Today@Sam Article

Bearkats Honored During Homecoming

Nov. 8, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

From left, Morgan Chesky, Rose Avalos, Paul Pearce, The Honorable Monica Thompson Guidry, Vanessa Hicks-Callaway and Beth and Kelly Damphousse take a photo after receiving their awards at the Distinguished Alumni Gala.

Sam Houston State University’s Homecoming week was filled with events and activities, allowing students and alumni to show their Bearkat spirit leading up to the Bearkats first win of the season. While students were preparing for Saturday’s tailgate, members of the Alumni Association gathered in the Lowman Student Center for the 50th Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Nov. 3.

The Bearkats of honor for the gala also joined in the Homecoming festivities during the parade and SHSU’s game against Kennesaw State. At halftime the awardees were led onto centerfield to be recognized.

For those who missed it, the awardees included:Byron, Charlene, Winnie and Joe Sandel received the Lifetime Achievement award.

Distinguished Alumni

Kelly (’87) and Beth (’87) Damphousse – President and first lady of Texas State University

Monica Thompson Guidry (’84, ’87) – Houston Greenspoint Park Immigration Court judge

Vanessa Hicks-Callaway (’94) – Claims benefits advisor, Texas Veterans Commission

Outstanding Young Alumni

Morgan Chesky (’08) – NBC News correspondent

Service Award

Rose Avalos (’72, ’76) – Aldine ISD board trustee

Paul Pearce (’66) – Retired president and CEO of Nova Biologicals Inc.

Lifetime Achievement

Joe (’56), Winnie (’56), Byron (’82) and Charlene (’83) Sandel – Founding family of Sandel Operating Co.

View more photos from the 50th Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala below.

Distinguished Alumni Gala 2023

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