What Happened With the Cactus Cafe?

The November|December 2011 issue of The Alcalde will be arriving in mailboxes this weekend, and here’s what to look for.

With our cover article we take a major look at last year’s controversy surrounding the storied old Cactus Cafe. If you recall, UT announced in early 2010 it would close the Cactus and all hell broke loose.

The reasons for wanting to close the Cactus seemed to change by the week. First it was a cost-saving measure. Then, when alumni and friends stepped up to raise the money, the reason changed to, well, students don’t want it.

The result was a dreadful mess, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Heading into a legislative session everyone knew would be tough, UT needed any goodwill it could muster. Instead it spent countless hours backpedaling.

At the end, UT decided not to close the Cactus, but instead to have the Texas Union hand over management and programming to KUT, which has since invested heavily in updating the old joint.

How has the Cactus changed? What did UT administrators learn from the experience? Is the music the same? Find out as Managing Editor Lynn Freehill takes you through it all.

Also in this issue, be sure to check out the fearless Don Graham defending Texas culture.

Learn about UT’s remarkable drive to commercialize intellectual property and start companies.

Read about the dynamic young director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and meet a renowned researcher on the leading edge of growing organs for transplant.

And remember a young student killed by alcohol poisoning whose family has endowed a scholarship to help change UT’s drinking culture.

Last, check out this rare breed of Longhorn, five-generation UT families.

Oh, and one more thing: we’ve launched an Alcalde Tumblr with photos from our archive. Do check it out.


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