One of the happy aspects of SHSU more or less fully reopening is the return to get-togethers that help build camaraderie and provide great information to faculty, staff, and students alike. And this perfectly reflects the spirit of the annual Smith Hutson gala.
In addition to the great food offered by Smith-Hutson…
…students (and faculty and staff) learn much about the Smith-Hutson Scholarship program. Endowed by an anonymous donor, facilitated by the Hutson family, and administered at SHSU by Chris Garcia, the Smith Hutson scholarship program serves more than 100 SHSU students.
Garcia kicked off the evening, but was soon joined by President White at the podium, who shared her gratitude for the donors, while also encouraging the Smith-Hutson scholars to continue to excel.
Balancing empathy and inspiration, President White spoke skillfully, highlighting her background in communications.
Following a fine meal, Mr. Hutson spoke, going into detail about the program. I learned, for example, that the Smith-Hutson scholarship was no distributed to Lamar University, Lamar Tech, Stephen F. Austin, and Angelina College–although Mr. Hutson stressed that SHSU remains the “home of the program.” Moreover, Mr. Hutson also mentioned that while the state averages a four-year graduation rate of 38 percent, Smith-Hutson scholars average 78 percent!
A representative from Capital Bank then provided students with useful information about careers in banking–careers that not only involve finance, but also marketing, legal, and human resources.
Mr. Garcia opened the floor to Monica Rodriguez, who attended SHSU in the early 2000s. She described, at times in depth, her time at SHSU and her subsequent career.
The President of the Smith-Hutson Scholars’ executive council, Amanda Rincon-Morales, also spoke, expressing her gratitude for the scholarship and encouraging her peers in the program to give back to the program that provides so much to them.
Following the program–which was attended by a majority of the Deans, as well as the President Provost–Smith-Hutson scholars gathered for some photographs.
And with that, a pleasant and informative night was over, as more than 100 Smith-Hutson scholars resumed their path to excellence at SHSU.
One Smith-Hutson scholar serves as a LEAP Ambassador; one Smith-Hutson scholar serves as a member of LEAP LEADs; and one of the LEAP Staff members serves on the Smith-Hutson faculty-staff council.