UHV invites community to help benefit Texas Zoo in new Homecoming week 5k

jaX, UHV’s live jaguar mascot, peers out from his enclosure at the Texas Zoo. The university will host its first 5K fundraiser on March 3 as part of UHV’s Homecoming week activities. All proceeds will benefit jaX and the Texas Zoo in its post-Hurricane Harvey restoration efforts.

The University of Houston-Victoria will host its first 5K fundraiser on March 3 during Homecoming week, and it will benefit jaX, the university’s live jaguar mascot at the Texas Zoo.

The 5K will start at 9:30 a.m. at Riverside Park. The deadline to register is Feb. 28. Participation is free for students and $20 for nonstudents. Registration will include a UHV Homecoming T-shirt, access to digital pictures from the race, two tickets to the noon UHV baseball doubleheader against Huston-Tillotson at Riverside Stadium and post-race snacks. Attendees also will have access to the Victoria Food Truck Festival in Riverside Park that starts at 11 a.m.

Mike Wilkinson

“The Jog for jaX 5K is a great opportunity for area runners to participate in an event that they can enjoy while supporting a great cause,” said Mike Wilkinson, UHV Student Life & Services director. “We want to bring the Victoria community together and engage them in what’s happening at UHV.”

Students, alumni, faculty, staff and the Victoria community participating in the race will be supporting the Texas Zoo in its post-Hurricane Harvey restoration efforts. All proceeds from the event will go to the Texas Zoo.

UHV made a donation to the zoo to bring jaX to Victoria and renovate the former lion enclosure for the male jaguar. He arrived in June 2015 from the Wild World of Animals in Pennsylvania. jaX, which stands for “jaguars are eXceptional,” received his name from UHV’s mascot.

“The Texas Zoo was hit hard during Hurricane Harvey,” Wilkinson said. “The UHV Homecoming Committee decided the 5K would be a great way to give back.” 

Lights, Camera, JAXNATION is this year’s Homecoming theme. The week will begin Feb. 26 with a Homecoming kickoff and will continue with activities every day leading up to a dance the evening of March 3. Most of the events are free, and several are open to the public.

To preregister for the Jog for jaX 5K, visit To see a full schedule of UHV Homecoming events, visit

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ashley Strevel