Even before kickoff for Saturday night's University of Houston football victory, a select group of Cougar fans were celebrating — suite owners and their guests. With the paint barely dry on the swank private accommodations, officials, trustees and UH supporters were toasting the amenities in the $120 million TDECU Stadium.
"It's awesome," enthused UH chancellor and president Renu Khator as she welcomed guests to her double suite. Focusing on the value of the new stadium, she said, "Students feel like they can come home to the campus and have a new pride and confidence. And with confidence they become champions in every way including going on to graduate."
As comfy as the suites at NRG Stadium (sans private bathrooms) and a lot closer to the playing field, these first-class viewing nests are ideal for cheering the team.
Guests joining Khator in cheering the Coogs to victory over UNLV included Houston Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Ric Campo and wife Mo, superconductivity pioneer and UH professor Paul Chu and wife May and regent Paula Mendoza. Making the rounds of the suites were UH and Olympic stars Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell and beloved coach Bill Yeoman.
As comfy as the suites at NRG Stadium (sans private bathrooms) and a lot closer to the playing field, these first-class viewing nests are ideal for cheering the team, wooing donors and simply having a helluva good time.
Prime example of the suite life is that of Darryl Schroeder, UH '69, and wife Lori. Not quite a man cave, the double suite is out-fitted with a few extras including the Xbox entertainment center for youngsters, plenty of flat screen TVs for broadcasting any number of college games and a great view.
"Look right out that window," Schroeder invited guests. "See that view (the downtown skyline seen from the northwest corner of the stadium)? Isn't it just amazing?"
UH Regent Beth Madison filled her suite with a friendly group that included April and Tom Lykos, Ralph Burch, Lynne Bentsen, Martha Adger and James Madget and Shafik Rifaat, UH professor of architecture. Partying down the hall were members of the Cullen family, major donors to UH, including former board of regents chair Carroll Robertson Ray and Hugh Ray and Lillie Robertson.
In another suite, under the banner of Chastang Ford, Patrick Chastang celebrated his birthday. In a surprise, orchestrated by his wife, CultureMap's Meredith Riddle Chastang, Shasta paid a visit and presented the birthday boy with a UH helmet autographed by the entire team.