AUSTIN, Texas—“Gone To Texas,” a festive welcome featuring special guest speakers, live performances by a wide variety of performers and a finale featuring the Longhorn Band, will be held at 8 p.m. on Aug. 30 for new students beginning the fall semester at The University of Texas at Austin.
The celebration on the Main Mall of the campus traditionally is held the evening before the first day of fall semester classes, which will begin Aug. 31. It provides an opportunity for incoming freshmen, transfer, graduate and law students to meet their peers and learn campus traditions. The event is a presentation of the Office of the President with ongoing support by the University Co-op, which serves as 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 ever-entertaining Potheads, a group of students who perform using household pots, pans, trashcans and other items as their musical instruments.
“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.”
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.”
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.
In case of inclement weather, the Gone To Texas campus-wide event will be relocated to Gregory Gym.
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 at 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.
Note to editors/producers: On Tuesday, Aug. 30, beginning at 4 p.m., lot F14 near the Main Building will be available for news media parking. The guard on duty there will be directed to admit credentialed media. No special pass is needed. Spaces will be coned on Inner Campus Drive for video vans providing live coverage.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.