Page 1


One Ring to Rule Them All Celebrating 10 Years of the Official UH Class Ring

Loss of a Legal Legend remembering UH alum and benefactor John o’quinn Winter 2009

I Am Woman! Exploring the Women’s Archive and Research Center

Did you know that University of Houston alumni could save up to $327.96 or more a year on auto insurance?

You may already know that you can enjoy competitive auto insurance rates and special money-saving discounts through the Liberty Mutual AdvantageTM program.* But did you know that Liberty Mutual offers many other discounts on both auto and home insurance?* In fact, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on auto insurance alone. And you could save even more by insuring your home, as well.


Contact us for your FREE no-obligation quote: • Call 1-800-687-8131 and mention client #9742 M-F 7:00am - 12:30am, Sat 7:00am -11:00pm, Sun 9:00am - 10:00pm


• Go to • Or visit a Liberty Mutual office near you

This organization receives financial support for allowing Liberty Mutual to offer this auto and home insurance program. *Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply tospecific coverages only. **Figure based on a February 2008 sample of auto policyholder savings when comparing their former premium with those of the Liberty Mutual Advantage program. Individual premiums and savings will vary. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty County Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 2100 Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX. A consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and/or a motor vehicle report, on all drivers listed on your policy, may be obtained where state laws and regulations allow. ©2008 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS Winter 2009 / Vol. 2 / Issue No. 4


Cougar Pride has a nice ring to it Celebrating 10 years of the Official UH Class Ring




2009 Football Recap +

Armed Forces Bowl Preview Cougars finish the decade strong with an impressive 2009 season

You'll Not See Nothing XX-amining Like the Mighty O'Quinn Gender How a self-made Texan became the country's most successful tort lawyer

A tour of UH's Women's Archive and Research Center

UHAQ Departments Since 1940, the UHAA has served and supported the University of Houston, it's nearly 200,000 alumni, its friends, and the community it calls home. Beginning on January 1, 2010, we'll be celebrating our 70th Anniversary. ...Read more in Association Update, p. 22.

On the cover:

Shot on a beautifal early winter day in the fountain near the Ezekiel Cullen building, the Official UH Class Ring shines proudly in the mid-day sun. Photography by Andy Rich..

3 4 5 2 2 19 21 2 6 30 31 32

Alumline A note from our Interim President + CEO Connie Fox. Campus News All the university news that's fit to print. By the Numbers A numerical breakdown of UH fun-facts. association update See what's new with your Alumni Association. Leaving Their Print UH grads make their mark on the literary world. CougarCorner Profiling Life Member James Hong. Class Notes Catching up with your graduating class. Cougar Business Connection You've got the hook up. Calendar Upcoming arts, sports, and social events in the UH universe. Paws & Remember That's so nineties. So...1993.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 1




Continuing Education Programs Offered • EmPower: Leadership & Management • Pharmacy Technology • Business Analysis • Language Immersion • Advanced ESL for Professional Development • Paralegal Studies • Online Learning • Test Preparation: GRE/GMAT/LSAT • Project Management • Corporate Training

UH Continuing Education 713-743-1060 The University of Houston is an EO/AA institution.

UHAQ t alumline

Props to You, Coogs by

Connie Fox

UHAA Interim President + CEO

Connie Fox

Joy Wagman Krohn

David Raffetto ('05)

Andy Rich

Executive Publisher Editor

Managing Editor art director

Kim Reister Stinebaker ('07) CONTRIBUTING WRITER

UHAA Board of Directors Judie Lilie (’95), Chair Mike Baker (’68, JD ’71), Immediate Past Chair Reece Rondon (’92, JD ’95), Chair Elect Rick Bowen (’88, MBA ’91), Treasurer Ron Page (’80), Secretary Charles Dorn (’80) Stephanie Foy (MSW ’94) Cathy Frank (’80) Jason Fuller (’94)

Carl Glaw (’77) Joe Heard (’80) James Holmes (’86) Janet Hoover President Renu Khator, Ex-Officio Durg Kumar (’82, MBA ’83) Shannon McClendon (JD ’92) Gerald McElvy (’75) Laura Murillo (’89, MEd ’98, EdD ’03) Ricky Raven (’83, JD ’86) Thaddeus “Bo” Smith (’67) Martha Wong (MEd ’76, EdD ’83)

UH Alumni Quarterly is published for alumni, friends, donors, and members of the University of Houston Alumni Association. Views expressed within do not necessarily represent those of the University of Houston. All editorial comments and class note submissions should be sent to or ATTN: David Raffetto, P.O. Box 230345, Houston, TX 77223-0345. For information on advertising or to discuss corporate parternship opportunities, contact Ty Houston at or 713.743.9555.

UH Alumni Quarterly, Volume 2, Issue 4 (USPS 018-676) (SSN 1089-9154) is published four times a year (April, July, October, December) by the University of Houston Alumni Association, located at 3100 Cullen Blvd., Suite 201, Houston, Texas 77204-6000. Annual memberships start at $50, $4.50 of which is allocated for a subscription to this publication. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. Postmaster: Send address changes to the University of Houston Alumni Association, P.O. Box 230345, Houston, Texas, 77223-0345.


UHAQ mistakenly listed Marguerite Wells Baxter ('56) in our 'In Memorium' section last issue. As readers will see from her class note this issue, Marguerite is quite well and busy as ever. To Marguerite and any of her friends and family members we may have alarmed, our sincerest apologies.

Please recycle this magazine.

Thank you, Cougars! You read last issue’s cover story, you reflected on our series of email communications, you heard our radio commercials, you wore the political buttons we passed out at football games, and you decided to vote for Proposition Four. For those who are still skeptical that Cougars can make a difference, consider this. Throughout the state, the proposition passed with 56.7% voting in favor of the constitutional amendment. But that number jumps to 68% in Harris County, where approximately half of our alumni base resides. We doubt that’s a coincidence. Visit for a complete county-by county breakdown of Prop. 4 voting. We link to an interactive map and all sorts of cool things. Some specific thank yous are reserved for members of UHAA’s Legislative Committee: Martha Wong (MEd ’98, EdD ’03), committee chair, Elaine Barber, Chris Begala (’86), Nelda Blair (JD ’82), Chris Erdeljac (’96), Jason Fuller (’94), Ashley Glaw, Carl Glaw (’77), Linda Glaw (’78), Jim Grace (JD ’92), James Holmes (’86), Kim Jessup (’83), Judie Lilie (’95), Gary Longbotham (’73), Jose Lopez (’02), and Shannon McClendon (JD ’92). Your collective leadership provided us with the direction needed to get this amendment passed. Members of the university community, like Board of Regents Chair Welcome Wilson, Sr. (’49), UH Chancellor and President Renu Khator, and government relations staff Barbara Stanley (JD ’89) and Grover Campbell, did a wonderful job of informing alumni of the facts around the proposition. To all of our constituent group leaders across the state, thank you for talking up Prop. 4 at your events and in your communities. Many thanks also to the volunteers who showed up at poll locations during early voting and on Election Day and encouraged voters to support the amendment. Prop. 4 passed – so now what? First, I encourage you to write your legislators and

thank them for supporting higher education! The enabling legislation first passed 144-0 in the Texas House and 30-1 in the Texas Senate. In a two-party era with so many individual interests, legislation almost never passes so unanimously. So recognize our politicians’ unified embrace of higher education by sending a simple letter, email, or placing a phone call to thank them for their efforts. If you’re not sure what to say, you can find some sample language at the Prop 4 page I mentioned earlier. Next, it’s time to start focusing on the criteria by which “emerging research universities” are judged. At the alumni association, the one we’re most focused on, naturally, is the alumni giving percentage. Most of you who receive UH Alumni Quarterly in the mail are paid alumni association members, and accordingly, count toward the alumni giving percentage. But we all know some closet Cougars out there who may have “University of Houston” on their college transcript, but no diploma hung, no decal on their back windshield, no ticket stubs in their pockets, and no membership in the alumni association. Don’t let them get away with it! The alumni association does a lot yearround to encourage lapsed and never-before members to join. But encouragement from a friend or colleague goes a long way. Bring them to a basketball game or performance at the Moores Opera House. Invite them to network at the Cougar Power Hour. Or simply guilt and shame them into joining. The means are up to you, but the end results in more alumni giving back to their alma mater. The end results in one step closer to Tier One. With Cougar Spirit,

Connie Fox UHAA Interim President + CEO Life Member

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 3

UHAQ t Campus News UH to Raise Admission Standards

Blaffer curator of education Katherine Veneman, former YAAP participant Jessica Flores, and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Blaffer Gallery’s Young Artist Program Wins Presidential Award The Young Artist Apprenticeship Program (YAAP) organized by Blaffer Gallery, the University of Houston’s art museum, recently earned national endorsement by winning a Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Established in 1998, YAAP is a six-week comprehensive art workshop for twelve teenagers from neighboring Houston Independent School District high schools. In a ceremony at the White House on November 4, First Lady Michelle Obama presented two representatives from YAAP with the award—Blaffer curator of education Katherine Veneman and former YAAP participant and Eastwood Academy graduate Jessica Flores. Blaffer Gallery also received $10,000 in support of the program. Each year, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities recognizes 15 outstanding after-school arts programs nationwide that provide young students with learning opportunities and the ability to contribute to their communities. Chosen from a pool of 420 applicants, YAAP was the only finalist from Texas and is the first program from Houston to be ever recognized. The President’s Committee partners with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities to administer the award. “Whether or not the teenagers choose art as their ultimate career path, the Young Artist Apprenticeship Program exposes students to the intense level of dedication required of higher education and encourages them to contemplate their educational destinies,” stated Claudia Schmuckli, Blaffer Gallery’s director and chief curator. “Recognition from the White House confirms the success of YAAP, and we are proud that a program so valued by our community has been honored as one of the top programs in the nation.” YAAP students are taught by two professional artist mentors who are also dedicated teachers. The workshop meets four days per week, as students undertake progressively difficult art projects informed by a concurrent Blaffer exhibition. Additionally, university students in the Blaffer Student Association make regular class visits, and YAAP students take field trips to area museums. The program culminates in a student exhibition and reception, where two students receive scholarship awards for further study. Modified from a university release by Jeff Bowen.

4 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

This November, University of Houston officials decided to raise undergraduate admission standards. Under the previous set of standards, UH automatically admitted applicants who were in the top 20 percent of their graduating class, the only public institution in Texas do so. The new standards would limit automatic admission to students graduating in the top 10 percent. For other applicants, UH will raise the minimum SAT score to 1000 and ACT scores from 21 to 24. The new admission standards will go into effect for the fall 2011 semester. “This is a first step,” Provost John Antel told regents, arguing that higher standards will attract better students, increase graduation rates, and improve the university’s reputation. “We have to become more selective.” Students who don't meet the new standards will be encouraged to apply to UH-Downtown, an option Antel said would fulfill the university's traditional mission of educating the city's working class. UH-Downtown is open admission, meaning anyone with a high school diploma or GED can enroll. An intended consequence of the raised standards is to raise graduation rates. A more academically prepared student population should result in more students graduating, Antel reasoned. UH's current graduation rate, according to rating entities like US News & World Report, is 42 percent, significantly lower than the state average of 56 percent. Those numbers only measure students who enter as freshmen and graduate from the same institution within six years. It doesn't account for students who transfer in from community colleges or other four-year schools, approximately 60 percent of the UH population. Concerns that higher standards would lower enrollment (and therefore, state funding) and limit minority enrollment were met with reassurance by several regents. “We do not have a diversity problem, and we want to keep it that way,” said Welcome Wilson, Sr. (’49), chairman of the board of regents. About 35 percent of UH students are white, 20 percent are Hispanic, another 20 percent are Asian, and just over 13 percent are African-American. Carroll Robertson Ray (JD ’02), a member of the board of regents and granddaughter of university benefactor Hugh Roy Cullen, referred to Cullen's longstanding vision of the university as a school for the sons and daughters of Houston's working class. “There's been a lot of talk about my family, particularly my grandfather's vision of this as Everyman's university,” she said. “I want to say, on behalf of my grandfather, Everyman deserves a Tier 1 university.” Modified from a Houston Chronicle article (published 11/4/09) by Jeannie Kever.

