Taking Texas to the Top

The time has come for us to recommit to making UT the best public university in the country.

The Big Picture: Taking Texas to the Top

“And why do I love The University? Many reasons must finally be condensed into one, an answer which answers nothing and answers everything: because it is The University of Texas. Our Texas.”

—Jane Weinert Blumberg, BA ’37, in Texas, Our Texas

For as long as the University of Texas has welcomed students onto the campus, it has seen them leave forever changed by their time here. Whether through friendships forged, the influence of mentors, or the course of their study, students depart this campus and join the ranks of alumni inclined to remember the university fondly and open to working on its behalf throughout their lives.

As I assume the privilege and responsibility of president of the Texas Exes, I am reminded of the formative time in my life when I roamed this campus and how I left here thinking that, for Texas, I would do anything. More than ever, the Ex-Students’ Association is contributing to improving the strength and vitality of the university. This upcoming year will see the Association give away another record amount of scholarship dollars. We don’t know the exact number yet, but it will almost surely be a total of more than $3 million to hundreds of UT students, besting our previous high of $2.53 million from last year. Camp Texas, the long-running introduction to UT that the Texas Exes organizes, has added a record sixth session. We expect 1,200 students to experience camp this year, the most ever. And as we gear up for a coming Legislative session, our advocacy operation continues to grow in numbers and sophistication. A year ago we had 1,800 UT Advocates. Now we have more than 4,000, and legislators and decision makers consistently tell us that they hear from Longhorn Nation on the issues that matter most.

Our alma mater faces challenges, there is no question. But we have a lot to make us proud. We have the best university president in the country, Bill Powers. The chancellor of the UT System, Francisco Cigarroa, is likewise widely regarded as a visionary leader. From this nationally respected leadership, we are seeing results. The medical school currently under construction in Austin will set a new standard for medical education and care in the 21st century. The addition of a medical school on our campus strengthens our flagship and adds more opportunity for students in the health care arena. Our athletic programs have new leadership and new momentum. The quality of UT faculty and students has never been stronger.

Those of us who have benefited from the wonderful education we have received have an opportunity and a responsibility. The University of Texas can and should be the best public university in the nation, and our state is better positioned than ever. Now is the time for all Texas Exes to renew our commitment to helping UT reach its constitutional mandate: “a university of the first class.” This is the project of the Texas Exes, and it is one we need alumni everywhere to help us achieve. It will require those of us who know and care about the university to communicate its achievements to our friends and colleagues, to raise money for scholarships, and to participate in the legislative process. Without alumni help, UT’s prospects  will not achieve their full potential.

I invite all Texas Exes to get involved in whatever way you are able. Reading this magazine is a great start. Please share it widely. Sign up to be a UT Advocate. Head over to the next event hosted by your local chapter. This is our Texas, and it is our University. The University of Texas.



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