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Volume 71, Issue 143, Thursday, June 15, 2006


System welcomes three regents

UH alumni Wilson, Wise will serve until 2011; 
Johnson UHS' first appointed student regent

by Rebecca Daoud
The Daily Cougar

The UH System Board of Regents honored three new members during a reception Wednesday evening at the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.

UHS Chancellor Jay Gogue and Board of Regents Chairman Leroy Hermes introduced Welcome W. Wilson and Jim P. Wise, new regents, and Student Regent Robert B. Johnson to faculty, staff and former regents.

Wilson, who graduated from the University in 1949 with a business degree, is the chairman and CEO of GSL Industrial Partners and the chairman of River Oaks Financial Inc. 

Welcome W. Wilson, one of three new members of the UH System Board of Regents, is welcomed Wednesday at a reception at The Honors College. Also honored were Jim P. Wise, another new regent, and new Student Regent Robert B. Johnson.

Paul Kim/The Daily Cougar

When Wilson was in college, he served as business manager of The Cougar; in a statement last month, he called that "the best job I ever had" before being named a regent.

"The one thing I have learned since being appointed to the Board of Regents is that the chancellor, staff and faculty are the best and the brightest, and I am proud to serve with them," Wilson said. "I promise to you, my friends, family and colleagues, that I will do my best."

Wise, also a business alumnus, is the chairman and CEO of Neostar Inc. and a managing member of Haddington Energy Partners III. 

"It is very important that we pay homage to this great University in our community," Wise said.

Both Wilson and Wise have been named distinguished alumni by the University. Both will serve as regents until Aug. 31, 2011.

Johnson, a second-year law student, will serve on the board until February. 

Johnson is a contributing editor of the Journal of Texas Consumer Law, and his a academic affiliations include membership of Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.

"I would like to thank the entire Board of Regents for allowing me to sit on the board with you and for accepting me," Johnson said. "I am so excited for the University. We have the most diverse student body, we have the tools, and are on the verge of excellence."

Johnson said Gogue has been a mentor for him and made him feel welcome as he was becoming a member of the Board of Regents.

The governor names new regents every two years to serve six-year terms on the board. 

This is the first year the governor has appointed a current student to serve a one-year term as a regent, but as student regent, Johnson won't have the same voting rights as his colleagues.

Hermes said it's an exciting time to be a UHS regent because enrollment is increasing, funding has been approved for new construction on System campuses and a new campus is being planned for northwest Houston. He also praised the dedication of the board as a whole.

"One cannot find a more committed and devoted group of individuals," Hermes said.

Gogue noted that the key to American regents' success is that they're not government officials.

"The driving reason that makes American universities the most successful in the world is because its regents are lay individuals -- most other countries' board members are government officials," Gogue said.

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