President’s Letter: Life Member No. 19639

“For life” would be the best way to characterize my relationship with UT and the Texas Exes. My uncle was the left fielder for Bibb Falk’s teams following World War II, and my father played tackle for Darrell Royal’s first teams in the late 1950s. My mother once wrote a note to my fourth grade teacher that read, “Please excuse Del at 1 o’clock so he can watch the Longhorns beat the Aggies in baseball.” My teacher obliged and the Horns won in front of a packed house at the old Clark Field. Our neighbors included great professors like Gaylord Jentz, George Sudharshan, and Russell Weintraub. We respected these great academics in the same way we admired the athletes and coaches. From a very young age I understood that the University of Texas was important and special.

These are challenging times for public higher education across the country. Fortunately, the tradition of courageous and innovative leadership is being carried on by President Greg Fenves and Provost Maurie McInnis. We should be proud of the work the faculty and administration are doing and unabashed in supporting them. The teaching and research on the Forty Acres is an engine for enlightenment and economic growth across Texas and beyond.

At the Alumni Center we continue to do what we do best: keep alumni connected to the place that changed their lives forever. Our 150 chapters and networks are doing this at the local level and all over the world. We are enhancing the student experience with fun and dynamic programming like Camp Texas. Last year we awarded more than $3.7 million in scholarships to 647 students and advocated for UT-Austin at the state and federal level. And through this magazine you hold in your hands, as well as through email, social media, and the web, we communicate the ever-increasing value of UT. You can be proud of your alumni association.

Lastly, a few words about our outgoing president, John H. Massey, LLB ’66, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, and his wife, Elizabeth Shatto Massey, BS ’61, Life Member, Distinguished Alumna, who epitomize the best of Texas. Classrooms, court rooms, and board rooms are now filled with people who received a first-class education because of scholarships funded by the Masseys. There are professors on campus who have been encouraged, recognized, and rewarded for their teaching through programs created and funded by the Masseys. There are countless volunteers and donors who have been inspired, motivated, and, in some instances, cajoled by the Masseys. They have made a remarkable impact on the Exes, the Law School, the College of Education, the McCombs School, the Development Board, and the capital campaign. There are no words to adequately express the appreciation and affection we have for you both. Thank you.

Hook ’em,

Del Williams, BBA ’83, JD ’85, Life Member

President, Texas Exes


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