No Bones About It: UH Joins Med Center The Texas Medical Center has expanded its reach by welcoming the University of Houston as an official member institution. The decision is the culmination of several years of discussion between the institutions. Readers should note that the UH College of Pharmacy has been a member since 1980.

Pharmacy Researchers Win Inventor of the Year Researchers from the University of Houston’s College stem cell transplantation and greatly improved paof Pharmacy (UHCOP) and M.D. Anderson Cancer Centients' quality of life in the U.S. and throughout the ter (MDACC) were recently honored with an Inventor of world," said Chow. "Until our team developed the inthe Year Award for developing intravenous formulatravenous formulations that bypass the liver, Busulfan tions of a pre-transplant drug that dramatically enwas only administered orally and led to unpredictable hances the safety of stem cell transplantation for leuserious side effects, including lethal liver failure in as kemia patients. many as one of every four or five patients undergoing The inventors— Diana Chow, UHCOP professor, Borje transplantations." Andersson, MDACC professor, and Harshal BhagwatThe researchers have been awarded two U.S. patwar (PhD ’95), an alumnus now working in the pharents and one international patent for Busulfan (IV Bumaceutical industry in India—were sulfex). The product was first apgranted the award by the Houston proved by the U.S. Food and Drug Intellectual Property Law Association Administration in 1999. (HIPLA). This marks the first time UH "This award is a great honor and researchers have been honored with accomplishment not only for us and the award. our many colleagues, but for the paUsed as a conditioning agent for tients and their families who encourleukemia patients prior to stem cell aged our work," said Andersson, transplantation, Busulfan (IV Busulwho also holds an adjunct faculty fex) has resulted in a 10-fold reducposition at UHCOP. tion in the three-month, post-transHIPLA is an organization of intelplantation mortality rate of patients. lectual property lawyers and law stuToday, more than 65 percent of all dent affiliates dedicated to promotProfessors Borje Andersson myeloid leukemia patients transing development and understanding and Diana Chow. planted in North America receive an of intellectual property law, including intravenous Busulfan-based preits annual presentation of Inventor of transplant regimen. Now marketed in more than 40 the Year Award since 1983. Past recipients of the countries by Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Busulaward include such luminaries as Dr. Denton Cooley, fan (IV Busulfex) has generated more than $40 million famed heart surgeon and Texas Heart Institute foundin sales as an orphan drug and more than $4.3 million er, and the late Richard Smalley of Rice University, winin royalties for UH, making it the most profitable patner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for co-inventing the ent in university history. buckminsterfullerene (aka "buckyball"). Modified from a university release by Shawn Lindsey. "This invention has changed the standard of care in

UH’s Alcohol Prevention Program Named Nation’s Best University of Houston Wellness’ comprehensive alcohol prevention program is among the nation’s best, according to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) and the National Prevention Network (NPN). Recently, UH was among the institutions that received the NASADAD/NPN 2009 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies. The award recognizes results-driven substance prevention programs that may be replicated at other institutions. UH Wellness will receive a stipend to assist in its future substance prevention efforts. A primary focus of UH's program is Intent and Motivation: Alcohol Group Exercise (IMAGE), which provides informational sessions to student groups including fraternities, sororities, athletes and residential students. Session content includes details of alcohol consumption at UH, and participants are asked to select self-protective behaviors (abstinence from alcohol, prioritizing studying over drinking, drinking less) to incorporate into their lifestyles.

"This program is focused on giving feedback to students within their cohort groups and letting them decide what to do with it," said Gail Gillan, director of UH Wellness. "We have found the discussions to be positive and the students to be overwhelmingly responsive." The award is the latest accolade for UH Wellness' alcohol prevention program, which has received honors and funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission. "UH is an exceptional institution, with exceptional students. We are proud to provide positive leadership that is leading to healthier choices and a safer learning environment," Gillan said. In addition to this alcohol prevention program, UH Wellness offers campus-wide education and prevention programs related to social, occupational, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and social wellness, including workshops, symposiums, and peer education programs that build toward academic credit and certification options.

bynumb3rs the It should be four, but on the grounds of vulgarity, the Pulitzer Board rejected Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for 1963’s best drama. No award was given that year. Instead Edward Albee, who returns to the UH faculty in the spring, only has three Pulitzer Prizes. After stops at Tufts, Columbia, Fordham, Rhode Island, Texas, George Washington, and now Houston, basketball coach Tom Penders has racked up that many wins, good for fifth among active NCAA coaches.

Per President Renu Khator’s fall address, the number of degrees granted by the University of Houston last year, the most in school history.

The percent of Americans affected by sleep apnea. UH researchers are testing a new method to diagnose sleep apnea with non-contact technology, using thermal infrared imaging to extract breathing waveforms and monitor airflow.

The number of students who currently live on campus. When current freshman housing facilities are completed, that number will jump to over 7,300.

That’s a lot of yards for a field-goal kicker, but freshman Matt Hogan drilled it as time expired, leading the Cougars to a 46-45 victory at Tulsa on Nov. 7, 2009.

Modified from a university release by Mike Emery.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 5



UH quarterback Case Keenum, named a Second Team All American by several media outlets, will go into the Armed Forces bowl having thrown for 5,449 yards and 43 touchdowns this season.

In some respects, it was a season that only met expectations. For the fourth straight year, the Houston Cougar football team will finish with a winning record and go bowling. But it wasn’t long ago, fans, that those two outcomes would have been considered exceeding expectations—by a mile. Heading into the Armed Forces Bowl, the Cougar fan base is a bit disillusioned. No conference championship. No longer in the BCS rankings. But sports aren’t always about championships and rankings. Don’t get me wrong, those are pretty damn important—obviously. Memorable moments, however— those are the topics reminisced about years later. The “remember when…” conversations that make the faces of alumni light up. As far as memorable moments go, of the 63 years this university has fielded a football team, the 2009 Cougars rank among our university’s finest. So to relive the season, to recreate those “Are you kidding me?” moments, to remember the “Did he just do that?” plays, I present you the 2009 Houston Cougars. 6 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m


That’s the Way the Ball Bounces

The Two-Day Game

It was a rather anti-climactic way to begin the season, but sometimes it’s nice to kick back and watch a beat down—especially when it gives so many new guys a chance to shine. In the 55-7 victory over Northwestern State, true freshman Charles Sims would score his first collegiate touchdown, and true freshman Phillip Steward would lead the team with 13 tackles. Little did we know then that these two would become full-time starters. As the game’s most memorable moment, Matt Hogan’s kickoff bounced off the helmet of a day-dreaming Northwestern State player and into the arms of Brandon Brinkley.

In front of a record crowd at Robertson Stadium, UH gunslinger Case Keenum leads the Coogs on a lastsecond, 95-yard drive, scampering for the last four yards and giving his team what would be the final 29-28 edge over Texas Tech. That final possession would end just after midnight, adding “single-handedly beat Texas Tech and the Greek god Chronus” to the Keenum lore. The victory would make the 2009 Cougars 2-0 against the Big XII, prompting the sale of t-shirts that read, “If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em.”

UH vs. Northwestern State (09/05)

UH vs. Texas Tech (09/26)

Record: 3-0 Ranking: 12

Record: 1-0 Ranking: NR

Former walk-on CJ Cavness emerged as a leader for the 2009 Cougar defense. The hard-hitting linebacker has thus far accumulated 126 tackles on the year.

The Immaculate Deflections

Everyone Gets the Hiccups

Bulldogging our Way Back into the Rankings

UH vs. Oklahoma State (09/12)

UH vs. UTEP (10/03)

UH vs. Mississippi State (10/10)

Still Riding the Wave

First, Case Keenum’s fourth-down pass is deflected high into the air by Oklahoma State linebacker Donald Booker, only for it to fall into the hands of Bryce Beall waiting in the end zone. Moments later, defensive back Jamal Robinson tips the ball to himself, secures the interception, and returns it for a touchdown. Luck? If you say so, OSU. Coogs steal one on the road 45-35 for the program’s first win over a top-5 team since 1984. Not a typo. Twenty-five years since we beat a top-5 team. I’d call that memorable.

Usually Case Keenum is enough. But his five touchdowns and 536 yards didn’t cut it as the Cougars fell to UTEP 58-41. Turnovers and poor rush defense were the difference. To pour a little salt on the wound, the seemingly impossible-to-stop Miner offense was ranked a paltry 109 prior to the game. Chalk it up to overconfidence, chalk it up to the altitude—chalk it up to anything other than the overall talent of this team. The only thing memorable about this one was the pregame Mexican food buffet.

Those cowbells were rocking in Starkville, but the final bell would toll for the Bulldogs, as the Cougars won a hard-fought, physical game 31-24. The victory would make the team 3-0 against BCS opponents, the only university to do such this year. As one of this season’s most controversial plays, Mississippi State quarterback Tyson Lee is called for throwing the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, stalling a drive that could have put the Bulldogs up by two scores. Replay shows…not so much. But we’ll take it. Karma will even things out later in the season.

This one was never in doubt as the Cougars beat Tulane for the seventh straight year, 44-16 in a cavernous Superdome. A spirited pre-game party at the House of Blues had the traveling UH fans in a festive mood, outnumbering and out-cheering the Green Wave. A blocked punt by Jeremy Smith would start the scoring snowball. One of the season’s most amusing moments came when the head official publically scolded the PA announcer for interfering with the snap count.

Record: 2-0 Ranking: 21

Record: 3-1 Ranking: NR

UH vs. Tulane (10/17)

Record: 5-1 Ranking: 17

Record: 4-1 Ranking: 23

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 7


In dramatic fashion, Case Keenum and the Cougar offense cap off a 95-yard, game-winning drive with just 45 seconds left in the game, securing a 29-28 victory over Texas Tech. Houston leads the all-time series against the former Southwest conference opponent 18-10-1.

Homecoming Havoc

The 100-Yard TwoPoint Conversion

Hogan the Hero

Those Pesky Hiccups Again

Keenum was pretty good, but senior linebacker CJ Cavness stole the show with 18 tackles, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. He also painted the end zones, sang the national anthem, and sold popcorn at halftime. The defense knocked out starting SMU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, and the Mustangs scrambled to find a replacement. It didn’t work. Coogs win 38-15 in front of two live Cougars who made a special appearance for Homecoming.

Appropriately, we brought out some wacky ones on Halloween afternoon. Former Arizona basketball player Fendi Onobun blocked two extra points, one of which would produce one of the most exciting plays in Robertson Stadium history. Sophomore safety Nick Saenz would pick up one of them, race to the right, reverse directions, and return the blocked kick 100 yards for the mostearned two points this fan has ever seen. Oh yeah, Keenum throws the winning touchdown pass with 21 seconds left. But we’re used to that from him.

You turned the TV off. Admit it. Down by two and kicking to Tulsa with 20 seconds left. But Tulsa misaligns their hands team, and Chase Turner executes a perfect onside kick that we recover. Then two quick passes to James Cleveland and Tyron Carrier, and Matt Hogan trots on the field. Just as cool as the other side of the pillow, the freshman kicker— who only earned the starting job one week earlier!—nails a 51-yarder as time expires. Coogs squeak by Tulsa 46-45. It was the first time in the history of UH football that the Cougars won on the final play of the game.

Grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble grumble. A 17-3 lead slipped away. Grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble. Devin Mays did return a kick-off 100 yards, though. But still. Grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble. Coogs lose 37-32. Grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble.

Record: 7-1 Ranking: 13

Record: 8-1 Ranking: 12

UH vs. SMU (10/24)

Record: 6-1 Ranking: 15

8 | Winter 2009

UH vs. Southern Miss (10/31)

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

UH vs. Tulsa (11/07)

UH vs. Central Florida (11/14)

Record: 8-2 Ranking: 22

Back to Business

The Bayou Bucket

C-USA Championship Game

Armed Forces Bowl Fort Worth, TX

That’s a little bit better. Coogs cruise 55-14 over Memphis. Keenum throws for 405 yards and five touchdown passes. One ESPN writer calls his performance merely a “pedestrian day.” Of course, that writer clearly only glanced at the box score, because Keenum did all that in one half. In the rain. During the game, Keenum moved past David Klingler for throwing the most touchdown passes in UH history.

Rivalry games are supposed to be heated, hard-fought, and generally pretty close competitions. This game was close only for 15 seconds, when Tyron Carrier returned the opening kick-off for a touchdown. The scoring deluge would follow quickly, marked most memorably by a pick-six for senior Brandon Brinkley, intercepting the ball and weaving in and out of defenders as he returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. We could have posted triple digits, but Sumlin played nice. Coogs rolled, and I mean ROLLED, 73-14 over Rice. Jim Nantz and the entire 1989 football team were honored at half time, including Andre Ware who was toting around his Heisman Trophy.

Remember in the Mississippi State recap when I said karma would even out? Well, it decided to do so at the wrong time. Keenum throws an interception at a critical time, but East Carolina had too many men on the field. The play is reviewed and… what?...upheld? Either the replay official is mathematically challenged, or he wears purple underwear. Either way, it costs the Coogs dearly. We keep it close, but not close enough to light the championship cigars. On the road, in a cold, driving rain, our conference championship dreams are washed away, losing 3832 to East Carolina.

This one is yet to be written. But seeing as the game is on New Year’s Eve, maybe the two-day game against Tech can be topped by a twoyear game! Nah, kick-off is at 11:00 a.m. But it should still be one heck of a match-up. Your Cougars have the #1 offense in the nation, and the Falcons, as should be the case with any military academy, have one of the nation’s best defenses.

UH vs. Memphis (11/21)

Record: 9-2 Ranking: 25

UH vs. Rice (11/28)

Record: 10-2 Ranking: 18

UH vs. East Carolina (12/05)

UH vs. Air Force (12/31)

UHAA Bowl Activities Sponsored by:

Record: 10-3 Ranking: 25 (USA Today poll only)


The Bayou Bucket

Travel Packages

Pre-Game Packages

More Than Memories

Get on a chartered bus in Houston and let us take care of the rest.

Get going with food, friends, and plenty of Cougar spirit before the game kicks off. From 8:00 - 10:30 a.m. at the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility (TCU Campus).

Double digit wins. Whipping up on Big XII opponents. A sustained national ranking. OK, so maybe there was more to this season than memorable moments. It was a season of results too. But 20 years from now, when you meet a fellow Coog on an airplane or in line at the DMV, you’ll ask, “Were you there when Saenz returned that blocked kick 100 yards?” You’ll inquire, “Remember when Hogan nailed that last-second 70-yarder to beat Tulsa?”* There’s one more game of memorable football to be played. Miss it, and the 2009 Cougars will make you regret it. See you in Fort Worth!

For those traveling with UHAA

Package includes:

»» Bus transportation (departing

Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009 Amon G. Carter Stadium TCU Campus Fort Worth, TX Kick-Off at 11:00am

»» »» »» »»

Wednesday, December 30 and returning Thursday, December 31 immediately after game) One night at the Hilton Fort Worth Hotel (includes taxes and fees) Entry to the Official Alumni PreGame Party Game ticket Commemorative scarf

Single Bus Package – $340 Couples Bus Package* – $520 * Shared hotel room.

For those traveling on their own

Package includes:

»» »» »» »»

Entry for 1 to the party Commemorative scarf Access to a cash bar Optional breakfast

Pre-Game Party with breakfast – $30 Pre-Game Party without breakfast – $15

To sign up for any of the travel packages or pre-game festivities, call the alumni association at 713.743.9550 or 1.877.COUGAR1

Why You Should Go This Game

* memorable field goals add a yard per year in fans’ collective memories

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 9



Making this ring is a tradition in its own right,with a team of artisans who are as proud of these rings as the Cougar faithful who wear them. 10 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

has a nice ring to it Celebrating Ten Years of the Official UH Class Ring by DAVID RAFFETTO ('05)

Photography by Andy Rich


hen does a molding of metal become more than an accumulation of elemental atoms? When does a piece of jewelry become more than an adorning trinket? When does a ring’s value become independent of its monetary worth? Since the United States Military Academy at West Point first began the class ring tradition in 1835, universities and college have embraced the practice as a way to honor academic accomplishments and serve as a uniting symbol for alumni matriculating into the larger world. The University of Houston has a ring tradition that dates back to the 1930s. Versions have ranged from a simple interlocking UH stamped on a red backing, to completely customizable rings, where wearers could request fraternity emblems, academic seals, and all sorts of other symbols. The result was an entire alumni base wearing rings that varied as much as their personal college experiences. That’s why in 2000, the University of Houston Alumni Association partnered with Balfour, the nation’s leading class ring manufacturer, to establish an Official UH Class Ring design. Alumni, faculty, and students met in focus groups and decided on the current elements that are represented on the ring. “When the Official UH Class Ring was first established, our intention was to offer our alumni a uniting symbol that would be instantly recognized,” said Connie Fox, interim UHAA president and CEO. “A ring that people can recognize in airports and in business meetings, a ring that is stylish and collegiate in its aesthetics, a ring that graduates take pride in wearing—a ring that clearly marks someone as a Cougar.” Atop the ring is an interlocking UH placed on a laurel wreath. Perhaps more than any other symbol, a ‘U’ interlocked with an ‘H’ has long been the established marker of our university. Arching above and surrounding the UH is University of Houston written in an inscriptional slab-serif font. The right shank presents the university’s seal—a variation of Sam Houston’s coat of arms—that features three martlets, two greyhounds, and a winged hourglass with the motto “In Time” above it. Few know that a martlet is a heraldic charge that depicts a bird with short tufts of feathers in the place of legs. Swifts, formerly also called martlets, have such small legs that they were believed to have none at all. The inability of the martlet to land is often seen to symbolize the constant quest for knowledge. The wearer’s graduation year is also featured on this side of the ring. The left shank bears the wearer’s degree acronym, a façade of the Ezekiel Cullen Building, and the university’s founding year, 1927. According to etiquette expert Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, class rings should always be worn so that the insignia faces the wearer for as long as the wearer is in school. Upon graduation, the ring should be turned around so that the ring faces outward, signifying that the graduate has left school and has entered the wider world. Available to students and former students who have completed at least 70 credit hours and are in good standing with the university, the Official UH Class Ring can be cast in either yellow gold or white gold with options like antique finishes and diamond settings. That’s a lot to crowd on one ring. But Balfour incorporates the elements with such fine detail, that everything fits with a wonderful sense of proportion and balance. Here’s how they do it.

From the Factory to Your Finger The wearer’s degree and class year are first inputted into a computer, which converts those unique ring details, along with the traditional ring details, into a three dimensional image. Next, that digital image is used to guide a milling machine as it cuts a die—what is called the tooling process. Once the die is ready, molten wax is injected and given a chance to harden. The wax pattern is then removed from the die and cleaned of excess wax not conforming to the original pattern. At this point, the wax is sized to the wearer’s finger and a sprue (or channel) is attached that allows molten gold to flow into the mold. Multiple wax rings, with their sprues, are then attached together in a tree-like formation. A high heat-tolerant plaster is poured over the tree of rings and allowed two hours to harden. Then it’s time to turn up the heat. The plaster and wax rings are loaded into an oven where the wax melts and creates a negative cavity within the plaster. After 10 hours at 1,200° Fahrenheit, the plaster is fully cured and ready for metal

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 11

...a uniting symbol that would be instantly recognized, in airports and in business meetings, stylish and collegiate in its aesthetics, a ring that graduates take pride in wearing—a ring that clearly marks someone as a Cougar.

Cast In with Champions Balfour, the company who manufactures the Official University of Houston Class Ring, has made Super Bowl champion rings for the Dallas Cowboys, World Series champion rings for the New York Yankees, and Stanley Cup champion rings for the New York Rangers. So just think, your ring may have been poured from the same molten gold batch as, say, Emmitt Smith or Derek Jeter. Then again, Houston Texans and Houston Astros fans might not be too keen on that possibility. All photos on this page provided by BalfourÂŽ.

12 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

feedback Earlier this year, we asked our Facebook fans what the Official UH Class Ring meant to them. Check out some of their comments below. Live Feed Views News Feed

pouring. Through a process called the lost wax cast method, molten gold is delivered into the plaster mold. The gold then cools, and the rings are “knocked out” using high pressure water and sand blasting. From here, the rings are cut from the tree and sent to the finishing line for grinding, buffing, and polishing. Last, the wearer’s personalized engraving is added to the inside of the ring. “From start to finish, approximately 30 craftsmen will touch each University of Houston ring throughout the manufacturing process,” says Balfour’s Curt Langford, national director of Official Ring Programs. “Making the ring is a tradition in its own right, with a team of artisans who are as proud of these rings as the Cougar faithful who wear them.”

What’s on your mind? Marisa Ramirez after my final exam, the next stop was the class ring kiosk! 8 minutes ago • Comment • Like

Cougar Jeff I teach high school and a lot of kids get their class rings while they are my students. They like to see my UH ring and compare theirs. It helps to remind that there is something more to aspire to. 10 minutes ago • Comment • Like David Raffetto likes this.

Jeff Jones After graduation came work, house, marriage, paying off student loan, kids, etc…I got mine as a gift from my wife on my 40th birthday. 22 minutes ago • Comment • Like

Diana Reckaway I wore mine every day until about a year ago when I took it off and put it in my wallet. The next day my wallet was stolen at the Container Store. Bummer! 26 minutes ago • Comment • Like

Gladys Denise Brown I’m wearing mine right now! It looks just like the pic. GO COOGS! 29 minutes ago • Comment • Like

Susan Anderson I have my Dad’s class ring from the ‘40s. I graduated in ’78, but wearing his ring makes me proud. I feel so good wearing it for two. 40 minutes ago • Comment • Like Judy Lilie, Joy Krohn and 3 Others like this.

Jeff Mitchell I graduated in ’92 before there was an official design. I looked at the options and picked what I thought was the best looking ring. Apparently I’m a trend setter. I’ve been wearing the “official” ring for 17 years! 42 minutes ago • Comment • Like

Linda Walker I just graduated from U of H in May of 2009, and I had been working on my degree for 23 years total on and off. I am so proud of my university; I am so proud to be a Coog. This ring is a symbol of my accomplishment. 50 minutes ago • Comment • Like

Join the conversation and become a fan of UHAA at

Join the Club By wearing the Official UH Class Ring, you’re part of a club of thousands who sport theirs daily. At the close of each semester, your alumni association holds formal ring ceremonies where hundreds of graduating students, near-graduating students, and alumni gather in front of a standing-room-only crowd of family, friends, and university officials as they are presented with their rings. Students speak, a few UH dignitaries—including UH President Renu Khator—give their regards, flash bulbs strobe, tears swell, and a tempest of well-deserved applause congratulates the new ring wearers. Each ceremony participant is individually presented with their ring. Many are finding the ceremony so heart-warming and so intimate, that it has become an evening in lieu of, or to supplement more traditional commencement ceremonies.

Become Part of the Tradition Starting as low as $500, alumni can reserve class rings online at www. Want to see them in person first? Need help getting sized? Stop by the alumni association offices—suite 201 of the Athletics/Alumni Center—and we’ll help you out. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a long-time alumnus who has always regretted not having one, an Official University of Houston class ring is one item that is necessary for every Cougar. Get yours and be part of the tradition.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 13

You’ll Not See Nothing Like

The Mighty ’Quinn How a self-made Texan became the country’s most successful tort lawyer by David Raffetto ('05)

Defense attorneys hated him. Juries loved him. Major corporations feared him. University of Houston alumni will always cherish him. Whatever the relationship, John O’Quinn (’65, ’67, JD ’69) had a knack for getting a reaction out of people. Sometimes that meant the threat of disbarment. Other times it meant the touching memorial ceremony held on the football field that bears his name: John O’Quinn Field at UH’s Robertson Stadium. On October 28, O’Quinn, 68, was killed when the SUV he was driving hit a tree on Allen Parkway in Houston. The passenger, Johnny Lee Cutliff, an employee of The O’Quinn Law Firm, was also killed. With a sense of irony and an air of bitterness, O’Quinn’s death touched both his greatest love, cars, and one of his more personal demons, a blemished driving record. The former drove O’Quinn to amass a collection of more than 800 automobiles, including rides like a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, featured in the film Titanic, a 1962 Lincoln Continental Bubble Top limousine, used by President John F. Kennedy, and a 1975 Ford Escort GL, once owned by Pope John Paul II. The aforementioned driving record was marked by a 1996 no-contest plea to driving while intoxicated and a 1998 trial for evading arrest. But for a man who had such a public career, for a man who had thousands attend his funeral, few

14 | Winter 2009

people claimed to know him well. No wife, no kids. Plenty of legal colleagues, sure, but only a handful of true friends. Gerald Treece was one of them. “Despite all his personal demons over the years, he was headed so much in the right direction,” said Treece, associate dean at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “I’m not saying he managed it every day—who among us does?—but he was working at it. I think he thought happiness was one thing, and then he found out it was another.”

Growing up in a Garage Not to undermine the headline, but O’Quinn was born in Louisiana before moving to Houston as a toddler (one of those “got here as fast as I could” kind of things). His parents divorced when he was four, and it would be the last time he saw his mother. “I went to look for her when I was 16,” O’Quinn once recalled in an interview. “I went back to the little Louisiana town where she was from, only to learn she had died six months before.” Living with his father in a West University bungalow, O’Quinn spent much of his childhood and college days working in his father’s auto repair shop. It was an expectation, and it was a love. In school, his

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

notes and books would be smeared with mechanic’s grease, some of his former classmates remember. But perhaps more than learning how to patch a gas tank, more than learning how to rebuild a transmission, what O’Quinn got in that garage was a determination and a toughness. It’s with those values that his father ran the business, and it’s those values his father expected from him. “John meant the world to his father, you could see that, but he was a man that did not praise,” said Jack Rains, Houston businessman, former Texas secretary of state, and close friend of O’Quinn. “You always needed to be doing more. He came up the hard way, and that’s what he believed. He never expected a break.” O’Quinn would go on to graduate from Lamar High School, take a quick detour via Rice University as an engineering student, and finish at the University of Houston, earning three law degrees. He edited the law review, was a member of a champion moot court team, and graduated first in his law school class. After graduation, O’Quinn had a short stint at Baker Botts before joining the firm Brown, Kronzer, Abraham, Watkins, and Steely in 1969, then

the top plaintiff’s firm in Texas. It was an ideal place to cut his trial teeth, learning how to select a jury, how to construct an argument, and how to cross examine. The safety of the classroom was gone. It was time for this southern gentleman to roll up his sleeves, like he had done so many times in his father’s garage, and get to work, trading in a wrench for his trademark smirk, swapping a tire iron for those sympathetic eyes. “None of us were rich men’s kids,” recalled Larry Doherty, an associate of O’Quinn during those early days. “From the outside it all seemed harmonious, but nobody could imagine how volatile it was inside the firm. One-upmanship was a game that was constantly played, and I remember one time when John was almost begging them to stop throwing harpoons at one another. Whiskey was our painkiller; it was the anesthetic that kept us from realizing our selfishness. It was a symbol of addictive behavior, and there was a lot of addictive behavior. Work was addictive, and O’Quinn was the most ardent workaholic.” Surprise, surprise: the firm broke up. But it gave

O’Quinn Obliges A three-time Cougar and life-long benefactor of the University of Houston, here are just a few of John O’Quinn’s gifts and examples of service. 1992 O’Quinn makes a generous gift to the UH Law Library, renamed the John O’Quinn Law Library. He would later make an additional gift to the library for major repairs related to Tropical Storm Allison.

1993 Governor Ann Richards appoints O’Quinn to the UH System Board of Regents, where he serves until 1999. 1993 The University of Houston Alumni Association honors him with a Distinguished Alumni Award. 1995 O’Quinn makes a major gift to benefit the construction of the Athletics/ Alumni Center, and the O’Quinn Great Hall is named in his honor. 1996 The UH Law Center names him a Distinguished Alumnus. 1998 A generous donation allows for a renovation of Robertson Stadium, including luxury suites and increased seating capacity. John O’Quinn Field is named in his honor.

2002 O’Quinn funds the A.L. O’Quinn Chair in Environmental Law, named in honor of his father.

O’Quinn the freedom to make a name for himself. And he was ready to write it in big, bold, capital letters.

Famous and Infamous As big a personality as O’Quinn was, his cases were even bigger. Here is a rundown of his legal milestones. Some set award records, some captured national headlines, but each of them illustrates classic O’Quinn flair for the righteous prosecution of “big, bad corporations.” Wendt vs. Diamond Shamrock, et al. (1984) Spanish-speaking farmhands in Texas accidentally poisoned Dan Wendt’s 2,700-pound prize bull with pesticide because they couldn't read the warning label. O’Quinn convinced a jury to award the rancher $8.5 million in damages, the largest award ever given in the wrongful death of an animal. Skeen vs. Monsanto (1986) – Jack Skeen died of chronic myologenous leukemia after having worked in the ethylene unit at Monsanto's Chocolate Bayou plant near West Galveston Bay. O’Quinn argued that benzene exposure caused Skeen’s death, and the jury awarded a $107 million verdict to his family. At the time, it was the single-largest wrongful death award in the nation’s legal history. U.S. District Judge Hugh Gibson accused O'Quinn of hypnotizing the jury and required him, during a retrial, to stay at least 12 feet away from the jury box at all times. Kimble vs. Tenneco (1988) - A jury in Wharton County found Tenneco Inc. liable for damages of more than $600 million in a gas contract dispute with Floyd Kimble, an Ohio businessman represented by O’Quinn. After three days of deliberation, the jury ruled 10-2 that Tenneco's Tennessee Gas Pipeline subsidiary had broken a contract it signed with Kimble in 1981 to purchase natural gas from his Red Hill Development Company. Johnson vs. Bristol-Myers Squibb (1992) – O’Quinn convinces a jury to award Pamela Jean Johnson $25 million in damages due to ruptured silicone breast implants, which allegedly were linked to her mixed connective tissue disease, autoimmune responses, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, and dizziness. This was the first of many breast implant cases for O’Quinn, a profitable run that would amount to over $3 billion in rulings. A later class action suit would force Dow Corning to settle with tens of thousands of plaintiffs. “I made Dow Corning go bankrupt,” O’Quinn would joke—but the quip was more fact than humor. In 2007, a Port Arthur arbitrator found that O’Quinn had to return $41 million in misbegotten legal fees to past clients of his breast implant cases. Jerry Coffey, et al vs. Wyeth, et al (2004) – O’Quinn persuades a Beaumont jury to award $1 billion (yes, with a ‘b’) to the family of Cynthia Cappel-Coffey, who died at age 41 of primary pulmonary hypertension. O’Quinn alleged the disease was the product of Cappel-Coffey taking the drug Pondimin, recalled from the market in 1997 and part of the diet-drug combination known as “fen-phen.” But they weren’t always big-dollar, public victories. In 1986 came accusations from the Harris County district clerk of judge shopping—filing

multiple lawsuits arising from the same cause, then dismissing all the suits except for the one in the most favorable court. Later that year, the State Bar of Texas filed a grievance against O’Quinn for soliciting the families of victims of a plane crash in Gander, Newfoundland that killed 248 American soldiers. It resulted in a probation sentence and community service. In 1987, a lawyer in O’Quinn’s law firm was accused of paying a defense witness $5,000 to disappear. Nothing came of the matter.

The Mighty O’Quinn Those who question how he made his fortune can’t fault him for giving much of that fortune away to charitable causes. The University of Houston, the Texas Medical Center, Children’s Assessment Center, and the Houston Area Women’s Center were just a few of the organizations close to his philanthropic heart. "He worked tirelessly on behalf of this university and was one of its most generous financial contributors,” said UH System Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator. “The O'Quinn Law Library and O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium are the most prominent examples of his philanthropy at UH but are by no means the extent of it. Over the years, he made numerous gifts, including significant donations to the UH Library and to the UH marching band. A good deal of this school's success can be credited to John's unflagging commitment to making UH a better institution. " Even the week of O’Quinn’s death, an equal number of critical adjectives accompanied the flattering ones. On comment sections of newspaper websites, during conversations in courtroom hallways, and at water coolers in the biggest and smallest law firms floated words like “talented,” “dedicated,” “generous,” and words like “dishonest,” “obsessive,” and “greedy.” In their contexts, perhaps there’s some truth to each of them. But there’s one adjective that plaintiffs, juries, defense lawyers, judges, and corporate moguls would all feel comfortable applying to Mr. O’Quinn: “mighty.” I’m not sure if O’Quinn was a Bob Dylan fan. Even if the music wasn’t his thing, he could probably sympathize with Dylan’s predilection for lyrically defending the rights of Americans. But with the addition of a vowel and subsequent apostrophe, Dylan was certainly onto something when he sang, more or less, “Come all without, come all within. You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty O’Quinn.” No, we won’t, Bob. No we won’t. Contributions in memory of John O’Quinn can be made to the University of Houston John O’Quinn Memorial Fund, University of Houston, Houston,TX 77204-5016. Please indicate a preference to support the UH Law Center or UH Athletics.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 15

XX-amining Gender A Tour of UH’s Women’s Archive and Research Center by Kim Reister Stinebaker (’91)


Among the treasures housed and cared for in the University of Houston MD Anderson Library’s Special Collections is a unique assembly of historical papers that tell the tale of women’s history in Houston and in Texas.

