And So It Dawns: The Texas Exes’ Quasquicentennial

Here at the Alumni Center, the first workday of the new decade turned into a media scene — complete with TV camera crews, a row of high-powered past presidents, and a staggering sheet cake measuring 4 1/2 feet wide by 2 1/2 feet tall.

This is a celebratory year for us at the Texas Exes, you see, as UT’s alumni association celebrates 125 years since its founding. Monday’s press conference heralded what will be a full year of commemorative events. The first initiative has happened with the publication of a special 125th anniversary issue of The Alcalde magazine.


Rudy Garza, an Austin venture capitalist who’s serving as Texas Exes president this year, reviewed the proud Exes history covered in that special Alcalde issue: The 34 recent graduates who came together to form an alumni association in 1885 to enhance their school for future students. The governor who wanted to shut the University down in the early 20th century — until Texas Exes intervened and helped stop him. The stadium, auditorium, gymnasiums, and student union for which Exes raised the money. The thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarships the Exes have awarded over the years.

“What began as a group of 34 graduates now boasts more than 90,000 members, both alumni and friends of the University, who with their time, money, or talents contribute to making UT great,” Garza said.

He also told of another 125th anniversary initiative — a Student Opportunity Endowment that will help grad students and undergrads alike pursue dreams like studying abroad, presenting at conferences, working internships, and volunteering. For this, the Exes will be asking all alumni for a one-time $125 contribution toward our goal of $1.25 million. And on an even grander scale, we continue to raise funds for the 40 Acres Scholars program, a $150 million endowment providing full-ride UT scholarships to 300 students per year.

Meanwhile, we’ll also be releasing a list of 125 extraordinary Texas Exes. And we’ll be taking our show on the road to Pasadena this week — a fifth national football championship certainly wouldn’t hurt for celebratory purposes, either.

See you there!


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