Brownsville Chapter Celebrates 25 Years of Sending Off New Longhorns

Letty Fernandez, BJ ’78, Life Member, remembers that first night, 25 years ago, when she and the other Brownsville Texas Exes bid farewell to a small group of students from the Rio Grande Valley and wished them luck as they headed off to UT Austin.

“It doesn’t seem like it has been that long,” says Fernandez, who has been a part of the chapter’s annual Student Send-Off every year since its inception. “It’s pretty special. This is our signature event. It’s our way to help these kids transition to UT.”

For the 25th anniversary of this RGV Longhorn tradition, the chapter hosted students and parents for a night of celebration on Aug. 1, complete with dinner, cake, Class of 2022 swag, and special guests, including Texas Exes executive director Chuck Harris, BBA ’86, Life Member, and UT President Greg Fenves.

The event began in 1993 as a partnership between UT and Longhorns from the RGV as a way to welcome students, reassure parents, and give them an opportunity to meet university officials in person. When the send-offs proved to be a success, the RGV events became a model for similar send-offs across Texas.

“I personally love watching the students get excited and the families are so proud. It reminds me of when I was going off to UT,” Fernandez says. “We’re going to keep doing these because we want students to know that they have support at home. We want them to succeed and we do what we can to help make that happen.”



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