The Women’s Archive, begun in 1996, documents how local women over the years have come together to achieve their goals, address their concerns, and impact society. The collection, together with the Women’s Studies Program and the Friends of Women’s Studies, serves as part of the triad that is the Women’s Archive and Research Center (WARC) at the University of Houston. The idea for the archive came when Carey Shuart, the 2009 UH Alumni Association Chair’s Award recipient, was reflecting on materials that her grandmother, Blanche Chenoweth, had left her. Chenoweth was a professor, radio host, and suffrage worker in 1920s and 1930s Chicago. “My grandmother left me this amazing, truly historic collection of papers and belongings that I promised to save,” Shuart recalled, “but I didn’t know what to do with them. There must be other papers from interesting individuals out there without a home too, I reasoned, so I approached Cynthia Freeland, then director of the Women’s Studies Program, about establish16 | Winter 2009

ing an archive for papers important to women.” At the time, the Women’s Studies Program was not a line item on any university budget and could have disappeared with the wave of a hand. All involved agreed that an archive would help solidify the program’s presence and serve the community. The library graciously made space in their Special Collections, and the rest is history—literally. WARC’s initiative is broad and achieved through, of course, the archive, but also scholarships, fellowships, and grants for UH students and faculty, as well as its Living Archives Interview Series and an oral history program that augments the written archive with video interviews. Long range plans include a conference on Houston women’s history and endowment of a faculty chair. “Documenting what women have been doing and making those documents available to scholars affects our understanding of what has shaped our past,” said Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, English professor and director of the Women's

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m


Studies Program. “The archive puts the focus on what women do and have done to make clear that women have been active contributors to the life and culture of Houston all along.” And telling these stories is aided by the archive's 53 individual collections, featuring a range of organizations that include social action groups, political offices, philanthropic associations, and sport and garden clubs. The records date back to 1878. Examples include papers from the Houston Area Women’s Center, the archive’s first acquisition; the National Women’s Conference of 1977; the Top Ladies of Distinction, an African-American philanthropic group; the River Oaks Blossom Club; Houston NOW chapters; the Association of Women in Science; and most recently, the Komen Foundation Houston’s papers. Gregory explains that working through groups and organizations was often the only way women could make an impact in early society, and those groups have now proven to be a reliable historical resource. Many of Houston’s

A pre-19th Amendment sash worn by suffrage workers, justpart of the collection housed at the UH Women’s Archive and Research Center.

more prominent community and fine art organizations sprang from small women’s groups— for example, the Houston Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts – Houston, and the Houston Ballet. “The papers give us an idea of how these organizations operate,” said Dick Dickerson, university archivist. “We sought active members’ papers and now have quite a collection.” A person’s papers typically include correspondence—which Dickerson said is most revealing— scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, or photos. An organization’s collection normally includes rosters, founding papers, by-laws, minutes, yearbooks, agendas, publications, programs, newsletters, and photos with identification. “However it comes to us, we can take it,” said Dickerson. And that means videos, disks, email—anything electronic. Care is required in housing and organizing such historical artifacts, and a state-of-the-art storage area has been created for the collection using a compact shelving system acquired with the opening of new Special Collections in 2004. Complete with light, temperature and humidity control, the environment is stabilized to add longevity to the sensitive materials. Dickerson said the area stays dark as much as possible with acid-free storage containers and files. Every element of the space has been selected to be as fire-safe as possible. While all of the papers reveal unique aspects of women’s roles in society, a few tell a deeper story than others. Here’s a sample of what the WARC offers.

The Ewing Family Papers This collection documents the social life and feminist activities of mother and daughter Mary Ellen and Gladys Ewing. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Ewing Family Papers is the material pertaining to Mary Ellen Ewing’s involvement in the suffrage movement. Through their scrapbooks, photos, albums and newspaper clippings, researchers and interested guests of the Special Collections can get a first-hand account of the movement and the times between 1878 and 1917. Mary Ellen Ewing’s life was characterized by public and philanthropic service, which deservedly placed her in “The Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.” She was the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Harris County Suffrage Association and Honorary President of the Child Welfare League.

She also was known for her activism in fighting for public school reform and her feminist advocacy regarding the need for women on the school board. She succeeded in other roles as well, being granted three patents for developments in street sanitation.

Nikki Van Hightower The collection of Nikki Van Hightower documents her extraordinary career from the time of her appointment as the Houston mayor’s first “Women's Advocate” through her work as Harris County Treasurer. Van Hightower became involved in the women's movement while in college in the early 1970s and continued that involvement after moving to Houston in 1975. In 1976, Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz appointed her to the position of Women's Advocate, making her responsible for "coordinating efforts to secure equal rights for women" in Houston. She continued to be an outspoken activist in the women's movement and a leading proponent of equality for women in Houston while becoming instrumental in establishing the Houston Area Women's Center in 1977. She became the Center's Executive Director in 1979 and held that position until 1986. She currently holds the positions of Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, and Senior Lecturer with the Health Science Center at Texas A&M University.

Carolyn Farb Carolyn Farb is an internationally known fundraiser, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist. During the past 30 years, she has raised more than $25 million for a number of charities and worthy causes, the majority of which are based in Houston and benefit local organizations, including the University of Houston and the University of Houston Alumni Association. Her hard work and devotion to others have earned her the nickname “the first lady of philanthropy.” “This collection of papers, photos, video, speeches, and newspaper clippings provide a step-by-step documentation of social history and significant fundraising,” said Dickerson.

Mayor-Elect Annise Parker Annise Parker was recently voted in as Houston’s second female mayor, and her papers document several of her campaigns for elected office in Houston—from her unsuccessful bids for City

Friends of Women’s Studies Council in 1991 and 1995 to her winning races for City Council in 1997 and 2001 and for City Controller in 2003 and 2005. After 20 years in the oil and gas industry, Parker moved into public service, becoming Houston’s first openly gay City Council member. In addition to her work in city politics, Parker has been the subject and author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles across the country. Parker is active in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) community and the Houston community as a whole. She serves on various governing boards, such as the boards of directors of Holocaust Museum Houston and Girls Inc. and the advisory boards of the Houston Zoo, the Montrose Counseling Center, Bering Omega Community Services, and Trees for Houston. Perhaps interesting to some, representatives from a mayoral race rival thumbed through her papers in the archive, one can only assume to dig up dirt. Thankfully for Parker, they left discouraged and empty-handed.

Blanche Chenoweth, a professor, radio host, and suffrage worker in 1920's and 1930's Chicago, is one of many remarkable women featured in the UH Women's Archive.

18 | Winter 2009

As the Women’s Studies Program was developed in the early 1990s, the community arm of the program was also formed. Originally called the Women's Studies Community Outreach Board, the group is now known as the Friends of Women's Studies, and grew with the academic program as a natural support group for raising funds and awareness of the importance of scholarship about and by women. Group members also recognized the importance of establishing an archive. The Friends support the Women's Archive and the Women's Studies Program under the rubric of the WARC (Women's Archive and Research Center), funding both the archiving of documents and the work of scholarly research itself through scholarships and fellowships. The group raises funds through membership dues, an annual Table Talk luncheon, and through individual gifts to specific projects. Among the projects it funds are archival assistantships for graduate students who process the collections; graduate assistantships in the Women's Studies Program; undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellowships and scholarships in Women's Studies; fellowships for faculty research, travel grants for graduate

students and faculty presenting conference papers and the Living Archives interview series. While it is a fundraiser, the Table Talk luncheon also serves as a community focal point for honoring the accomplishments of Houston women in all fields. This year's luncheon is set for Feb. 25, 2010, at the Hilton Americas, chaired by Andrea Georgsson and Sarah Cooper. “The Friends are excited about the opportunity to showcase the archive, both so that they can be alert to identify materials that should become part of the archive and so that they can become supporters,” said Gregory. For more information about the Friends and the Program, please visit To find out how to donate your papers to the Women’s Archive, contact Dick Dickerson at Alumni may access the archives either by visiting the library on campus or electronically at http://

The archive puts the focus on what women do and have done to make clear that women have been active contributors to the life and culture of Houston all along.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m


UHAQ t leaving their print Michelle Boisseau PhD ’85

Patricia Potter Wilson EdD ’85

Mat Johnson UH Faculty

A Sunday in God-Years | Taking its title from the notion that we’re a blip along a geologic timeline, that human history happens in the blink of God's eye, Boisseau’s book is centered around the long poem “A Reckoning,” made up of fifteen sections that pull from documents like family wills and runaway slave notices. This long poem tries to reckon and recognize the sticky webs that bind the heirs of those who were slave holders to those who were held as slaves. Boisseau's paternal ancestors fled religious persecution in France in 1685, and soon after their arrival in Virginia became entangled in slave ownership.

Eagle on Ice | Paul Siple was an intelligent, self-motivated boy who was fascinated by the adventures of his hero, Commander Richard Byrd. After Byrd's successful North Pole expedition in 1926, the explorer set out to become the first person to fly over the South Pole, via the Antarctic. When announced that one lucky teen explorer would be chosen to accompany him, Eagle Scout Paul Siple came calling. Cowritten with Roger Leslie, Potter recalls the story for readers grades five through nine.

Incognegro | The brows are furrowed and teeth clenched in this noir, pulpy tale of a black journalist who goes undercover in the 1930s South to investigate a trumped-up murder charge against his brother. Zane Pinchback, who is so light-skinned he can pass for white with a little cosmetic help, writes for a Harlem newspaper, and his beat is the bloody circus of lynchings. The twists and turns of the story come fast and thick, goosed by the not particularly trustworthy explanations being given by Zane's moonshinedistilling brother. Art by Warren Pleece.

Patricia Clark PhD ’86

Eric Miles Williamson PhD ’91

Gregory Fraser PhD ’99

She Walks into the Sea | The poet in Clark’s latest volume expresses her desire to find a pastoral refuge in nature. A number of the 56 poems collected here show her grappling with loss, especially the loss of her mother, though she isn't one to indulge in misery. Instead, she goes walking. It is the harp tree in "The Poplar Adrift" that Clark imagines giving voice to sorrow, thus sparing those who stroll by becoming, in the tree’s very fibers, sound on the air, a wind through branches and leaves. Clark also finds opportunities for learning, for meditation, and for contemplation.

Welcome to Oakland | T-Bird Murphy has been divorced twice and finds himself hiding out in a garage in rural Missouri for a reason we’re never told—confused and stunned, shell-shocked by the hand life has dealt him. What unfolds is the story of a workingman who tries his hardest to escape the hell of the Oakland ghetto, who finds honor in squalor, kinship among the broken divorcees of Dick’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, dignity and beauty at the garbage dumps where he sleeps in the cab of the scow he drives for a living.

Answering the Ruins | In his new collection, Fraser moves from narrative to monologue to lyric, filling each poem with wise and tricky allusions and a rich range of expression. “Cheat” explores the complicated interplay of hate and guilt, as unintended revenge comes down in a most catastrophic way. The comic and biting “Poetry Is Stupid” lets readers in on a formative moment of decision for the poet. Most touching is the long work dedicated to Fraser’s brother, “Hephaestus Calls My Brother Home,” an elegy that shifts from tenderness to violence with startling ease.

Dr. Wilson is a UHAA Life Member.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 19

The New UH Equation for Student Success Calhoun Lofts

Nationally Recognized Programs

Graduate & Professional Housing Now Open

Distinguished Faculty Growing and Expanding University Life

+ Outstanding On-Campus Living Options Successful UH Alumni

Info: 832.842.LOFT (5638)

New Freshman Housing Coming Fall 2010

Info: 832.842.HOME (4663)

University of Houston Residential Life & Housing • 713.743.6000 •

Expand your career options with a Bauer MBA Full time day MBA Part time evening MBA Leadership Executive MBA Global Energy Executive MBA Register today at for an Information Session.

The University of Houston is an EEO/AA institution.

DO 09-0139

PHOTO | Emily Dart, EMBA Student Retail Solutions Manager, Hewlett-Packard

UHAQ t cougar corner Life Member Profile

presented by

UH Alumni Quarterly: James, talk about your playing experience for us. You

James Hong

Co-Founder, Be A Champion, Inc.

