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Gone To Texas: Texas-sized welcome marks start of academic year


Gone To Texas logo
“Gone To Texas,” a welcoming event at The University of Texas at Austin traditionally held the night before the start of fall classes, will provide a festive beginning to a new academic year for incoming freshmen and other new students who will be joining in celebration on the university’s Main Mall at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 30).

Music, dancing and warm greetings from student leaders, faculty members and administrators will highlight the celebration created for incoming freshmen, transfer, graduate and law students. The alternate location for the 8 p.m. event, if rain occurs, will be Gregory Gym.

“Gone to Texas was created to help new students feel at home right away,” said Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university. “It’s a festive introduction to some of the people, traditions and ideals that will become a part of their experience as they live and grow in the university over the next few years.”

Star from Gone To Texas logoAdvice for New Students

Get involved. Go to class. Meet your professors. When you invest yourself (your whole self) in your educational endeavors, it will be a truly enriching and transforming experience.

Kelly Stone
Houston, Texas

Take the time to “do Austin.” There are more opportunities to have fun and make lasting memories than anyone could imagine. Get to know people, step out of your comfort zone and take chances. Don’t pass up the opportunity to have fun, whatever that may be for each person.

Andrew Petak
Lewisville, Texas

Be humble, question yourself, make lots of mistakes, make changes and repeat the process over and over again. UT has so much to offer, but it is no different than a locked safe full of money. If you do not use the combination, you have no access to the gifts in the safe. Similarly, if we do not offer our own “combinations” to open the vault of knowledge, those gifts remain locked.

Mamta Accapadi
Houston, Texas

Read much more from Advice to New Students on the Gone To Texas Web site.

Omar Ochoa, president of Student Government, said, “There are two important events in any college student’s life that mark transition and change. These are graduation, which is observed with commencement activities, and then there is the first day as a university student. This is celebrated in Gone to Texas. It is a fun-filled festival welcoming students to their new life at UT and it gives them a glimpse at what to expect over the next four years.”

The first day of fall semester classes will begin Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Gone To Texas is a presentation of the Office of the President with support by the University Co-op, which is the program sponsor and also provides the popular Gone to Texas T-shirts.

Performing groups will include a Vietnamese Dance Troupe, Steel Dance, Ballet Folklorico, Nritya Sangam Indian Dance Troupe, Innervisions Choir, HUM South Asian Acappella Group, Ransom Notes and the Potheads, a group of students who perform using household pots, pans, trashcans and other items as their musical instruments.

As a part of the welcoming celebration, many colleges and schools host programs prior to the 8 p.m. university-wide celebration. During these events, free Gone to Texas T-shirts will be distributed to new students while supplies last.

The annual welcoming event is based on a chapter in the history of the migration to Texas. More than 100 years ago, as adventurers pulled up stakes seeking a fresh start, three letters etched on old homestead doors revealed their destination. “GTT” was written on the doors of people indicating they had gone to Texas.

More information is available on the Gone To Texas Web site.

The Gone To Texas celebration will be broadcast live on channel 33 and 45 of the campus cable system, channel 11 of the dorm cable system and to the entire world via a live webcast. Live streaming will begin at 7:45 p.m. on Aug. 30.

BY Robert D. Meckel

PHOTO on banner graphic: Marsha Miller


Office of Public Affairs

P.O. Box Z
Austin, Texas
78713-7509

512-471-3151
Fax 512-471-5812


  Updated 8 August 2012
  Comments to utopa@www.utexas.edu