10:13 AM

Virtual Alumni Celebration draws hundreds nationally, internationally

University of Houston-Clear Lake alumni are too dedicated to allow a pandemic to get in the way of a celebration. Although the annual UH-Clear Lake Alumni Association's Alumni Celebration had to be held virtually this year, at least 300 Hawks around the country attended, honoring six award recipients and raising funds for the critical needs of current UHCL students.

"When the event aired originally on Nov. 7, many people were hosting watch parties, facilitating many more people to participate," said Director of Alumni Engagement Carri Hill. "For the first time, we were able to celebrate with people around the country — we even had guests watching from Canada. We've had many more views on YouTube since the event. The virtual celebration allowed a community feel while remaining safe in a COVID-19 environment."

In previous years, said Hill, the event was a fundraiser as well as a celebration. "This time it was come one, come all to celebrate the award recipients. People were able to donate funds at their ability level to help meet students' urgent needs," she said.

The six award recipients were Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo, double-Olympian and chiropractor Seun Adigun, president of Quest Business Strategies Kimberly Campbell, UHCL Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen and UHCL Associate Professor of Biology Brian Stephens. The sixth award was given posthumously to triple-UHCL-alumnus Randall Garcia, who died of COVID-19 in August 2020.

"These six award winners will be honored in person in 2021 with a combined celebration with next year's award recipients," Hill continued. "We wanted to acknowledge this year's winners, but we plan to celebrate together and give them their awards in person. We look forward to next year's celebration for that."

Watch the event and learn more about the Alumni Celebration online.