What better time to profile a former football player than during one of the university’s most successful football seasons in twenty years? James Hong (’05) was here during the bad years and during the good years. He represents the beginning of the football program’s recent ascent. He also represents the growing trend of young alumni who are committing to Life Membership with the UH Alumni Association. James and fellow UH footballer Jaron Barganier (’04) founded Be A Champion, Inc. in 2001 as a way of reaching out to underprivileged youth in the Houston area through sports, recreation, education, and motivational speakers. Eight years later, the non-profit runs more than 70 specialized after-school and in-school education programs at school districts and community centers throughout the Houston area, as well as summer camps. James recently sat down with UH Alumni Quarterly editor David Raffetto (’05) to discuss his playing days, the importance of alumni giving, and his company’s future.

were on the team during a pivotal shift in success. James Hong: Well, I first chose UH because of its great tradition and proximity to home. I played o-line from ’01-’05, if you count my redshirt year. That means I started on the 0-11 team and finished with an appearance in the Fort Worth Bowl, our second straight bowl game. It was quite a climb. AQ: What accounted for the drastic turnaround? JH: When Coach Briles replaced Coach Dimel, well, I think a change in coaching can always help purge a program of negativity—for the players, for the fans. The biggest thing that we noticed as players wasn’t talent, wasn’t coaching schemes, but just a change in attitude and team chemistry. People laugh when I say this, but that 0-11 team had just as much talent as either bowl team I was on. AQ: You’re a Bauer grad, am I right? JH: Sure am. Majored in finance and management and got a certificate in entrepreneurship. AQ: Ah, Entrepreneurship. That makes sense with the non-profit you and fellow UH football player Jaron Barganier started. Tell us about Be A Champion. JH: Jaron and I started it in 2001 just doing some motivational speaking at local schools. Then it grew into our first summer camp at Bear Creek United Methodist Church. The first camp had six kids. Today, it averages around 250. Probably one of our more public efforts, at least to your readers, will be the All-N-One Little Coogs program. Just look in the end zones at any UH home football game and you’ll see nearly 1,500 kids from area schools cheering on our team. The idea is to expose them to a real college atmosphere. To show them that a college education is something that’s attainable, that it’s something that’s fun. AQ: In addition to your work with Be A Champion, you also do some financial advising with Mass Mutual. As I ask anyone in the financial business, what’s your outlook on the economy? JH: Well, as disappointing as this may be to some, I think we’re experiencing a bit of a false rally right now. Remember the housing collapse that we, to a great extent, are still experiencing? All those adjustable-rate mortgages—well, the commercial real estate market is about to experience the same thing. And I don’t know many businesses that have the additional cash to suddenly account for the increased overhead. I think the best advice is to not let the recent bounce back instill a false sense of security, and just to be a patient investor. AQ: Well, one safe place for your money is with the University of Houston Alumni Association, wouldn’t you say? JH: Ha, yes, I’d say that’s a good investment. You guided me right into that one. As a football player and as someone who was a member of the Student Alumni Connection as a student, joining the alumni association wasn’t a hard sell for me. I don’t know what the numbers are, but we have far too many graduates of this school who, for whatever reason, just don’t feel the need to give back. That’s unacceptable. Earlier I spoke about attitude and team chemistry with my fellow football players. Well, an alumni base needs the same elements. We need to ride the momentum that our university and our Athletics Department are helping to create; we need to become a unified force. AQ: Unified how? JH: To me, giving your time is more selfless than giving money. Don’t get me wrong, we need checks, but anyone can write a check. The volunteers who give up their weekends to help with the All-N-One Little Coogs program—that kind of grassroots people power can move mountains, or in our case, move children on to success. AQ: If someone wanted to learn more about Be A Champion, how would they do so? JH: Just visit our website: AQ: James, thanks for talking. JH: You bet. Eat ‘em up, Coogs.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 21

UHAQ t alumni association update

Announcing 2009 Outstanding Faculty & Staff Awards

Since 1940, The University of Houston Alumni Association has served and supported the University of Houston, its nearly 200,000 alumni, its friends, and the community it calls home. So beginning January 1, 2010, we’ll be celebrating our 70th anniversary. To all the members and volunteers who have been such integral components of our growth, we thank you for your dedication, your service, and most of all, your love for the University of Houston. Over the coming months, we’ll begin featuring different decades of Cougar history on our website: See if you recognize the faces and places of campus over

the past 70 years. It's sure to be nostalgic. The celebration will come to a head at our annual Awards Dinner, held April 23, 2010, at the Omni Houston Hotel. Check out the back cover for details. We hope to see you there, and we look forward to celebrating 70 years of red and white with you all year long.

Every year, the University of Houston Alumni Association honors deserving UH faculty and staff with our Outstanding Faculty Awards and Outstanding Staff Awards. Winners receive $1,500 and will be honored at the Life Member Circle of Excellence Reception in January at Wortham House, home to UH Chancellor and President Renu Khator.

Congratulations to the following:

2009 Banner Year Awards

Outstanding Faculty Awards Andrew Achenbaum

Professor, Graduate College of Social Work

George Gamble

Professor, C.T. Bauer College of Business

Jack Young

Associate Professor, School of Theatre & Dance

Outstanding Staff Awards Amanda Paul

Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Ronnie Calhoun

Financial Assistant, Donor and Alumni Records

UHAA Faculty Impact Award David Bertman

Director, Spirit of Houston Marching Band

Congratulations to all of our constituent groups and clubs for earning Banner Year Awards in 2009. Pictured above, UHAA board member Jason Fuller ('94) presents the Black Alumni Association with their grand gold banner. For a complete listing of groups and clubs – collegebased, area-based, and special interest-based – visit

22 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Our university is a better place because of each of you!




2009 Homecoming Golf Tournament Recap



at University of Houston may have won the first nine, e upRain to $327.96 or more a but the 27th Annual Homecoming Golf Tournament, rescheduled to this past December 7th—was once urance? again a success. Join us next year!

Playing on the beautiful 27-hole course at Pecan Grove Country Club, tournament winners for gross score was the team of Murray Stinson, Trey Wilkinson (’92, MBA ’02), Greg Cox (’92), and Mike Pede (’89). Tournament winners for net score was the team of Greg Muse (’02), Dustin Bell (’05), Jake Ebner (’08), and Kenneth Peterson.





Tournament winners for net score was the team of Greg Muse (’02), Dustin Bell (’05), Jake Ebner (’08), and Kenneth Peterson.

Tournament winners (Gross Score) were Murray Stinson, TreyO Wilkinson C T O B E R (’92, 2 6 , MBA 2 0 0’02), 9 Greg Cox (’92), and Mike OUNIVERSITY C TPede O B E (’89). R OF 2 6HOUSTON , 2009


Buffalo Specialties, Inc. Four Seasons Hotel - Houston Mabel R. Parks Foundation You may already know that Fred you&can enjoy Thank you to tournament co-chairs Richard Burns & McDonnell auto insurance rates and special Coselli ('55, JDcompetitive '58) and C.F. Kendall ('60, JD Irma’s Southwest Grill '69), tournament organizer Ken Baxter, and Johnson, Bender & money-saving discounts through the LibertyCompany all of our sponsors listed to the right. We’ll see Glenn & Judie Lilie TM But&did youEbner and Family you next year!Mutual Advantage program.* Tommy Elaine

know that Liberty Mutual offers many other discounts on both auto and home insurance?* In fact, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on auto insurance alone. And you could

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 23

UHAQ t alumni association update

UHAA's Scholarship Opportunities

College is expensive. And it's getting more expensive by the semester. At the University of Houston Alumni Association, one of our priorities is making sure that deserving students get the financial help that allows them to be Cougars... and eventually, alumni. That's why we give up to $180,000 in scholarships every year. For students, both incoming and current, UHAA offers a variety of scholarships, from $500 all the way to four years of tuition. The application process is simple, so take a look at what we have to offer:

• Asian Alumni Association Scholarships • Austin UH Club Scholarship • Black Alumni Association "Pathway to Excellence" Scholarships • Black Leadership Network (BLN) Scholarship • CenterPoint Energy UH Alumni Association Scholarship • Cougar Band Alumni Scholarships • Cougar Cookers Scholarship • Engineering Alumni Association Scholarships • Fort Bend Club Scholarships • Hispanic Alumni Association Scholarships • Karen Taylor Webster & Alpha Chi Omega Houston Alumnae Charities Scholarship • Katy Coogs Scholarships • Legacy Scholarships • Maxine Mesinger Scholarship • Natural Sciences & Mathematics Alumni Association Scholarships • San Antonio Club Scholarships • Tau Kappa Epsilon Network Scholarships • Technology Alumni Association Scholarships • UH School of Communication Alumni Scholarships • UH Brenham Area Club/Joel M. Cummings Scholarship • W. Mayad Scholarship (Jefferson Davis High School graduates) The above list of scholarships can apply to incoming freshmen, current students, transfer students, or graduate students. The deadline for most of these scholarships is March 19, 2010, so go to myCougarConnection. com/scholarships for full details, including applications. Thank you to our members for making these opportunities possible!

24 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Alumni Directories on the Way

Did you order a UH alumni directory this year from Harris Connect? If so, it’s on the way. The directories are expected to ship shortly, so look for yours in the mail. Call up old classmates, network with professionals in your field—just use it to connect with fellow Cougars.

Year-End and Life Member Circle of Excellence Gifts Did you receive your Cougar return address labels? We hope you’ve enjoyed using them to share your Cougar pride with others. It’s not too late to send your tax-deductible year-end gift or Life Member Circle of Excellence gift! Both allow your alumni association to fund student scholarships and offer the great programming you enjoy all year round. Year-end gifts are for members who choose to give above and beyond their yearly membership gifts. The Life Member Circle of Excellence is a special category for paid-in-full Life Members who choose to give the alumni association a $250 or greater year-end gift. On January 21, Circle of Excellence members will enjoy a reception at Wortham House, home to UH Chancellor and President Renu Khator. As always, gifts to the University of Houston Alumni Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, are fully tax-deductible.

Fall Alumni Events On and Off Campus

Thanks to Our Corporate Sponsors Thank you to all of our corporate sponsors who have supported the UH Alumni Association throughout the year:

Did you know that University of Houston alumni could save up to $327.96 or more a year on auto insurance?


Member FDIC


You may already know that you can enjoy competitive auto insurance rates special Fredand & Mabel R. money-saving discounts through Liberty Parksthe Foundation UH alumni and guests gathered at the November Bauer College Alumni Association’s monthly networking breakTM program.* did you Mutual Advantage fast, sponsored by James E. Bashaw & Co., sent warm Coog greetings to Col. Barrye Price (’85) who is serving in GoodmanBut Financial Corporation the U.S. Army abroad in Iraq. Alumni are shown holding a poster of Price, who also holds a Ph.D. and endows know that Liberty Mutual offers many other the Elaine Y. Cook-Price Memorial Scholarship in honor of his late wife. discounts on both auto and home insurance?* In fact, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on auto insurance alone. And you could save even more by insuring your home, as well.


Contact us for your FREE no-obligation quote:

• Call 1-800-687-8131 and mention client #9742

The alumni association traveled to Greenville, NC as our Cougars played in the Conference-USA Championship M-F 7:00am - 12:30am, Sat 7:00am -11:00pm, Sun 9:00am - 10:00pm Game against East Carolina. Despite dropping a 38-32 decision, the UH fans who made the trip enjoyed a spirited pre-game party. Shasta, the cheerleaders, and the Spirit of Houston Marching Band even made an appearance.


And to those other companies and individuals who have donated auction items or made in-kind gifts, your generosity is equally important to our success. For information on entering a corporate partnership with UHAA, contact Ty Houston at or 713.743.9555.

• Go to

• Or visit a Liberty Mutual office near you

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 25

UHAQ t Class notes 1950s Marguerite Wells Baxter (’56) was recognized on August 15, 2009 by the Harris County Department of Education for having had perfect attendance during the past five years. She is an ESL instructor in the adult educational department. Prior to the fall semester, Marguerite and her husband traveled throughout the central United States.  The tour of Mt. Rushmore and other historical sites was led by professionals for the adventurous in Lifelong Learning.

