Find Your Way Home

Find Your Way Home

Every May, the University of Texas at Austin celebrates the graduation of thousands of students with a party that has few equals. The Tower lights up that beautiful burnt orange and stands in the center of a breathtaking fireworks show. The new graduates will celebrate and be celebrated, and speakers will provide inspiration and advice. As so many have experienced before, the graduates will stand in the presence of greatness, a home that has advanced their maturity and provided training and a vision for the future.

Not to be lost in the necessity of looking forward is the wisdom of looking backward, not just for nostalga, but in recognition and remembrance of places, people, and events that help shape our lives. Looking back can be a source of renewed inspiration. You may have heard the song by Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me.” The first line is a familiar one: “They say you can’t go home again.” But we can, and in doing so we can help ourselves and help UT. Alumni can recommit to being active and involved, to whatever extent our life circumstances allow. The Texas Exes, in its mission to promote the university and to be a lasting home for alumni, can serve as a venue for the future and a bridge to the past.

With each person who stays connected or reconnects with the university and the Texas Exes, the university grows stronger. If you’re reading this, you’re well on your way to keeping up with campus news. Keep your eyes peeled for stories in the newspaper about UT and higher education broadly. It’s a time of enormous change. The better informed you are about what’s going on, the better you participate in that conversation and steer it in a direction that improves and sustains higher education.

Engaged alumni can help spread positive messages about the University. Become an ambassador to your friends, your coworkers, and the public for UT. Help them all to see that UT graduates care about the major issues affecting our state and our country, that we inform ourselves on these issues, and that we are capable of discussing them with our peers respectfully. It’s an old notion, but a vital one, that universities aren’t only about getting graduates jobs–they are also places for developing informed and thoughtful citizens.

Most alumni can identify with one thing that stands out from our university experience: we know how to have fun. Local Texas Exes chapters offer the opportunity to connect with old friends and new, who have a common interest in the university, the benefit of informative programs, the satisfaction of contributing to scholarships for future alumni, and the impact of a collective voice of support for UT. And, of course, stop by the Alumni Center on gameday for one of the great parties of the year. It is your home as well, and old friends will be there to greet you, exchange memories, some true, and share in the enthusiasm of a new chapter in UT Athletics.

This May, let us reflect on our time at UT and what it meant to us. Then let’s recommit to sharing those experiences widely. What starts here does change the world. Great things are happening at our university. Never pass up opportunities to be in the presence of greatness.


Charles Matthews

President, Texas Exes




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