Memorial Plaque in Tower Garden Commemorates Victims of Aug. 1, 1966 Shooting Tragedy

AUSTIN, Texas—A bronze plaque memorializing the victims of the Aug. 1, 1966 shooting incident on The University of Texas at Austin campus has been placed in the university’s Tower Garden, a grassy, tree-covered site north of the Main Building.

The plaque, which was set in place today (Jan. 10), was prepared at the request of William Powers Jr., president of the university, said Senior Vice President Shirley Bird Perry, who is coordinating the project.

Inscribed on the plaque, which has been set in a limestone boulder supported by a concrete foundation, are the words: “The University of Texas at Austin remembers with profound sorrow the tragedy of August 1, 1966. This space is dedicated as the Tower Garden, a memorial to those who died, to those who were wounded, and to the countless other victims who were immeasurably affected by the tragedy.”

The incident involved a gunman, Charles Whitman, who fired at people from the top of the university’s Tower before he was confronted and killed by law enforcement officers.

The Tower Garden was dedicated on Aug. 1, 1999 as a place to honor all those whose lives were touched by the shooting tragedy. The garden provides a pleasant environment for reading, reflection and quiet lunches on the lawn. In recent years the garden has been the site for UT Remembers, a traditional program in the spring semester to honor members of the university community—students and current and retired faculty and staff—who died during the year.

A detailed plan for a more extensively landscaped Tower Garden, including memorial elements, has been developed but private fund-raising efforts have been unsuccessful to date.

For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.