1960s Bob Dean (’67) was recently appointed as vice chair of the advisory board for the University of HoustonDowntown’s new Insurance and Risk Management program. He is president and chief executive officer of Dean & Draper Insurance Agency, LP and brings more than 30 years of experience to the new program. Cyril Collister Hosley (’68) was named general chairman of the Bayou Bend Docent Organization, a 200+ member volunteer organization at The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, a wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She also recently completed nine years of service as a District Council Member of the City Council of Sugar Land and 4 years as MayorPro Tem of Sugar Land.

Kathryn Peek (MS ’70) has joined the University of Houston as assistant vice president of University Health Initiatives. She is a biomedical educator and administrator with 25 years of experience in the Texas Medical Center. Marilyn Dubberly Rhinehart (’70, MA ’72, PhD ’88) is serving as executive vice president/chief academic officer in the Office of Academic Affairs at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

Clare Sullivan Jackson (’85) served as the 17th Eric Hilton Distinguished Lecturer at UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management. She serves as president & CEO of Sullivan Group and chairs the College’s 40th Anniversary Committee.


Suzanne Davis Marion (’82) recently published Too Many Tutus, a colorful children’s book about the age-old female dilemma: what to wear. She also sings, plays piano, teaches, and creates personalized lullabies and play songs for children on her website, Lullabies by Suzanne.

Don Bacigalupi (’83) is the new director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. He is a former director and chief curator of Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston.

Robert McPherson (PhD ’87) was a featured panelist at the joint meeting of the Houston Psychological Association and the MBA Council of Houston. He serves as executive associate dean in UH’s College of Education.

Abdeldjeli “DJ” Belarbi (MS ’86, PhD ’91) has returned to his UH roots as chair of the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Carol Bailey Cain (’84) was recently promoted to senior vice president, marketing and business development at Velocity Credit Union in Austin.

1970s Tyrone E. Cooper (’76, JD ’79) has been elected president of the Texas City Attorney’s Association, an affiliate organization of the Texas Municipal League. He was appointed City Attorney of the City of Beaumont in November 2004. Clarence Cossey (MA ’70) is now chaplain of the Pegasus Civil Air Patrol, which meets at Camp Mabry in Austin. The CAP provides training and learning experiences for cadets. Loretta Devine (’71) recently performed a solo concert called “Night Devine” at Upright Cabaret in Los Angeles. She is an award-winning actress with multiple film, television, and Broadway credits to her name. Juliet Garcia (’70, MA ’72) was named one of the Ten Best College Presidents by Time magazine. She has led the University of Texas at Brownsville for 18 years. Earl Maxwell (‘76) received the Rostow Lifetime Achievement Award from The Austin Project, an organization that improves the lives of children, youth and families. He serves as chief executive officer of the St. David’s Foundation in Austin.

26 | Winter 2009

James Cersonsky (’88, JD ’91) married Kelly Phillips on September 6, 2009 in Houston. The bride, who looked gorgeous, was certainly worthy of having her photo accompany this note. But that groom’s cake is what really caught our eye. Debbie J. Emery (EdD ’98) was honored by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District for her 30 years of service with an elementary school that will bear her name. Emery Elementary will open in August 2010 to more than a thousand students. Debbie is a member of the College of Education Alumni Association’s board of directors and is a past president.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Jim Nantz (’81) received a 2009 Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-byPlay. He is the first CBS Sports personality to win the award since its inception in 1993. Also, on his 25th anniversary with the network, Nantz accepted the President George and Mrs. Barbara Bush Community Impact Award at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Luncheon. Patrick Pettit (’89) received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management. He is general manager of Bay Oaks Country Club and regional manager for Club Corp.

New Life Members Ed Segner III (MA ’80) was appointed an independent director of Bill Barrett Corporation. He is a professor in the practice of engineering management in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. Jonathan Shear (’80) was the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management’s first Erik Worscheh Visiting Lecturer in Club Management. He is general manager of the Bayou Club of Houston.

1990s Melissa Donovan Balcom (’97, MEd ’00) and Jim Balcom had their second son, River Donovan Balcom, on January 29, 2009. Seth Batiste (’96, MEd ’00) is serving as assistant professor of writing in the Division of Languages and Communications at Lone Star College - North Harris. Deborah Battle (’96) recently earned her Master’s in Theological Studies from Liberty University and is currently working towards her Master’s in Divinity. James Belcher (MFA ’93) will appear as the Undertaker and Old Joe in the Alley Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas, showing on the Hubbard Stage.

Crystal Fox (’95, JD ’97) and Bruno Ponce were married in 2008. Crystal’s son Alex is proud to be a freshman at UH and will graduate Class of 2013.

Congratulations and thank you to our newest Life Members! (Sep–Nov '09)

John J. Fraser, Jr. (JD ’96) joined the faculty of the School of Medicine of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on November 1, as Professor of Preventive Medicine & Community Health and program director of the general preventive medicine and occupational medicine residencies.

Stanley Walter Adamski (MS '81, PhD '85) Elizabeth M. Brannan ('94) Harry D. Brannan, Jr. William E. Brogan, IV ('88) Bruce D. Broussard (MBA '89) Michelle Burkett ('05) Kevin L. Cantrell Valerie B. Cesari ('07) David Walton Connelly ('72) Patrick Nathanial Daniel ('83, MEd '88) Karen A. Darmer ('03) Frances A. Dawson ('96) Nadia Kathleen Deeb ('05) Delvin Lee Dennis ('80) Janea N. Dennis ('98) Jonathan L. Dennis ('00) Gilbert Elizondo ('87) Christopher Todd Erdeljac ('96) Vicki Schmid Faulkner ('75) Grayson L. Fitch (MS '08) Crystal Fox ('95, JD '97) Steven Gastrinakis ('70) Eric V. Grimmett ('81) Rachel W. Grimmett ('77, MA '78) Barbara V. Hermes Billy J. Irvine ('71) Michael S. Johansen (MS '91) Mike Kacal John R. Kessinger ('63) Eric A. Khan ('85) Shazia Khan ('84) Edwin John Mackie, Jr. (JD '95) Earl Maxwell ('76) Juanita L. Milam (MS '90) Barry Hood Norwood (MArch'84) Yvonne B. Norwood ('82) Mark A. Picus (MA '83) Bruno Ponce Gary Kevin Rice (MS '84) Josh A. Sarkar ('08) Marcus Anthony Smith ('01, '04) Blair D. Sorsby ('79) Cedric Douglas Spears ('05) Raisha E. Stevens ('03) Kimberly A. Stoilis ('03) Dennis W. Turner Gary Hampton White ('84) Marilyn R. Wilder (MEd '92) Kevin D. Willis Donald Ming Woo ('80) Nancy G. Woo Claudette Ann Zaremba ('87) Pam Zenick ('82)

Toby B. Fullmer (’99) has joined the law firm of Matthews & Fullmer in Houston as a partner. He was also selected by H Texas Magazine as one of Houston’s “Top Lawyers for the People” in the field of civil litigation, an honor that was based on nominations from colleagues and former clients. Denise Webb Glass (JD ’96) has been recognized as an Outstanding Young Healthcare Lawyer by Nightingale’s Healthcare News. She is one of only 12 lawyers listed nationwide and the only Texas lawyer listed, and she practices as a partner at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. in Dallas. Rick Grau (’90) will soon move to mortgage lender Allegiance Financial Services’ new office in Jersey Village. Tom Karsten (’92) recently appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, live from the New York Stock Exchange. He serves as managing partner of Karsten Financial, based in Fort Worth. Kelly Klaasmeyer (MFA ’92) is one of six distinguished mid-career arts journalists selected for the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship, which focuses on the visual arts and architecture of Los Angeles.

Crystal Brown-Tatum (’96) was named Best Featured Actress by the 2nd Annual Southern Black Theatre Festival. She played “Eliza” in Tidewater, which centered around a complex love triangle set in Suffolk, Virginia in the 1930’s. Paul Cirino (MA ’94, PhD ’96) has joined the University of Houston sychology faculty as an associate professor.

Red denotes UHAA Life Members. E-mail your own class notes to

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 27

UHAQ t Class notes

Deddy Mansyur (’94) represented the United States at the 2009 W.U.K.O. World Karate-Do Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico and was awarded the Bronze medal. He also leads the UH Shotokan Karate Club. Gene Monteagudo (MHM ’92) received the Founding Dean’s Award from UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management for the profound impact he has made on the hospitality industry. He serves as principal at M2G Restaurant Group. Stephanie Glover Ray (’99, MEd ’02) and Edward Ray welcomed their third son, Saxon Isaac Ray, on June 3, 2009. Martha Serpas (PhD ’98) has joined the University of Houston English faculty as an associate professor. She is the author of two books of poems, Côte Blanche and The Dirty Side of the Storm. Brandon Wade (MA ’99) was appointed as city manager of the City of Pflugerville, Tex. He served as Galveston’s deputy city manager for 10 years before accepting the council’s nomination in November. Roslyn Waldron (’90, MS ’92) completed the Texas Adult Education Credential in May 2009. Trey Wilkinson (’92, MBA ’02) has joined Select Asset Management, LLC as its president. Select Asset Management is a registered investment advisor (RIA) providing investment services for private clients, foundations and institutions.

2000s Eling Aguilar (’06) was recently awarded a 2009 Texas Lone Star Emmy as a Technical Director in the category of Best Morning/Daytime Newscast and her second Arizona Rocky Mountain Emmy in the category of Daytime/Evening Newscast for Technical Director. She is a technical director with the Dallas/Fort Worth Telemundo Production Center. Andrea Alvarez (’00) recently opened her own psychotherapy practice in San Antonio. Leraldo Anzaldua (MA ’09, MFA ’09) will teach stage combat classes in UH’s School of Theatre and Dance. He is a certified fight instructor.

Robert S. Ballentine (LLM ’08) has joined the energy law firm of BurlesonCooke as a partner. He has more than 20 years of experience in oil and gas litigation and also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center. Brian Barker (PhD ’04) has accepted a tenuretrack assistant professorship at the University of Colorado-Denver. Nicky Beer (MFA ’03) has accepted a senior instructorship at the University of Colorado-Denver, and Carnegie Mellon University Press has picked up her first book of poems, The Diminishing House. Cindy Cuevas (’07) married Alberto Grimaldo on July 25, 2009 in Houston. Toiya Harry Facey (‘00) and Damian Facey (‘00) are pleased to announce the arrival of their third child, Eden Elizabeth, on June 17, 2009. Loriann Furman (PharmD ’03), clinical manager at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic’s SPLC, won second place in the 10th Annual Health Services & Outcomes Research Conference ‘s “Patient-Centered Care” category for the project, “Potential Interaction Between Clopidogrel and Proton Pump Inhibitors.” Felicia Griffin (MBA ’02) has joined Elgin Community College in Elgin, Ill. as director of communications. Sarah Herd Hassan (’02) and Raad Hassan (’95) welcomed their third child, Arwen Eileen Hassan, on October 22, 2009. Angela Hopp (’00) joined the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as managing editor of special projects in August. She was formerly part of UH’s Media Relations team and was sad to leave the state of Texas. Chelsea McElroy Jenkins (’02, MEd ’06) and DeVon Jenkins (’01) welcomed their daughter, Alanah Grace Jenkins, on February 5, 2009. Denise Martinez Jonathan (PharmD ’05), director of Pharmacy at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, won second place in the 10th Annual Health Services & Outcomes Research Conference ‘s “Patient-Centered Care” category for the project, “Potential Interaction Between Clopidogrel and Proton Pump Inhibitors.”

