The seventh annual Life Member Celebration was held this Saturday Feb. 25 at J.W. Marriott Houston Downtown.
The Sam Houston State University Alumni Association hosted the event to honor all the newest Life Members in the Alumni Association. All new Life Members were presented with a plaque at the ceremony to celebrate their membership and becoming a life member. University President Dana Hoyt began the program by welcoming the alumni and updating them on the University. Afterwards Vice President of the Alumni Association Justin Burnett, who graduated in 02’, gave a testimonial. Burnett works at British Petroleum in materials management and warehousing.
“A variety of membership levels are offered for students that have graduated,” Event Coordinator of Alumni Relations Meagen Korenek said. “Once someone becomes an alumnus they can elect to become a sustaining member. A Life Membership is one the highest levels of membership within the Alumni Association.”
The Alumni Association the serves the interests of alumni, current students, and friends in order to contribute to the advancement of the University. The association supports alumni in numerous ways including assistance with applying for scholarships and finding new career paths. Students who have graduated can get involved by attending events, serving as a board member, networking professionally, raising money, and recruiting students. The alumni can choose to give back to the University by donating to the Annual Fund or establishing their own scholarship or endowment.
“Our alumni donate all the time in a plethora of ways; they’re a huge part of the university,” Korenek said. “We consult with them a lot about what’s going on in the alumni association, and they help recruit new students and pass along all of the bearkat traditions we have. A lot of them know high school students and invite them to our events or event graduate students. They try to gain members that way.”
Life members received a life member pin, plaque of recognition, a membership ID, they are recognized in Kat Connection, and receive complimentary admission to the Life Member Celebration.
“It’s vital that we thank the alumni and show that we are really appreciative for all that they do. Alumni are the life blood of the university and we wouldn’t be here without them. We hope that when students graduate they continue to give back and help the future of other bearkats.” Korenek said.