It took a lot of people to turn the dream of making the University of Houston-Victoria into a four-year university into a reality. On Thursday, all those people, from the students who campaigned to the Texas governor who signed it into law, gathered at the university to celebrate a year of hard work.
"This is a milestone for this university system," Gov. Rick Perry said at the event, which had a standing-room-only crowd. "UHV never did buy into that old adage of starting at the bottom and working your way up. You all started this darn near the top and said 'OK, let's go from here.' That's the attitude you had and it's a great attitude to have. The wheels are now turning."
Perry was at the university for the ceremonial signing of House Bill 1056, which allows the university to admit freshmen and sophomores. The legislation was formally signed by the governor on June 19.
"This is a glorious day, not just for the University of Houston-Victoria, but for the University of Houston system, the city of Victoria and the state of Texas," Chancellor of University of Houston System Renu Khator, said. "We have to be thankful for our leadership in Austin. And, of course, for the one person who had the last word and with one stoke on June 19 made a dream into a reality."
Also on hand at the event were Rep. Geanie Morrison, the author of the bill, Sen. Glenn Hegar and UHV president Tim Hudson, who all spoke, as well as many other university and community leaders.
"This expansion couldn't have come at a better time or a better place," Perry added. "It's clear the folks in Victoria understand the strong impact education has on the economy, the impact it has on the community, the impact it has on the lives of these young men and women who have chosen to come here and the way they will impact the future of this state."
CORPUS CHRISTI — The efforts and struggles the American GI Forum faced in its early years forever changed the way the country treated its veterans, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday at the organization’s convention luncheon.
“The GI Forum knocked down barriers of discrimination in our country and our country is better for it,” Perry said. “Life for our service members, no matter what their background, is better, too.”
Perry, himself an Air Force veteran, addressed a crowd of more than 200 local dignitaries and GI Forum delegates from across the country at the GI Forum’s 61st National Convention.
The American GI Forum was founded in 1948 by local physician and civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia as a means of organizing Hispanic World War II veterans who returned from war and encountered discrimination.
Perry praised Garcia and his efforts to fight prejudice.
One way the state has recognized Garcia’s efforts was to pass legislation establishing a state day of recognition honoring Garcia every third Wednesday in September.
“Texas schoolchildren will be reminded of his works, his integrity, his fight for equality. And it reminds all us to continue his fight everyday,” Perry said.
He thanked veterans at the luncheon for their service, saying military families live unique lives and are forever bonded in kinship.
“He hit on all the key points we wanted to hear as veterans and as a community,” said Tony Jimenez Jr., a member of the local Richard Rocco Chapter of the American GI Forum.
For his support of veterans and the GI Forum, Perry was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the GI Forum.
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign launched a new fundraising strategy Tuesday by urging supporters to participate in an online challenge aimed at raising grassroots donations and expanding Perry’s network of supporters to "new heights."
"We hope to reach as many people as we can," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in a e-mail. "This has never been done in Texas before, so we don’t [know] exactly what to expect."
But the state’s longest-serving governor, who is facing U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican gubernatorial race, undoubtedly hopes to repeat the success of other politicians who have raised millions through online donations, notably President Barack Obama and Republican Rep. Ron Paul.
Supporters have four days to raise $20 or more from 10 other people on personal fundraising pages. "Every participant who achieves this feat will receive one of the first Governor Perry 2010 campaign t-shirts," the online message states.
The contest, called "4 More Years in 2010," began at noon Tuesday and will end Saturday. The site also included forms for creating online fundraising pages.
But flash forward to the current recession, and suddenly Texas looks like a model citizen. The Lone Star kept growing well after the country had dipped into recession. Its unemployment rate and foreclosure rate are both well below the national average. It’s one of only six states that didn’t run budget deficits in 2009.
The president wants to govern America like a blue state. But for that to work, he’ll need the nation’s economy to start performing more like Texas.
Calls on Senator to Participate in Belo Corporation and Collin County GOP events
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today accepted invitations to the first two debates of the gubernatorial campaign and called on Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to join him. Sponsored by the Belo Corporation, owner of the Dallas Morning News and four Texas television stations, and the Collin County Republican party, the debates will provide a welcome look at the two candidates’ positions on issues that affect the future of the Lone Star State.
“The people of Texas deserve to have the issues discussed in an open forum,” said spokesman Mark Miner. “We are hopeful that Sen. Hutchison will leap at the opportunity to dispel concerns that her sixteen years in Washington have left her out of touch with the issues facing everyday Texans.”