The Way Back: Growing Up with the Tower

Norma Bowman and her mother in front of the Tower during its construction, 1935.

Do you remember the first time you saw the Tower? Was it on campus for a football game as a child, or that first day of orientation, looking up at the most recognizable symbol for the place that would be home for the next four years? Norma Bowman can remember looking at the Tower every day of her childhood.

Designed to be the heart of the University, the 307-foot Tower was constructed starting in 1934 and opened in 1937. But Bowman, Life Member, was there with her mother long before that grand opening. While sorting through a box of family photos, Bowman found this snapshot of herself and the Tower in their respective infancies.    

“I grew up on Guadalupe Street in the shadow of the famous Tower, and this picture was taken before the Tower even had a shadow,” she wrote to the Alcalde. “I was born on May 10, 1935, and that is my mother, Velma Allen, holding me.”  

From that moment, Bowman has been a lifelong passionate Longhorn, even if she didn’t officially attend UT.  

“I am now 89 years old and so is that photograph, and ever since I was 16 years old, I have been in our fabulous football stadium for almost every game,” Bowman writes. “I’ve always been a cheerleader, and my blood bleeds orange.”


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