HOUSTON – The University of Houston Athletics stars who won seven awards…
Master of Ceremonies Jim Nantz…
A brilliant night with a record setting $1.2 million raised…
The University of Houston Athletics Hall of Honor Gala celebrating the Class of 2023 was everything a Houston Cougar fan could dream of… and more.
Held at The Post Oak Hotel in Houston, the Hall of Fame Gala celebrated the achievements of seven outstanding Cougars: Mike Booker (Men’s Golf), Michael Bourn (Football), Rick Brewer (Football), Sonya Watkins Ellis (Women’s Basketball), Simon Fletcher (Football), Sandra Cummings Glover (Women’s Track) and The Keenum case (Football).
Under the leadership of Hall of Honor co-chairs Ashley and Clark Beecher and Meredith and Patrick Chastang, the evening featured a live screening, Big Board, silent auction, dinner and presentation ceremonies and was hosted by a three-time Emmy Award winner and National Sportscaster five times. Of the year, Houston’s very own, Jim Nantz (’81).
As the Cougars prepare for their first Big 12 Conference Football game against TCU inside TDECU Stadium, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark joined the festivities and gave his insight on what the University of Houston will bring to the league and where the conference is headed. .
“We were determined to put on the Hall of Honor Gala before our first Big 12 game. With MC Jim Nantz and Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark and our previous honorees, it was amazing how the night came together,” Houston’s Vice President for Athletics. Chris Pezman said. “We’re setting a new standard for what future events will look like at the University of Houston.”
By the end of the night, a record-setting $1.2 million had been raised to fund scholarships and support the Athletic Department’s immediate needs.
“This was an amazing testament to our sponsors and the people who worked to make the night so special,” said Pezman. “It’s hard to express how to thank those who made that happen.”
The Beechers and Chastangs have led the effort to consolidate the Honor of Honor Gala since the last Gala in 2021. They led many volunteers in organizing the event for years, which culminated on the night of September 14.
“We are eternally grateful to (Executive Director of Athletics) Katina Jackson and our Chairmen; Ashley Beecher and Meredith Chastang, and our Committee Chair; Elaine Ebner, Cindy Lewis, Kathy Pappas, Marisol Pezman and Lisa Tagliarino all helped provide a great event. It has raised the bar in everything we do,” said Pezman.
“The event has a lot of moving parts to it, and it took a lot of people and countless hours to put it together. A lot of people felt like it was one of our biggest events,” Jackson said. “It brought pride to them and showed our great history, where we are going and how much we have to be proud of.”
The Class of 2023 marked the 23rd class inducted into the Hall of Honor and the 12th since the Hall was reinstated in 1998. The current class consists of 119 members and two teams.
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