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A Campus Wide Exploration
Saturday, March 6, 1999

Explore, discover, imagine, create - UT invites all to giant open house
Office of Public Affairs News Releases

On March 6, 1999, The University of Texas at Austin will open its doors to all Texans for a day-long opportunity to engage in the life of our vibrant dynamic university. UT research will be brought to life, model classes will be held, museum and exhibit treasures will be displayed and concerts and plays will be performed.

This hands-on experience of what the University has to offer is called UT Interactive: A Campus-wide Exploration, and will involve all aspects of teaching, learning, research and service. Visitors may participate in a mock stock-trading session in the Business School's trading room, climb the "wall" at Gregory Gym, participate in a Physics or Chemistry Circus, attend Natural Sciences Fun Day at the Texas Memorial Museum or possibly throw a football with a UT top athlete.

"We want people to come to UT to experience the future; to see how our teaching and research make a real difference to Texas and the world, to see how our faculty, staff and students make a difference," said Dr. Michael Starbird, professor of mathematics and an organizer of the event. "This will be an opportunity to let the public experience the core purpose of UT - transforming lives for the benefit of society." UT hopes the event will be attended by thousands of Texans, including future students, parents, current students, alumni, faculty, legislators and others.

Four interdisciplinary themes have already emerged as the backbone of the event, each co-directed by leading faculty. Creed Abell of pharmacy and Waneen Spirduso of education are focusing on a "Living Forever" theme; Allen Bizzell of business administration and Barbara Robles of the LBJ School are leading the "Growing Texas and Beyond" theme. Steve Nichols of engineering and Michael Benedikt of architecture are in charge of the "Designing our World" theme, and Rebecca Brooks of fine arts and Austin Gleeson of natural sciences are leading "Transforming the Future." These themes encompass several topics, including health, the environment, economic development, design issues, globalization, information technology, the arts and humanities and emerging frontiers. Each college, school and unit will have programs that highlight their activities.

Imaginative faculty, students and staff are thinking of events, big and small, that will individualize the experience and make the day participatory. Architecture, for example, will conduct design contests. UT Interactive guests may participate in filming a television show or producing the Daily Texan. Associate Dean Mark Smith and others in fine arts have proposed many innovative events, including a gigantic artwork composed of pieces produced by the day's guests.

Career counseling services may invite special visitors back to campus to discuss careers with current and future students. And, UT classes in sociology or government could use the event to gather data or otherwise incorporate UT Interactive into the academic life of the campus. UT Interactive is a part of the Texas Theme initiative chaired by Architecture Dean Lawrence Speck, and is being coordinated under the Office of University Relations. The UT community is turning its creative talent toward making UT Interactive an exciting day in the life of the campus with an on-going effect.



Updated 17 February 1999
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