What: The University of Houston Downtown 40th anniversary gala.
Where: The Picasso Room at the J W Marriott Houston Downtown.
The 411: UHD graduates Maria Chavez-Berry and Carlon Johnson, both the first in their families to graduate from college, held the audience of 420 entranced with their stories of success in college despite challenging circumstances. Chavez-Berry was a mother of four and wife during her studies while Johnson, one of three children raised by a single mother, worked full time while earning his degree.
Adding to their voices in support of UHD were Mayor Annise Parker and UH System chancellor Renu Khator. The evening raised more than $420,000 for the university.
Taking key roles in the black-tie gala were chairs Clarease and Cary Yates and Deanna Pena Garcia and Gilbert Garcia along with emcees Khambrel Marshall of KPRC Channel 2 and Bill Flores, UHD president.
Who: UHD president emeriti Max Castillo and Rosario Castillo, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and wife Monica, Sylvester Turner, Mary Benton, Laquitta and Ken DeMerchant, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Welcome Wilson Jr. and Welcome Wilson Sr.