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SHSU President Honored with Athena Award

The Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce recognized Sam Houston State University’s president, Dana Hoyt, as a 2020 recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award.

Inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment, the ATHENA Leadership Award is presented annually to a woman based on her professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

In 2010, Hoyt, an energetic trailblazer, took the reins of SHSU as its thirteenth president and first female chief executive officer. Announcing her retirement in August 2020, Hoyt will be leaving the university in a big way. In the decade under her leadership and vision, Sam Houston experienced incredible growth, received notable recognitions too numerous to count, and partnered with communities and business to elevate the health and well-being of citizens.

“The motto of Sam Houston State University is ‘The measure of a Life is its Service.’ As president of SHSU for the last decade, Dr. Dana Hoyt has embodied the spirit of these words,” Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System said. “Dr. Hoyt has led the university to new heights with boundless energy and enthusiasm—growing enrollment, adding state-of-the-art facilities, and establishing the System’s first medical school, among other accomplishments.”

In March, Hoyt oversaw the successful transition of SHSU classes and operations to a remote environment for over 22,000 students and almost 3,000 employees. Today, she is actively guiding a phased return-to-operations and finalizing the plans for ensuring the health and safety of the university community this fall. The enormity of these efforts and the successful implementation are a testament to Hoyt’s leadership and passion.

According to Amanda Lee, SHSU Student Body president, Hoyt has paved the way for many students and created an atmosphere of engaged and active learning.

“She has given me the courage to continue to strive for higher positions and to stand up for what I believe in,” Lee said. “She has served this university with grace and it makes me sad to see her go, but hopeful for the future of Sam Houston.”

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