Constant Change

Life moves fast on the Forty Acres. Alumni support makes all the difference.

Constant Change

I recently saw a photo from 1903 of three University of Texas students sitting in a field of bluebonnets, enjoying those brief, shimmering few weeks of Texas spring before the heat arrives.

The photo struck me both because of how much has changed in the intervening century—the campus is almost unrecognizable back then—and because of how much has stayed the same. Today bluebonnets still grow on campus, and an ever-changing parade of students can still be spotted sitting in a patch of them for a moment’s rest (although they’re more likely to be staring at their phones than at the flowers). As I write, the blooms are at their peak, but by the time this magazine is in your hands, campus landscapers will have replaced them with heat-tolerant summer plants: sunflowers, succulents, and daisies.

Life moves fast here on the Forty Acres, and the pace of change can be dizzying. That’s true not just for flora and fauna, but also for our leadership, too. As I began my term as president last July, President Bill Powers was asked to resign or be fired immediately. Thanks in no small part to broad alumni, faculty, and student support, this ultimatum was retracted and President Powers kept his timetable to retire from the office on June 2, 2015. His steady leadership has shepherded us through the record-breaking $3.12-billion Campaign for Texas, through continued construction and planning of the Dell Medical School, and, most recently, through another hectic legislative session.

My year as president also saw the hiring of a a new football coach, a new chancellor, a new men’s basketball coach, and a new president, Greg Fenves. We also have a new Texas governor in Greg Abbott, BBA ’81, and two new regents in Sara Martinez Tucker, BJ ’76, MBA ’79, and David Beck, LLB ’65, all Life Members. I feel confident that these distinguished leaders will work together to make our university even stronger and more competitive than it is today—as will my successor, 2015-16 Texas Exes President Antonio Garza, BBA ’80, Life Member.

There’s a saying that the only constant is change. There’s truth in that, but I’m also proud to know that when it comes to the 130-year history of the Texas Exes, there’s a second constant: the support and involvement of alumni all over the world. Whether you stay involved by volunteering with your local chapter, making a gift to the Forty Acres Scholars Program, reconnecting with old classmates at our annual 50-Year Reunion, or simply by reading this issue of the Alcalde, I want to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude. Your involvement matters, and in fact, it’s what we’re all about. While none of us can know what challenges and achievements the next season will bring, one thing is for sure: Texas Exes will be there.


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