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Texas-style welcoming activities planned for students new to UT Austin

Students new to The University of Texas at Austin will be welcomed to their new home before they enter their first classroom.

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AUSTIN, Texas — Students new to The University of Texas at Austin will be welcomed to their new home before they enter their first classroom.

On Tuesday (Aug. 25), the night before fall classes begin, new undergraduate, graduate and law students will experience GTT…GONE TO TEXAS ’98! a Texas-style welcome in the heart of the campus, at the base of the Tower, where they will return several years hence for their Commencement.

GTT is a centerpiece event around which a variety of welcoming activities planned by academic colleges and schools, university units and student organizations are planned. Offices and groups such as the Dean of Students Office, Housing and Food Service, Recreational Sports, Intercollegiate Athletics, the Texas Union, Ex-Students’ Association, Student Government, the Cabinet of College Councils and others offer programs designed to ease an incoming student’s transition to a new and unfamiliar environment.

“At the University, we celebrate our heritage and enhance our sense of community through ceremony,” said UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner. “Gone to Texas is a celebration of the arrival of our new students and the diverse paths that have brought all of us to this campus.”As a first-year president, I’m especially looking forward to this combination of academic ritual, Longhorn traditions and fun.”

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

  • Remarks by Faulkner welcoming freshmen and new graduate students to his “freshman” year as UT’s president.
  • Brief greetings — in song and verse — by a diverse representation of faculty, staff and students that showcase the rich cultural environment available to UT students.
  • A visual collage of images that provides a glimpse of UT’s many traditions, from Bevo and Smokey the Cannon to the Official Class Ring and Honors Medallion, that students will encounter in their years at UT.
  • Dramatic lighting of the Tower in lasers as part of a grand finale featuring the Longhorn Band.

The program begins at 8 p.m. and concludes at 9:15 p.m., followed by a concert and dance featuring Austin’s Trish Murphy, who recently completed the successful Lilith Fair tour engagement. The concert will be held on the South Mall until 10:30 p.m. Some 3,500 T-shirts bearing the GTT logo have been donated by the University Co-op and will be distributed to new students. In the event of rain, festivities will be moved to the Texas Union, with the concert to follow in Hogg Auditorium.

NOTE to MEDIA: A mult box will be available. Media trucks must remain on Inner-Campus Drive. Student participants are available to be interviewed for a “Live at Five” spot. Trish Murphy and lasers would be good for a “Live at Ten” spot.

Additional information is available from the GTT web site: http://www.utexas.edu/student/gtt.