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Laser illumination of Tower during GONE TO TEXAS! program Tuesday offers Texas-size welcome to new UT Austin students

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. . . GONE TO TEXAS!

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AUSTIN, 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. . . GONE TO TEXAS!

On Tuesday (Aug. 26), the day before fall classes begin, a whole new generation of adventurers will converge on campus to begin their UT experience at the foot of the Tower, the site of their future Commencement.

The GONE TO TEXAS! celebration will give freshmen and other new students the chance to meet President ad interim Peter T. Flawn, rub shoulders with deans and professors, make new friends, learn The Eyes of Texas, sample Austin’s great music scene and share in surprises, prizes and more.

The program, being held for the first time, is designed to serve as a “bookend event” to Commencement. By involving as many student organizations as possible, and thereby displaying the variety of experience at the University, the program will place diversity at center stage.

“The event is meant to welcome all new students – freshmen and transfers – and introduce them to some of the University’s traditions,” said Rod Caspers, program director of the Associate Vice President’s Office. “The program also is designed to entertain, as well as inspire and challenge, these students to achieve excellence. We want them to be proud of their decision to attend the University of Texas.”

The hour-long program, which is sponsored by the Office of the President, will include:

  • Remarks from Dr. Flawn comparing today’s freshman class with the first class to attend UT.
  • Presentations of traditions and how the diversity of the student body tie into University tradition.
  • Visual representation of traditions, including Big Bertha, the Texas Flag and the cannon.
  • Current students’ stories of their University experiences.
  • Theatrical lighting of the Tower. The laser effects will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. with the Tower outline, plus other effects on the Tower and surrounding buildings continuing until 10 p.m. (If requested, the Tower laser illumination will continue through 10:30 p.m. to accommodate television news live shots). At the conclusion of the main program, a concert and dance featuring Brave Combo and the Guy Forsythe Band will be held from 9:15 p.m. to 12 a.m. on the South Mall. Special welcome prizes will be given away to UT students.NOTE to PHOTOGRAPHERS and EDITORS: These tips will help you obtain the best photographs of the laser effects – (1) Use daylight balanced film, 100-400 ASA (2) Use a tripod for a long exposure between 1/4 of a second and two seconds – experiment with different exposures (3) The best area for photography will be from the South Mall up to Inner Campus Drive.
    For additional details or background about the GONE TO TEXAS! program, call Susan Clagett, associate vice president for administration and public affairs, at 471-7753, or Rod Caspers at 475-6340.