David Carter Is Officially Headed Back to School at UT Austin 44 Years Later

David Carter, a formerly homeless panhandler with a dream of finishing his degree, is officially re-enrolled at UT.

In the last few months, following the activism of government and journalism junior Ryan Chandler and the publication of Carter’s story in the May|June issue of the Alcalde, the Longhorn community has rallied around Carter, who dropped out of UT 44 years ago following a series of hardships, including homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues.

On Sunday, Chandler announced on Twitter that Carter has received his readmission to the university. Though Carter’s notice of acceptance came in about two weeks ago, Chandler had kept the news under wraps. “I just wasn’t sure how feasible it was going to be to get Carter enrolled so soon,” he says.

But following the publication of Carter’s story in the Alcalde, an alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous reached out to Chandler and pledged to pay for Carter’s tuition. While relieved to have the generous donation, Chandler and Carter are still concerned about Carter’s access to resources like textbooks and supplies. “We’re taking it day by day,” Chandler says.

With 67 hours to complete, Carter will begin taking summer classes on Thursday and is majoring in studio art—the degree he started in 1971.

For Carter’s full story, go here.

Photo courtesy Ryan Chandler.


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