Summer 2018

Heritage: The Magazine of Sam Houston State University

Our Heritage: From 1879 to 2018
What makes us Bearkats


Although much has changed on campus since this 1925 aerial photo, Bearkat traditions are and always have been the cornerstone of a SHSU experience.

This issue was made possible with the help of Barbara Kievit-Mason in SHSU Archives and Walker County Treasures.


Letter from the President

Traditions are critical in developing connections to our cultural identity. They help communicate who we are and what we stand for. In a dynamic environment, traditions, which are rooted in long-standing beliefs, can provide the foundational stability needed in order to successfully integrate change for the future.

Read more about the letter from the president

It's Tradition

Sam Houston State University’s long and storied history has given rise to many unique traditions on campus. Our identity was founded on our namesake and SHSU holds several annual events that narrate the story of our remarkable heritage.

Traditions are an integral part of campus life at Sam Houston State and help define our culture. From Homecoming to the Tree of Light ceremony, these long-standing traditions can be shared across generations and bring Bearkats together with a sense of pride and belonging.

Each year, Sam Houston State University marks a number of celebrations, some dating as far back as 1893.

Read more about It's Tradition

It's Tradition

After 139 years, the SHSU community has established a number of traditions, some official, some not so much.

Memory Strikes a Chord

A tradition of live music has been a longstanding part of Bearkat life.

Keys to Success

As one of the oldest service organizations on campus, the Orange Keys have grown greatly since inception.

Meet the Greeks

Fraternities and sororities promote a positive campus culture.

Turning Back the Clock

The tower that transformed campus.

Parking Woes

An enduring tradition that has withstood the test of time.

The Quad Before the Mall

From Peabody to Estill, the architectural treasures of our campus offer a rich history of somewhat unknown stories and facts.

Serving Those Who Serve

Our active military and veterans’ service to our country truly makes them a national treasure.

Wide World of Sports

Changing how students interact through recreational sports.

The Raven

Sam Houston’s Cherokee nickname comes to life on campus.

Sam Houston Foundation

Meet Richard Hartley and Tommy Metcalf.

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