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University approves new guidelines for lighting of UT Tower

The University of Texas at Austin has approved new guidelines for lighting the UT Tower.

Two color orange horizontal divider

AUSTIN, TexasThe University of Texas at Austin has approved new guidelines for lighting the UT Tower.

President Larry R. Faulkner appointed an ad hoc Committee on Tower Guidelines on Feb. 2, 2001, and charged its members to specifically address:

  • Should the Tower be lit for individual achievements, as well as “group” achievements?
  • What should be the level of recognition?
  • What should the lighting pattern be for each level of recognition?
  • Should the Tower be lit for non-university events?

The committee recommended, and the president approved, the revised set of Tower lighting guidelines, based on the following philosophy:

  • Lighting patterns should distinguish between academic and staff achievements and athletic victories
  • Traditional Orange should be displayed for celebration of campus-wide events
  • Darkened tower (UT Remembers) should be used only for solemn occasions
  • Committee recommends two new lighting configurations:
    • White top, Orange shaft
    • Top split Orange and White with Orange shaft
  • Other lighting options are available.

The new guidelines replace a lighting system devised by engineering Professor Carl J. Eckhardt Jr., in 1947. He created guidelines for using the orange lights to take advantage of the Tower’s commanding architecture to announce university achievements.
The new guidelines are as follows:

(click on thumbnail image for a larger version in a new window)

Standard Tower lighting

tower: all white


Configuration: Tower entirely White

Academic and staff achievements

tower: white top, orange shaft


Configuration: White top with Orange shaft
Faculty academic achievements (Academic Convocation)
Student academic achievements (Honors Day)
Staff achievements (Staff Recognition Day)
Academic team achievements with #1 displayed
Other events at the President’s discretion

Athletic achievements

tower: orange top, white shaft


Configuration: Orange top with White shaft
Football regular season victories, except Texas AandM
Non-Bowl Championship Series (BCS) victories
Other events at the President’s discretion

Significant athletic victories

tower: all orange


Configuration: Tower entirely Orange
Football victories:
Texas AandM
Big 12 South
Big 12 Championship Game
Big 12 Regular Season Team Championships
Big 12 Tournament Championships
Student organization sports club national championships

Athletic championships

tower: all orange with #1 displayed


Configuration: Tower entirely Orange with #1 displayed
Football Bowl Championship Series (BCS) 1 vs. 2 win
NCAA championships for all other sports

Campus-wide accolades

tower: all orange


Configuration: Tower entirely Orange
UT’s Birthday September 15
Texas Independence Day March 2
Other campus-wide events at the President’s discretion

Solemn occasions

tower: darkened with  white cap and observation deck


Configuration: Darkened Tower with White cap and observation deckall other levels dark, including windows
UT Remembers (annual memorial service)
Tower Garden Dedication
Significant solemn occasions, for example, Texas AandM Bonfire Tragedy
Other occasions at the President’s discretion

Symbolic campus events

tower: top split orange and white with orange shaft


Configuration: Top split Orange and White with Orange shaft
Gone to Texaswelcoming new students to campus
Other events at the President’s discretion

Special effects

tower: with special effects


Configuration: Tower with special effects or numbering.

tower: with numbering