Here, We Go All IN!

Mike Pede
Michael Pede (’89)
University of Houston
Associate Vice President
Alumni Relations & UHAA

This is my first mass correspondence to our alumni base since Hurricane Harvey wandered through our wonderful metro-area and caused all kinds of havoc and mayhem. So I wanted to share a thought of how mayhem, chaos, harmony and spirit spin together.

I don’t need to rehash the storm because you know most of that story, but what I do want to relive is the Houston spirit, the neighborly spirit, and the Cougar spirit.

Sure, we will have a long way back, some say not months, but years. But as the water started rushing in, our neighbors in Houston could have rushed away, but instead, they rushed in. Reaching a hand to help a neighbor, lending a chainsaw to move a fallen tree from someone’s home, and going into their wallets to give each other what they needed to survive the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

You’ve seen the stories, most of them, on the national news. How Houston stepped up and said “we’ve got this” or “I’m here to help” and just jumped into action. It does a heart good to know of the hundreds of UH students who went into the community to lend a hand to those in need, or the seven truckloads of gear organized by UH football with the help of our collegiate partners around the state, or the simple tweet from Coach Kelvin Sampson (men’s basketball), that was then echoed by just about every coach in UH athletics and then UHAA for a national ask for items. And to date, some 15,000 boxes later, the shoes, shirts, hats, diapers, socks, and sundries that his community needed, we at least took a good shot at providing.

Because that’s what communities do. They don’t watch, they act. They don’t ask questions, they deliver the answer and they certainly don’t decide who needs the help more, they just deliver the help to everyone. Never was it more of an “H-Town Takeover” than it was post-Harvey. But in this case, the “H” was all of Houston and not just the Cougars. It was everyone, immediately and with conviction.

You know me, I’m as proud a Cougar as I can possibly be, but I have never been more proud that we wear HOUSTON across our chest than I have been the last 30 days. The H-Town Takeover, showed the nation how H-Town (and her people) can Takeover when the chips are down and when the chips are down, we go “All In”!

Go Coogs and Go Houston!

True we’ll ever be,

Mike