Jessica Cuevas and Morgan Robertson
This past Wednesday, the SHAIP Interns learned that the pride and spirit of the colleges in the Texas State University System isn’t limited to the various towns across the state. For the 2023 biannual TSUS Presents, TSUS staff, members, legislators, country legends, and even SHSU students, gathered at the Austin City Limits to celebrate and honor that spirit.
Artists with the most appearances at ACL
Just last month, we had the opportunity to tour the TSUS offices and meet those who oversee TSUS. It was a great chance to network and learn, just one of the many opportunities for us as SHAIP interns. TSUS also provided lunch, and Development Director Malú González and Vice Chancellor Mike Wintemute presented us with the amazing opportunity to assist with this event. It is at least the third time that SHAIP interns have assisted with this event, which occurs biannually.
We were scheduled to arrive at 3:30pm, but our preparation began earlier, with event descriptions to read, software to download, and instructions to learn. While we waited for guests to start arriving, we visited with Vice Chancellor (and Foundation Director) Mike Wintemute, and Vice Chancellor Sean Cunningham. They were very interested in how our first month of session had gone and how we’d been faring. We even got to say hi to Chancellor McCall, and it was especially nice to work under the leadership of Malu Gonzalez.
(L-R) Ashlyn Parker, Ingrid Cuero, Morgan Robertson, Jessica Cuevas, and Malú González
As a thank you to some of the sponsors, Speaker of the House, Dade Phelan donated his time in the form of photo-ops! And while a couple of the volunteers assisted with that, the rest of us assisted with checking-in the special guests and attendees who after a long day of work were ready to sit back and enjoy the concert: TSUS Presents Dwight Yoakam. Many attendees were members and staff of the Legislature–some of whom we knew after working in the Capitol for a month–members of TSUS Universities (such as the presidents and other cabinet officials), and governmental affairs specialists from all over. In short, it was a networking bonanza! But we did stick to our job, which was directing these guests, all generous donors, towards the photo-ops, auctions, and seating.
Part of the benefit of working this program is that we also attend the event! So, we had a chance to hear from Regent Amato…
…and, of course, the honoree, Speaker Dade Phelan.
Speaker Phelan introduced some humor into his speech, while also praising the work of educators, public universities, and the entire process of education. It was appropriate that the funds raised for this event–which totaled more than $700,000–would go to scholarships.
This knowledge made the event even more special for us, in as much as the SHAIP internships for which we were selected are only possible, the result of donors providing scholarships. In a small way, our volunteer work was our way of showing appreciation for the support provided by TSUS, SHSU, SHAIP, and its officials.
As important as we all agree education is, that didn’t mean people weren’t awaiting the main attraction, which was, of course, Dwight Yoakum. And, thus, the lights were dimmed, and the stage where Speaker Phelan previously stood had been rearranged to better suit the needs of country legend Dwight Yoakam and his band!
They quickly filled the room with hit music, including “The Streets of Bakersfield,” “Fast as You,” and “Please Please Baby.”
That was only the beginning even Yoakam noted that was only his warmup. The real concert did not begin until Yoakam played Honky Tonk Man; Little Ways; The Heart that you Own; A Thousand Miles from Nowhere; Guitars, Cadillacs; and many more, including his favorite Willie Nelson tune.
Yoakam wrapped up the concert in fashion as he not only strummed his guitar and danced his signature moves, he also passed on the spotlight to every member of his band recognizing their talents as each took the opportunity to rock out!
After the concert ended, the SHAIP Interns took the opportunity of being around such amazing people and started snapping selfies! Amongst our selfie guests were Assistant Vice Chancellor, Pierce Mitchell;
L-R: Morgan Robertson, Ashlyn Parker, Jessica Cuevas, and Pierce Mitchell
…Vice Chancellor Sean Cunningham and Elliott Herzlich;
Elliott Herzlich, Jessica Cuevas, Mike Yawn, Ashlyn Parker, Stephanie Fors, Morgan Robertson, and VC Sean Cunningham
…Vice-President Heather Thielemann and Dr. McCartney Johnson…
Morgan Robertson, Dr. McCartney Johnson, Jessica Cuevas, Yvette Mendoza, Ashlyn Parker, Vice-President Heather Thielemann, and Ingrid Cuero.
We also had a chance to meet Dr. Carlos Hernandez, currently President of Sul Ross University and formerly VP of Finance at SHSU, and his wife, Lupita, who also worked at SHSU.
…and President White and Speaker Phelan.
This was a great night and we were all thankful to be able to volunteer and attend this live concert! Many thanks to Malu Gonzalez and all those at TSUS for hosting a wonderful event and for supporting students.