Camp Texas Wins UT’s Most Mysterious Award


Eight students walked to Mezes Courtyard this morning at 6:15 a.m. On a balcony high above the courtyard stood about 20 figures in long, black robes. In the predawn darkness, details were hard to see, and John Warder could just barely make out the dark masks obscuring the robed figures’ faces.

“They asked us to light a candle, and I could barely light my candle because my hands were shaking,” Warder says. “It was really cool and intimate.”

Warder is a UT senior and the director of Camp Texas, the Texas Exes’ student-led summer orientation experience for UT freshmen. He and the rest of the Camp Texas executive team woke up early to receive the Campus Traditions Award from the Eyes of Texas—a UT secret society founded in 1975.

“We have been watching,” wrote someone from the society in an email to Warder a few days earlier, “and are impressed with the work you have done to bring the Camp Texas experience to so many incoming freshmen each year.” The email instructed Warder and his fellow student leaders to come to the courtyard to receive their award.

“Our student members remain anonymous so that their leadership and achievements are reflected in the excellence of UT,” the email continued.

An Eyes of Texas member read aloud the text of the award and asked the students to light candles. The Tejas Club also received the same award for its Tejas Coffee event series, which has featured speakers like UT professor Bob Metcalfe and football defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Then, after less than 10 minutes, the ceremony was over.

Not much is known about the Eyes of Texas, but if you’re so inclined, you can follow them on Twitter. (Yes, this is a secret society with a Twitter handle.)

April 18 update: The Eyes of Texas has let us know that contrary to what Warder said, their robes aren’t black: “We wear burnt orange robes, of course,” they tweeted.

The Camp Texas executive team after receiving the Campus Traditions Award. Photo courtesy Kelsey Roberts.


Tags: , , , ,


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment