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Bearkat Tales

Kevin Morris

Class of 1997

Currently: Chief of the University Police Department

by Jenny Swenson

It was the fall of 1996, and Sam Houston’s current police Chief Kevin Morris, then working on his first degree, was working the evening shift in security for former Polish president, Lech Walesa.

“I was standing in the hallway. He had already given a speech. He had come back up to his room I was standing outside. 30 or 40 minutes later he’s in his boxers and a t-shirt and he offers me cheese,” Morris said. “So I politely declined and went about my business.”

Walesa was on campus to receive the Sam Houston Humanitarian Award, established in 1993 to honor and recognize leaders and service achievements similar to those of our namesake, Sam Houston. Nobel Peace Prize winner Walesa lead the Polish trade union Solidarity, leading to the prize and is generally given credit for helping to dissolve the Communist government.

“There’s a bit of a language barrier and he was offering me cheese,” Morris said. “I didn’t want to take food from a man in his boxers.”

With his two degrees and many years at Sam, Morris has developed a sense of family.

“Since I’ve been here it is the sense of family, especially within our department and our division that we report to,” Morris said. “It seems like all the way up through the university’s administration, we’re always here for you, whether it’s a problem or something we’ll work the best way with you.”

Jennifer Gauntt

Class of 2003

Currently: Writing for

by Jennifer Gauntt

My times as an undergraduate student at SHSU were some of the best in my life, but two memories really stick out to me.

The first was when, as a copy editor and reporter for the Houstonian, the editorial staff traveled to New Orleans for a newspaper conference. It was my first semester on staff, and until that point, I hadn’t made many friends in the journalism program.

While we didn’t end up attending as many sessions as we probably should have, our group bonded that weekend, and I left the “Big Easy” with friends I know I will have for the rest of my life.

My second favorite memory from Sam was during my senior year, when the men’s basketball team played SFA for the conference championship.

Though many of my friends weren’t really basketball fans, we went to the game as a group and watched the Bearkats win in a packed Johnson Coliseum and move on to the NCAA tournament.

Many of us graduated that May and the rest of us by the end of the year, so in a way, that game was a culmination of our time at Sam.

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