Heritage: Summer 2021

Sam Houston State University Administration Building

A Message from the President

Professional photo of Alisa White

Among the many things I treasure while working in higher education is the opportunity to visit with current and former students. I love hearing their stories full of hopes and dreams, families and careers, accomplishments, and plenty of fun college memories. I’m always moved by knowing their story is also our story.

Recently while traveling, I happened to run into a Sam graduate who is a professional in a field unrelated to her academic major. Although she said she loved her experience as a Sam Houston State University student, she seemed apologetic that she had veered from her original career plans. Mind you, she is successful in her career.

I’ve thought a lot about our interaction. From her perspective, she isn’t fully using her degree. From my perspective, she is doing exactly what many college graduates do. She used her degree as a springboard to explore a world of work that offers many opportunities—a world of work that will shift over time. Our conversation solidified my belief that a college education is more important than ever, and selection of a major is only one part of the equation.

College graduates spend time in core classes that help build skills in creativity, communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, adaptability, problem-solving and other attributes considered essential in today’s workplace. They build resilience needed to be successful in life. They learn about communities, service, and the global world in which we live. Sam Houston students graduate with a deep knowledge of the importance of service, having many opportunities to put into practice our motto, “The measure of a Life is its Service.”

These competencies, defined through an accumulation of experiences, interests, talents and accomplishments and nurtured through the college experience, are the catalyst for lifelong learning. They are the essential tools needed to navigate the professional landscape. Couple these skills with the exceptional instruction students receive in highly sought majors, and our graduates leave ready to begin careers of their choice.

The alumni profiled in this issue of Heritage have all blazed their own trails, some following career paths reflective of their degree, while others have forged a unique professional trajectory. Most importantly, all are using and leveraging the skills, knowledge and experience they acquired from their time here at Sam Houston State University.

Alisa White signature

Alisa White
President, Sam Houston State University