28 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Melissa Krisztal (’03) recently finished her Master’s in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in fundraising from Spertus College in Chicago. David Lipp (JD ’08) has been promoted to vice president of business development and legal for Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation. Carlos Machado (’06) recently founded Newlight Developments, a Houston-based property investment firm offering full services in  real estate, architecture and construction management. Dylan McCord (’07) and more than 5,000 fellow sailors and Marines aboard the Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan recently returned from a five-month deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility in Afghanistan. Alicia Wilson Odell (’01, MEd ‘03) and Justin Odell (’00) welcomed their son Carson to the world on May 1, 2009. Tony Norris (’07) has joined the University of Houston Alumni Association as assistant director for alumni programs. Amy O’Neal (MA ’00, PhD ’08) serves as director of assessment and accreditation and works jointly for the University of Houston’s offices of Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Research and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences to develop and maintain assessment materials and standards required by SACS accreditors and the State of Texas. Christel Phillips (’04) has been promoted to anchor and producer of ABC’s KTRE channel 9 East Texas News at 5. The show focuses on news that affects those who live in Lufkin, Nacogdoches and all of deep East Texas. Lana Pipkins (’07) recently gave up her job as a news producer for a small North Texas affiliate to pursue her MFA in creative writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Lamar Polk (’05) received a Master of Social Work degree from Boston College this past May.  He is currently employed as a mental health clinician in the Center for Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center.

In Memoriam Haiyan Zhang (MS ’02, PhD ’06) received the J. Clarence Karcher Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. This recognition is given to individuals under the age of 35 who have made major contributions to the field of exploration geophysics and represent the promise of future significant contributions. She was a PhD student in physics at UH when she conducted the research that earned her the award, and she currently serves as a member of the research department at ConocoPhillips.


Shannon (’05) and David Raffetto (’05) welcomed their son and future Cougar, Elliot William, on November 5, 2009. They’ve already begun grooming him to become the next UH Alumni Quarterly editor. Farah Rashid (’08) was named Outstanding MS Accountancy at the Bauer College of Business’ fall commencement. She is currently pursuing her CPA certification. Tiffany Richard (’06) and Jason Woods (’07, ‘08) were married on November 14, 2009. Tiffany is an academic advisor at UH’s C.T. Bauer College of Business, and Jason was recently promoted to project manager at Marketech Corp.

J. Davis Armistead was honored by the South Plains Optometric Society on his 94th birthday with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He served as a University of Houston System Regent and resides in Lubbock. Bogdan Nita received the J. Clarence Karcher Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He was a post-doctoral researcher and research assistant professor of physics at UH when he conducted the research that earned him the award, and he currently serves as a math professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey. David Zimmerman, a professor in UH’s Cullen College of Engineering, has been elected to Fellow status in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

1940s Jacqueline Corey Glover (’43)

Rebecca C. Duvall (’50) Jack Linn (’59)

Clifton D. Cowling (’65) William C. Gammage, II (’69) Dr. James E. Gilmore (EdD ’68) Sanford Yale Gotsdiner (’65) Preston R. Ivens, III (’63) John M. O’Quinn (’65, ’67, JD ’69)

1960s Raymond Buchta (’60)

1970s Marie Elizabeth Bentley (’78)

John F. Goad (’72) Madelyn Randall Stephens (’70) May Elizabeth Blackhurst Freeland (’72) Exa Mae Newsome (MEd ’70) Adam Douglas Johnson (’74)

1980s Carmelo A. Asuncion (’88)

Debbi Dunlap (’80) Keith Green (’80) Terry Wubbenhorst (’85)

1990s Edna Louise Walenta Medlin (’90, MA ’96)

Rose Mary Ramos (MEd ’92) Rana Siam (’94, JD ’97)

Friends Jerry Neal Arnold

Emily Smith (MS ’07) received the Distinguished Young Alumna Award from UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management. She is vice president of HVS International in New York.

Charles Harold Flynn, Jr. (’49, ’50)

1950s Vaudine Bradbury (MEd ’57)

Bill Bliss M.C. “Mac” Caldwell Esther “Jeanie” Hoyt Dr. Jack M. Ivancevich

Mitchell Sosa (’03, MBA ’07) was promoted to supervisor of financial reporting at EPCO, Inc. in Houston.

to make a gift

Jason Spencer (’09) received both the National Student Teacher of the Year Award from the National Association of Teacher Educators/Kappa Delta Pi and the 2009 Texas Student Teacher of the Year Award from the Texas Directors of Field Experiences. He is now an English teacher at Mirabeau B. Lamar High School in Houston. Corey Trahan (MFA ’00) will perform in the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council's, I'll Be Home For Christmas Concert Tour in the Monroe/West Monroe and Union Parish communities.

in memory of an alumnus, faculty member or staff member, contact Connie Fox at or 713.743.9557. Did you know Frosty was a UH alum? Kim Maraldo (’03) takes advantage of some unusual Houston snow and showcases her Cougar Pride one snowball at a time.

Michael Twigg (’03) was named Region IV Secondary Teacher of the Year and was chosen from 54 Texas school districts with over a million students. He teaches at Waller Junior High School in Waller ISD. Red denotes UHAA Life Members. E-mail your own class notes to

Correction: UHAQ mistakenly listed Marguerite Wells Baxter (’56) in our In Memoriam section last issue. As readers will see from her class note this issue, Marguerite is quite well and busy as ever. To Marguerite and any of her friends and family members we may have alarmed, our sincerest apologies.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 29

UHAQ t Cougar business connection Cougar Business Connection allows UHAA members the chance to highlight their company or personal business venture to more than 20,000 UH Alumni Quarterly readers. Contact Ty Houston at or 713.743.9555 to reserve your spot or to discuss corporate sponsorship opportunities.

30 | Winter 2009

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

UHAQ t Calendar UHAA/University Events 01.13 01.19 01.21 02.10 02.16 02.18 02.16 – 02.18 02.25 – 02.27 03.10 03.12 03.15 03.18 03.25

Cougar Power Hour, The Lot on Washington, 5:30pm First day of classes Bauer College Alumni Association Monthly Networking Breakfast, Houston City Club, 7:00am Speaker: James Hackett, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Cougar Power Hour, The Lot on Washington, 5:30pm Engineering Alumni Association E-Week Reception Bauer College Alumni Association Monthly Networking Breakfast, Houston City Club, 7:00am Speakers: Coach Kevin Sumlin, UH Head Football Coach and Mack Rhoades, UH Athletic Director Official UH Class Ring ordering event, University Satellite, 3:00pm TKE Alumni Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Cook-Off, Reliant Stadium, 6:00pm Cougar Power Hour, The Lot on Washington, 5:30pm Black Alumni Association Gala, Hilton Americas, 6:30pm Week of spring break Bauer College Alumni Association Monthly Networking Breakfast, Houston City Club, 7:00am The start of Frontier Fiesta! For a full, updated listing of alumni association events, please view our web calendar at

Athletic Events

01.06 01.09 01.13 01.15 01.17 01.20 01.25 01.28 01.30 01.30 02.06 02.07 02.12 02.13 02.19 02.24 02.26 02.27 03.03 03.04 03.05

UH men’s basketball at Rice, Autry Court, 8:00pm PICTURED: UH men’s basketball vs. Tulsa, Hofheinz Pavilion, 6:00pm A,A (2004) by American UH men’s basketball vs. UTEP, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm sculptor Jim Sanborn, UH women’s basketball vs. East Carolina, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm erected in front of the UH women’s basketball vs. Marshall, Hofheinz Pavilion, 2:00pm M.D. Anderson Library. UH men’s basketball vs. Central Florida, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm UH women’s basketball vs. UTEP, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm UH women’s basketball vs. Tulsa, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm UH women’s basketball vs. SMU, Hofheinz Pavilion, 1:00pm UH men’s basketball vs. Marshall, Hofheinz Pavilion, 5:00pm UH men’s basketball vs. Southern Miss, Hofheinz Pavilion, 5:00pm UH women’s basketball vs. Memphis, Hofheinz Pavilion, 2:00pm UH softball in Marriott Houston Hobby Classic vs. Ohio State, Louisville, Kansas, Baylor, and Sam Houston State. UH men’s basketball vs. SMU, Hofheinz Pavilion, 4:00pm UH baseball begins three-game series against Texas State, Cougar Field UH men’s basketball vs. Memphis, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm UH baseball begins three-game series against Santa Clara, Cougar Field UH women’s basketball vs. Tulane, Hofheinz Pavilion, 2:00pm UH men’s basketball vs. Rice, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm UH women’s basketball vs. Rice, Hofheinz Pavilion, 7:00pm UH baseball begins play in Minute Maid Classic against Missouri, Texas, and Texas Tech – Minute Maid Park Game times are subject to change. For up-to-date information and a complete listing of athletic events, visit

Arts Calendar Blaffer Gallery: 713.743.9530 – Through–02.05

Josephine Meckseper’s exhibition focuses on the artist’s recent works that examine the conflicting interests of the mass media, politicians, and the oil and auto industries as played out in the Iraq War.

School of Theatre and Dance: 713.743.2929 – 2.26 – 03.07

Big Love by Charles L. Mee, directed by Leslie Swackhamer. At Wortham Theater. Inspired by Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Woman and fused with Charles Mee’s bold and visceral theatricality, Big Love tells the story of 50 brides who flee to an Italian villa to escape their arranged marriages. This show includes nudity and violence. Children under 14 are not admitted.

Moores School of Music: 713.743.3313 – 02.19 – 02.20

The 12th Annual Moores School of Music Jazz Festival invites middle and high school jazz ensembles to perform in the Moores Opera House for a panel of distinguished jazz artists. A guest artist (TBA) will present a free one-hour clinic with the assistance of the MSM Jazz Orchestra beginning at noon. This free clinic is open to the public.

w w w. m y c o u g a r c o n n e c t i o n . c o m

Winter 2009 | 31

“Paws and Remember” highlights photographs—some funny, some nostalgic—from a single year in Cougar history, to relive the dreams of students eager to make their mark on the world. Please enjoy these selections from 1993.

1. Jason Fuller, now a UHAA Board Member, poses with soon-to-be Texas governor George W. Bush. When the Republican National Convention was in town, Hofheinz Pavilion was used as an auxiliary site to the main stage, the Astrodome.

2. The refs weren't the only ones that were blind, as UH guard Michelle Harris loses her goggles.

3. Earth Club, a styrofoam-hating, hemp-loving group of rabble rousers.

Pictured are (front row) Melissa Mewitz, Michelle Palmer, Laura Faulkenberry, (back row) Ila Thomas, Mario Ballesteros, and Chris Kidwell.

4. Quadrangle resident Adam Burns pushes that 16-bit, Windows 3.1 operating system to its limit.

Huckin Financial is proud to congratulate:

The Fried Chicken is Famous, But We’re So Much More Coach Tom Penders One of the 5 winningest active coaches in NCAA basketball, as highlighted by USA Today

Stop by our Scott Street location before or after your next UH event. Or, just let us cater it!


Huckin Financial

Serving Houston for over 10 years 3700 Buffalo Speedway, Suite 950 Houston, Texas 77098 • 713-526-8411


Phone: 713-748-2233 Fax: 713-748-8300

P.O. Box 230345 | Houston, TX 77223–0345 713.743.9550 | toll-free: 1.877.Cougar1

Richard Coselli ‘55, JD ‘58 Jim Perdue ‘61, JD ‘62

Tommy & Elaine Ebner ‘80 and ‘82

Elizabeth Ghrist MEd ‘67

We love every Cougar... but for one night, these few happen to be our favorites. University of Houston Alumni Association

Robert Planck ‘71

George Leroy Hall ‘56, ‘77

Bruce Williams

University of Houston Alumni Association

Patty Godfrey ‘89

Katie Kalenda Daggett ‘99, MA ‘03 Jim Parsons ‘96

F R I DAY, A P R I L 23, 2010 Omni Houston Hotel 6 p m Re ce ption, 7:30pm Dinner & Program

UH Alumni Quarterly- Winter 2009  
UH Alumni Quarterly- Winter 2009  

The official magazine of the University of Houston Alumni Association