By Mary Alys Cherry
Most university successes are built on community partnerships, and with that thought in mind, the University of Houston-Clear Lake hosts a breakfast each year to honor its relationships with various organizations and corporations.
“It will come as no surprise,” UHCL President William Staples told the large gathering of community leaders, “that what made many of our successes possible are the partnerships that UHCL developed with corporations, community organizations, individuals, alumni, cities, foundations and our own employees to advance key initiatives at the university. It’s part of the fabric of UHCL.”
This year’s Report to the Community Breakfast was held at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, where the university honored one of its community partners, ExxonMobil of Baytown, which Dr. Staples pointed out, “has made significant contributions to the success of UHCL, our education partners and our entire community.”
The petroleum giant – it’s the largest petroleum and petrochemical complex in the United States — has supported UHCL in many ways, including the Baytown Education Recruitment and Retention Program, the Math Institute, the Texas Environthon and the School Yard Habitat Program through the Environmental Institute of Houston at UHCL.
The Recruitment Program, for example, which has been expanded to four school districts, seven high schools, four community colleges and UHCL, works to identify first-generation, economically disadvantaged students who have potential to become highly qualified teachers, he explained, giving a rundown of each ExxonMobil program before presenting the award to Juan Reinoso, site manager of the Baytown Technology and Engineering Complex.
Previous winners have included NASA, CCISD, Pearland, Seabrook, San Jacinto College, the Clear Lake Area Chamber, BAHEP, Lyondell Chemical, Barrios, United Space Alliance and the Houston Endowment, to name a few.
Dr. Staples also recognized Pearland Mayor Tom Reid for the key role he played in the founding of UHCL’s Pearland campus.