Texas Exes Celebrate 125th Anniversary

The Texas Exes, the alumni association of The University of Texas at Austin, will mark its 125th anniversary in 2010 with a fund-raising campaign to aid students, a special edition of its alumni magazine and the unveiling of a list of 125 Extraordinary Exes, among other activities.

The Texas Exes are creating a $1.25 million endowment to enhance the student experience. Members are asked to give a $125 one-time contribution to this fund that will affect generations of students. The 40 Acres Scholars Program, a new scholarship fund for which the Texas Exes are raising funds in 2010, will be one of the largest merit-based scholarship programs in the country and the first program of its kind on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Other planned celebrations and recognitions of the anniversary include: a special commemorative issue of the alumni publication, The Alcalde; the listing of 125 Extraordinary Exes on the Texas Exes Web site; and special recognition of the anniversary during the first Texas Exes Tailgate of the 2010 Longhorn football season.

On June 17, 1885, 34 new graduates of the two-year-old University of Texas organized the UT Alumni Association, later renamed The Ex-Students' Association, and today known as the Texas Exes. The Texas Exes now has more than 90,000 members and connects nearly 400,000 alumni of the university.

"There has never been a better time to be part of The University of Texas at Austin community. The year 2010 will be a memorable one for the Texas Exes and we hope all alumni and friends will help us celebrate," said Jim Boon, executive director and chief executive officer of the Texas Exes.

The association started as an extension of the university, but the events of 1917 changed that when Will C. Hogg led alumni in opposing Gov. Jim Ferguson, who vetoed the university's appropriation bill. After Ferguson was impeached in 1917, the association separated itself from the university. Since then, the association has protected the university's interest in the Legislature and has now set up a full-time legislative advocacy program, UT Advocates for Higher Education.

Another key role the association filled was that of fund raising. In 1892, the association helped raise money for a YMCA building adjacent to the campus. The association has spearheaded fund-raising campaigns for Memorial Stadium, the Texas Memorial Museum and the Longhorn Band, for a band hall and scholarships. The association provided the main push behind the Union Project, which resulted in the construction of Gregory Gym, the Texas Union, Hogg Auditorium, and Anna Hiss Gym. In 1937, the association helped plan and establish the University Development Board.

The association has made a lasting impact on the university and the student body through what continues to be a robust scholarship program. In 1899, the association awarded its first scholarship, supported by membership dues. Now the Texas Exes give out nearly $2 million in scholarships each year. In 1997, in response to the Hopwood vs. Texas decision banning racial consideration in admissions and financial aid, the association created the Texas Leaders Scholarship, aimed at preserving the university's ethnic diversity.

The Texas Exes also connects members to each other and the university through career counseling, travel, reunions, continuing education, fellowship and The Alcalde magazine. There are 120 chapters around the world, nearly one for every year of our history as an association. For more information on the Texas Exes or to become a member, please visit www.TexasExes.org.