The 80-Year History of UHAA

1940

The Ex-Students Association, now UHAA, was founded as a non-profit organization.

1942

The official debut of the University of Houston alma mater.

1946

The first UH class ring was awarded.

1947

The debut of “Shasta;” the first live cougar to serve as the UH mascot.

1948

The Frontiersmen was established to promote school spirit and the infamous Frontier Fiesta.

1950

UHAA moved from its trailer location to the Ezekiel Cullen building.

1953

The Cougar Hand Sign was adopted.

1958

Frontier Fiesta was dubbed “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Life Magazine.

1963

The University of Houston becomes a state, public institution.

1969

The UHAA Life Member program was established.

1970

The Buggy Beauties were introduced to serve as spirit ambassadors for UH year-round. After each touchdown, the buggy is driven around the stadium.

1977

The Cougars win the Cotton Bowl Classic against the Maryland Terrapins.

1977

The University of Houston celebrates its 50th anniversary.

1982–1984

Phi Slama Jama, the name given to the UH men’s college basketball team, dominated the national sports scene. The team was coached by Guy V. Lewis and featured NBA Top 50 players Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Elvin Hayes.

1991

Frontier Fiesta was restarted.

1991

Named after avid UH supporter, David Carl Blazek, the Blaze tradition was born, with the sounding of the siren that echoes after each score during a football game.

1995

UHAA moves into the Athletic-Alumni Center.

2008

Dr. Renu Khator begins her tenure As UH System Chancellor/President at the University of Houston.

2012

The live cougar, “Shasta,” is reinstated at the Houston Zoo.

2013

UHAA merges into the University of Houston.

2014

UHAA hosts the first Cougar 100 Luncheon, recognizing the top 100 fastest-growing Cougar-owned or operated businesses.

2017

The Legend of Cougar Paw begins where students rub their hands on the paws of the Cougar statue, outside of TDECU Stadium right before a football game.

2018

The first Class Ring ceremony to be held in the Fertitta Center.

2019

UHAA unveils the UH Class Ring statue in the Student Center.

2020

UH welcomes 300,000 graduates.