From Coast to Coast, Chapters Celebrate Texas Independence

Since 1900, Texas Exes far and wide have gathered on March 2 to break bread and pay tribute to the Lone Star State and the University. This year was no different, with nearly 50 Texas Independence Day events nationwide. A couple on a Flying Longhorns trip in New Zealand even raised their horns and celebrated Texas that day.

Some out-of-state chapters shared their celebrations with alumni from other Texas universities. The Baltimore Chapter toasted to Texas Independence Day alongside Aggie alumni during their annual Chili Cook-Off, which included bull-riding. The New York Chapter even hosted a bull-riding contest, though only a few of the 400-plus attendees were brave enough to mount the mechanical beast. And the Bay Area Chapter hosted their event at the Butler Longhorn Museum.

Texas Independence Day events often give alumni a taste of home, with feasts of Texas barbecue, Tex-Mex, and catfish. The Atlanta Chapter gathered at their local Chuy’s, the Twin Cities Chapter broke bread at a local rib joint, and the Ozarks Chapter raised their glasses at a steakhouse. Several chapters began their dinners with an invocation which asked God for a new quarterback and a better football season.

Other chapters arranged for guest speakers. The Honorable Carole Keeton Strayhorn spoke to the Victoria Chapter, author Jim Dent was the guest of honor in Midland, and former Longhorn Band director Vincent R. DiNino visited the Fayette County Chapter.

Former football coach David McWilliams gave his opinion on almost every sport to the Comal County and Guadalupe County chapters at their joint Texas Independence Day event. McWilliams ended his speech by telling attendees not to expect good deals on auction items because the proceeds would provide scholarships to area students.

Many Texas Independence Day Events held auctions and raffles for chapter scholarships. The Harrison County Chapter and Chicago Chapter both raised thousands of dollars to award scholarships to incoming freshmen from their area.

Top: New York Texas Exes gather around the mechanical bull. Photo by Ed Hu. Right: The Bay Area Chapter hooks ’em. Photo courtesy Laura Carpenter.


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