Letter From the Executive Director: You Had to Be There

From left, Chuck and Tamra Harris; Margaret Williams, Director of Travel; Gay Gaddis, President, Texas Exes Board of Directors; Jamie Puryear, Vice President of Marketing.

When we were dropping off our rental car on that Sunday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, there was a bit of chaos at the airport. People were parked every which way, horns were honking, and drivers were shaking their keys in the air—trying not to miss their plane back to Austin. The poor lady at the counter was all by herself and clearly overwhelmed by the cavalcade. I wanted to stick my head out of my window and yell, “Hey! Y’all didn’t realize we were coming?”  

Alabama hadn’t seen anything like this before.  

I heard somewhere we had 20,000 fans there on that fateful day when we went into hostile territory and rolled back the Crimson Tide. The Flying Longhorns were among that number. Seventy of us flew in and spent the weekend together in burnt-orange splendor. We pre-gamed, we post-gamed, and we post-post-gamed. We had the time of our lives. And I have to say that the Bama fans, despite their circumstances, were very hospitable.   

These SEC schools aren’t exactly easy to get to. I had one connection and a four-hour layover from Austin to Tuscaloosa, but it felt like taking an express time machine back to the glory days of Texas Football. We plan to offer more of these away game trips next year, and I hope you’ll join us. 

We have a whole new set of eyes on us with this conference move—and an opportunity to show them who we are. As I’m writing this, it’s the Monday after OU weekend, and you all remember how that game went. I don’t know what the rest of this season has in store, but I do know the grit we saw on the field in Tuscaloosa is exactly what we’ll need in the SEC. As we continue to face these opponents, our Horns are going to need us to be there, getting loud and staying late. Coaches coach, players play, and our job is to show up.   

Beyond football, there has never been a better time to be there for your alma mater. UT is thriving under new leadership and a bold vision for the future. Students are back in person and squeezing every drop out of their experience. And Austin is the most exciting backdrop imaginable for a college campus. Be there with us as we watch it all unfold. I’m so glad I have a seat in this crowd. 

Hook ’em,

Chuck Harris, BBA ’86, Life Member 

Executive Director & CEO, the Texas Exes


Photo courtesy of Jamie Puryear


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment