1955-1967 UT Cheerleaders Reunite at the Alumni Center
Ask Bill Melton how cheerleading has changed, and he gets nostalgic. Not that he has anything against the high-powered sport it is today—he just likes to point out that cheerleaders used to spend a lot more time, well, leading cheers.
“It was our job to get 40,000 students on their feet,” says Melton, BA ’64, Life Member. “We had a whole P.A. system just for the head cheerleader to use, and we really got people going. If you listened on the radio while we spelled out T-E-X-A-S, you could hear the crowd shouting every letter.”
The high-wattage speaker list included Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, LLB ’67, BA ’92, Distinguished Alumna (and a former cheerleader herself); Hook ’em Horns sign co-creator Harley Clark, BA ’57, MA ’60, LLB ’62; former Longhorn Band director Vince DiNino; UT Athletics director DeLoss Dodds; Longhorn football legend David McWilliams, BA ’64; and Texas Exes CEO Leslie Cedar, BS ’89, MBA ’98, all Life Members.
After a lively dinner and speeches—including a recitation of the always-beloved Hook ’em Horns origin story by Harley Clark—the former cheerleaders presented a Longhorn painting (by none other than former cheerleader Bob Lowe, BA ’64) to the Texas Exes.
Then, as the former cheerleaders posed for a group portrait on the stairs, they broke out into cheers. “Give me a T!” shouted Mary Gayle Weber, BA ’64, Life Member, to a resounding reply: “T!” “Give me an E!” “E!” and so on.
“We’re all still cheering for the Longhorns, one way or another,” Melton says.
The 1955-67 Cheerleader Reunion Committee. From left: Bill Melton, Jan Thomsen Furr-Ray, David Northington, Covey Nash, and Bob Lowe. Photo courtesy Bob Lowe.
Inset photo: Four members of the 1959-60 cheerleading squad. Clockwise from top left: Nash, Melton, Mary Gayle Weber, and Melaney Jean McAfee. Photo from the Cactus yearbook.
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