Orange Keys Celebrate 60 Years Of Service
Nov. 14, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney
Orange keys, one of the oldest service organizations at Sam Houston State University, recently celebrated their 60th anniversary on Nov. 8 in the Lowman Student Center Orange Ballroom.
Orange Keys was founded in 1959 as a service organization for women, with men joining for the first time in 1982. Today, the group is composed of 18 upper class students and selection to this prestigious group is recognized as one of the highest honors a student can achieve at SHSU.
President Dana Hoyt praised the organization for maintaining a culture of excellence for 60 years.
“This group is the epitome of what we talk about as far as service and leadership on the campus,” President Hoyt said. “It stands true today.”
Members representing each decade gathered to reunite with friends and reminisce on their years as official ambassadors of SHSU.
“You will graduate Sam Houston State in four years, but this organization is something that will stick with you for life,” senior Jax Kendrick and first year Orange Key said. “The people here today are all so successful, but they still thank the university for everything they've accomplished.”
Current Orange Keys President Julia Pervakova reflected on her opportunity to lead during this significant anniversary.
“It is an honor to be a part of this organization,” Pervakova said. “I truly look forward to all of our events and the fantastic people we have the opportunity to interact with and learn from, daily.”
Following Pervakova’s welcome, Diamond Dickson, the most senior member of Orange Keys, presented the history of the organization before she introduced alumna Nan McRaven ’73 as the event’s keynote speaker.
During her speech, McRaven shared her leadership lessons and how Orange Keys helped unlock her potential.
“Service, leadership, and academic excellence are the foundations of this elite organization,” McRaven said. “We are all here today because we love Sam Houston State and because we are women and men who believe in service and we cherish those organizations that we serve.”
President Hoyt then updated returning members on the current status and goals of the university.
While numerous alumni spoke about the fun of seeing an old sorority sister, or continuing their family legacy of service, Jimmy Williams ’10 joked that it was nice to attend an SHSU event instead of working one. Many members also noted the changes on campus.
“I noticed just the sheer excitement on campus,” Kaylin Cavazos ’11 said. “It is nice to see how everything has been updated like the new LSC.”
The name Orange Keys was chosen because a key is known to unlock doors and open the gate to opportunity. Their motto, “Unlocking the potential in the leaders of tomorrow” serves as a testament that members of this elite organization will go on to do great things.
“I will always love Orange Keys,” Cavazos said. “I feel at home.”
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