs.
The university has an intercollegiate sports program that competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA's Division I sports at the University of Houston include baseball, basketball, cross country, American football, golf, and track and field for men; basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field for women.
The football team has made 16 post-season bowl appearances and has to its credit several Southwest Conference championships and Cotton Bowl Classic appearances, as well as the 2006 Conference USA Championship. The 1989 Heisman Trophy winner, Andre Ware, was a Cougar. The varsity football team went 8-5 in 2008, including a 34-28 win against the Air Force Falcons in the Armed Forces Bowl on December 31, 2008.
The men's basketball team has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, with five trips to the Final Four. See also Phi Slama Jama, the Cougars teams of the early 1980s that featured current Basketball Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Houston competes with other notable sports teams, such as the baseball team, which has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances with two trips to the College World Series; the men's golf team, which has won 16 NCAA National Championships; the women's soccer team, which was rated as the top first-year women's program in the country in 1998; the swimming and diving teams, which have spawned multiple Olympians and All-Americans; the track and field team, which perennially ranks in the top 10 as an NCAA team; and the volleyball team, which had a streak of ten consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.
With strong academic programs in the arts, media, business, hospitality management, law, as well as a successful athletics program, the University of Houston has seen many now notable persons pass through its halls. Jack Valenti, long-time president of the Motion Picture Association of America and creator of the MPAA film rating system, received his B.B.A. from UH and for decades was one of the most influential people in Hollywood. Acclaimed artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel is also a University of Houston alum. Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School faculty member and chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the U.S. banking bailout during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, received her B.S. from UH in 1970. Alice Sebold a well known and favored American Novelist, publishing one of America's Best sellers; including Lucky and The Lovely Bones.
Notable athletes within the list include NFL players Wilson Whitley, Glenn Montgomery, Alfred Oglesby, Craig Veasey, Donnie Avery, David Klingler, Kevin Kolb, and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware; golfer Fred Couples; track and field legend Carl Lewis; the NBA's Bo Outlaw, Clyde Drexler, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon and Carl Herrera; and legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry.
The University of Houston Alumni Association (UHAA) is the official alumni association of the University of Houston. Formed in 1940, UHAA is a non-profit organization with a membership of over 18,000 dues-paying members. It is headquartered at the University of Houston's on-campus Athletics/Alumni Center. It was previously known as the "Ex-Students Association" and the "Houston Alumni Organization" prior to its current name.
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