Letter from the Executive Director: Core Memories

GM Steakhouse, circa 1990.

Staring at this photo of a car whizzing by the old GM Steakhouse on the Drag transports me straight back to the late 1980s and my collegiate self with the driver’s side window down and feeling an unbelievable sense of freedom.

Just down from the old Goody Woo, this was the place for my friends and me. We would meet there and have a burger—the kind of burger you had to commit to eating. It was so greasy that once you took your first bite, you couldn’t risk putting it down. And steak fries—I can still taste those steak fries. Van Halen and Bad Company were playing in the background.

These are the kinds of things I remember most about being in college and slowly turning into myself over a handful of years. Sitting across the table from friends, cracking up together about something long forgotten, and being, well … young.

In this issue, we decided to look back at decades worth of these kinds of moments, images of the lives we lead outside of class that are just as integral to the UT experience as passing your finals. Since the 1950s, the Cactus yearbook has featured images of students on and off campus living life the way only college kids can. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites in “Class Dismissed.”

When I wasn’t in class or studying, I was stringing rackets at The Courtyard Tennis Club out by the Pennybacker Bridge. I had a key to the place, and after hours my friends and I had the run of it. If we weren’t there, we were playing intramural softball, and playing well enough (or badly enough) to deserve a pitcher of Shiner at The Tavern afterward.

I’ve thought about these moments that hold so much emotion for me as this Class of 2024 finally celebrated their commencement. They’ve had a hard road, with a pandemic and campus protests being the national headlines from the beginning and end of their time here, respectively.

I know their time held brighter moments, too—when they felt the thrill of being independent and on the verge of discovering all that life holds for them. My hope for them is that whenever the world feels out of control and the news is impossibly heavy, they can look for the sometimes surprising moments of joyful discovery. They still mean everything to me.

Hook ’em,

Chuck Harris, BBA ’86, Life Member
Executive Director & CEO, the Texas Exes

CREDIT: James Brush


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment