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Historical Quotations

Now, all these surrounding populations are beginning to look to Texas, to this university they will look for their most thorough, comprehensive, practical education of the first class. Fellow citizens, for this vast region which I have averted to, the City of Austin, The University of Texas, will be the home of knowledge and of intellectual training. Our responsibility and our duty lie broad and great before us.

Ashbel Smith • First President, Board of Regents • The University of Texas
Opening Ceremonies Address • September 15, 1883

 

So, today, the sons and daughters of Texas are equal beneficiaries of a complex inheritance, an inheritance of liberal institutions and laws, of enormous natural resources, of generous endowments, and of high ideals and noble purposes. While fully appreciating the vastness and importance of our material inheritance, let us not fail to foster and increase the spiritual inheritance. It is the sacred duty of the young men and women, especially those of this University, and of the University itself, to perpetuate this inheritance of broad thinking and generous ideals, and to transmit it with large increase to succeeding generations.

David Franklin Houston, Inaugural Address, "Bulletin of The University of Texas," June 15, 1906

 

There was much in the new atmosphere of a young, vigorous and rapidly growing State, and in the hopes and plans for the new institutions of learning, to inspire one with enthusiasm and interest.... Among the most vivid impressions that remain to me of those days is that of the Texas spirit that seemed to say--"Yes, it is not very clear how the thing is to be done, but the State of Texas has said that it shall be done, and it will be done, somehow."

John W. Mallet, Recollections of the First Year of The University of Texas, The Alcalde,
April 15, 1913.

 

We should be proud of this University, but not too proud. "Better, yet, Texas" should be the motto of all of us."

Harry Yandell Benedict, Address to the Texas State Teachers Association, December 1, 1933

 

The University of Texas is your University, your property, its raw material the children from your homes, its product, the citizens of your state. You are by virtue of citizenship its ultimate stockholders, and vitally concerned in its ideals, its conduct and its welfare.

Robert Ernest Vinson, "Plain Facts About Your University," undated

 

...the University has never forgotten that its business is to be useful and hence it has been wise in its efforts to uplift standards. It has realized that a great university was possible only as the capstone of a fine educational system from kindergarten up. It has, therefore, tried to be of help to Education in Texas as a whole.

Harry Yandell Benedict, "The University Of Texas," undated

 

Born in the minds of Texas pioneers and bred by the loyalty of public-spirited citizens, The University of Texas is heart and soul a part of the State, a heritage of the present from the past, a heritage of the future from the present.... But its pioneering work is not over. Standards must be lifted higher. Increasing population with the State means steadily increasing demands by each generation, and if the University is to fulfill its task, the youth of Texas must be served.... The University of Texas faces the future with a deep sense of the gravity of her task.

Homer Price Rainey, "A Great University In The Making," October 28, 1940

 

Beautiful buildings and a beautiful campus would be a powerful influence, working without cessation, for refinement in the lives of our students and silently instilling a vital and lasting love for the University. A beautiful University loved, as it would surely be, by successive generations of students and visitors, would have a continuing effect in the development of taste in the whole state.

William James Battle, from a tribute by the Board of Regents, April 30. 1948

 

Our University cannot give its full measure of service to the people of this great State and to mankind if we become content to measure our accomplishment by local and regional yardsticks. Texas in turn deserves and needs a truly distinguished state university because it can render greater service than a merely good one.... We want this University to be truly of the first class, not for the sake of mere emulation or rivalry, but for more basic reasons. The potentialities of a great university as an instrument for the common good are almost limitless.

Logan Wilson, "The Alcade," March 1953

 

In every perspective...the University is a public institution. It was built physically on Texas ground. It has been generously supported by Texas lands. It has come through the modern history of the state as one of the instruments of intellect and imagination, guided and developed by successive governors, legislatures, state agencies, and governing boards rooted in public trusteeship.

Harry Huntt Ransom, "The University Of Texas System Development Newsletter," December 1967

 

In the parameters that describe society—in the statistics that describe what it is and how it functions—we are indeed a very long way from 1883. But are we so far away from it in human terms? The mission of The University is still to develop the human resources of society. It is to develop the minds of its students so they can process information to increase their knowledge—to teach them to think—so that they will grow intellectually in judgment and in wisdom. It must carry out that traditional mission, however, in a new environment....

As The University enters its second century, we can be sure that the society of the information age will expect a great deal of it and will define "first class" in escalating standards. A public institution that aspires to greatness can never be satisfied with its condition. When an individual achieves the ripe old age of 100 years, it is socially acceptable to take it easy. But, for a university, it is an occasion to celebrate, take a deep breath, and get back to work.

Peter T. Flawn, "The University in the Information Age," Address to the Centennial Convocation, September 15, 1983

 

 

 




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