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Monday, February 6, 2023


Cougars compete to complete collection

One thousand dollars is up for grabs for students who manage to collect all 58 cards at university-sponsored events on campus. | Yvette Dávila/The Daily Cougar

One thousand dollars is up for grabs for students who manage to collect all 58 cards at university-sponsored events on campus. | Yvette Dávila/The Daily Cougar

Students looking for extra money to pay for tuition can earn a scholarship worth $1,000 by completing a collection of 58 Cougar trading cards.

Similar to sports trading cards, each card features an image of an important figure or symbol for the University, with details explaining their significance and history on the back.

These collectibles showcase UH student and administration leaders and famous alumni, and they can save you a big chunk of school costs. Junior Nicholas Ritchey won the scholarship in Spring 2011.

“It’s not as hard as it sounds,” Ritchey said. “They give away cards at dozens of events and locations every week.”

Designed as an incentive to bring in more students to campus events and create more school spirit, Cougar trading cards are handed out at athletic events, student organization gatherings, on-campus concerts, plays and academic workshops and lectures throughout the semester.

In 2009, Director of Undergraduate Affairs and Advising and Chemistry professor Simon Bott, who frequently gives out extra-credit in his classes, and former Campus Activities advisor Bruce Twenhafel, who had the idea of making cards for UH athletes, combined their creative drives to come up with a trading card system that would motivate students to attend more events.

“I believe strongly that a huge part of university education for a traditional student is what they learn outside the classroom,” Bott said. “They can expand their horizons by going to events.”

Attending activities and hunting for cards turned out to be fun for many students.

“I know collecting 50 plus cards seems like a daunting task, but for me each card was one step towards reaching the ultimate goal of a scholarship,” said Bethel Glumac, a sophomore who won her scholarship in Fall 2010. “It became a really fun challenge.”

She said she enjoyed attending and learning about different events on campus.

This year, students can win the scholarship by collecting a total of 58 cards, including limited distribution of a single rare card.

Ritchey said that obtaining a rare card involves a bit of luck. But by attending multiple events, he had a better chance.

Previous rare cards have included President Khator and one of the two bronze cougar statues in front of the Ezekiel W. Cullen building. This year, Bott said, the rare card is a secret.

Along the way, students can win a poster with 10 cards, a T-shirt with 20, various prizes through a drawing with 35 and the $1,000 scholarship with 58.

Students can turn cards in to Bott’s office in Fleming Building, Room 136.

Upcoming athletic events that will distribute cards include the UH vs. Israeli National Team volleyball game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, the UH vs. UCLA football game at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 3.

They will also be available at “Pursuing the Priceless: Stolen Art, Investigation and the Law,” a free art crime lecture by FBI National Art Crime Team founder and former senior investigator Robert Wittman at 9 a.m. on Sept. 8.


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