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First Lady of Philanthropy  




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Houston Alumni Association 54th Awards Dinner

April 17, 2008 at Hyatt Regency Houston
Carolyn's Speech

I’m very honored to be the recipient of The Houston Alumni Organization Chair’s Award. I have the fondest memories of the magical “Quest for Excellence” evening, where we raised in excess of 3 million dollars for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Knowing that students and faculty still benefit from that effort gives me great joy.

The University of Houston colleges are fortunate to have an esteemed faculty with high standards of capability and achievement that motivate students to be their best and strive beyond. And you, Dean Bear--rank at the top. Most importantly, University of Houston students never forget the preparation for life’s challenges offered by the University.

The University of Houston is OUR city’s university. With a diverse and growing student body, nationally recognized for doctoral degree granting programs and comprehensive research programs, it is the “jewel of academia” for Houston.

The University of Houston welcomes great students—the traditional ones as well as the non-traditional who may need financial assistance while they hold down jobs or raise families. Every student is afforded the treasured gift of an education and the opportunity to dream and discover their potential. The U of H nurtures a highly skilled workforce through its academic programs which serves business, the arts, science, and industry.

Some of my proudest moments have been volunteering for this great institution. Each college on the campus is deserving of our support. My involvement with the U of H began when Rudy Davalos, the former athletic director, asked me to honor alumni—Carl Lewis and Hakeem Olajuwon in establishing a scholar athlete program named for Lucile Melcher and Mary Cullen.

Later, I was privileged to chair a memorable Blueprint Ball for the College of Architecture with the support of Dean Joe Mashburn and an Endowment Campaign to sustain the legacy of architect Philip Johnson.

The “Quest for Excellence” recognized the accomplishments of The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, emphasizing our leadership in superconductivity, molecular design, computational sciences and space technology.

Goethe, the German philosopher reflected: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genuine power, success, and magic in it.”

The University of Houston was a dream of Hugh Roy Cullen who wanted to make a college available to working men and women and their sons and daughters. He wasn’t just interested in a “rich man’s college.” Look what this great philanthropist and visionary accomplished and where our future commitment will take us for the betterment of society for generations to come.

I will forever be a cheerleader for this great university. Thank you for this very special honor which I accept in memory of my two Jakes.

© Carolyn Farb. All rights reserved