Today@Sam Article

Student Activities Continues Tradition Of Giving Back

Dec. 9, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney


By Mikah Boyd 

The Department of Student Activities provided Bearkats with an opportunity to spread some holiday cheer by hosting the annual canned food drive for the Good Shepherd Mission of Huntsville throughout the month of November.

Students who brought four canned goods to the Student Activities office were able to receive a Tree of Light shirt, commemorating 99 years of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Sam Houston State University.

Assistant Director for Traditions and Special Events, Steven Begnaud coordinated the efforts of the staff of the Department of Student Activities as well as volunteers in order to collect 3,324 canned goods for the Mission. This annual collection has become a key feature of the Tree of Light Ceremony, as it encourages members of the community to give back in the spirit of the season.

“Knowing that the food drive will benefit so many people during the holidays is what excites me the most. There is no reason anyone should go hungry in our community this holiday season and that is the main reason I get excited to put on the food drive,” Begnaud said.

Begnaud’s employment at the university dates back to 2009. He recently received a Key of Excellence, a prestigious award presented by the Orange Keys for Bearkat faculty and staff who have made a difference and impacted the lives of the Orange Keys. For Begnaud, it’s all about living up to the campus motto: “The measure of a Life is its Service.”

“It’s important to give back to our community. Too often we take for granted the communities we live and work in, and sometimes we can lose perspective of everything that happens within our communities,” Begnaud said. “Being able to donate thousands of canned goods each year to a great local service for our residents is a great way to build community relationships. On top of that, knowing thousands of canned goods we collect from our students, faculty and staff show that our Bearkat community really steps up to help others in need during the holiday season.”

Student Activities has worked hard throughout the Fall 2020 semester in order to provide students with enriching activities during the pandemic. Their goal was to ensure programs such as the Tree of Light still happened and was able to be shared with the entire Bearkat community, as it is one of the most celebrated traditions on campus. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s ceremony, which will mark 100 years of the Tree of Life celebration and is sure to be the biggest one yet.

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