The New Year is almost here, but 2014 will go down in the books as one that brought The University of Texas at Austin big successes in the classroom, on the field and beyond the Forty Acres.
Before you flip your calendar, jog your memory on all the great things from 2014 with this year-in-review recap.
[Spend your holidays exploring museums and cheering for the Longhorns.
Check out our winter-break guide to visiting The University of Texas at Austin.]
THE YEAR IN HEADLINES
At The University of Texas at Austin, What Starts Here Changes the World, and prominent news outlets around the world took note of the work coming from the Forty Acres.
Here are 11 examples of Longhorns making headlines during 2014:
- The year started with news of Charlie Strong‘s hiring as coach of the Longhorn football team. His character-driven approach to developing student athletes coupled with a bowl-game appearance earned Strong praise throughout the season.
- In February, Ann Collins Johns, a senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History, received a hand-written letter from President Barack Obama about the importance and value of an art history degree.
- The New York Times took note of UT’s efforts to help high-achieving students from low-income families overcome hurdles in higher education in the May 15 article, “Who Gets to Graduate?“
- Reporters from across the country and four living U.S. presidents came to campus in April for the LBJ Library’s Civil Rights Summit. The New York Times wrote about the summit in an article “Remembering L.B.J. for More Than Vietnam.”
- The Guardian’s Starwatch series highlighted the work of a team of UT astronomers who hope to “identify the Sun’s potential sibling.”
- In September, CBS News took note of “Art that goes to the dogs (and cats)” in an article about the Blanton Museum of Art‘s popular exhibit, “In the Company of Cats and Dogs.”
- Edward LeBrun, a research associate with the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences, talked with NPR in May about “Crazy Ants Spreading In The Southeastern US.”
- The Harry Ransom Center exhibition “The Making of Gone With The Wind” created a lot of buzz this fall, prompting CNN to say, “Frankly, we still give a damn” about the iconic movie’s influence.
- The University of Texas System announced William H. McRaven (B.J. ’77), who oversaw the special-operations raid that claimed Osama bin Laden’s life, will be its next leader, drawing praise from higher-education experts across the country.
- The Washington Post took note of findings from postdoctoral researcher Yoel Stuart showing how competition drove one species of lizards to evolve big, sticky feet in just 15 years.
- Erika Patall, an assistant professor of human development, culture and learning sciences, explained how parents can “Help Children Form Good Study Habits” when The New York Times’ opinion pages posed the question, “Whose Work is Homework?”
[The UT Tower’s burnt-orange glow lit the Austin skyline throughout the year.
See what prompted Tower lightings in 2014.]
Refresh your memory of 2014 with these highlights from the year at The University of Texas at Austin:
- Football Head Coach Charlie Strong kicked off 2014 with a whirlwind first week.
- Class of 2018 members started the year by opening acceptance letters, marking the “Best Day of My Life,” for some students.
- In February the Butler School of Music hosted the Menuhin Competition, a prestigious international competition that saw some of the world’s best young violinists perform on the Forty Acres and in venues around Austin. It was the first time the Menuhin had ever been held in the U.S. Watch some highlights from the event.
- Our students have earned a lot of bragging rights, and these 17 students are ones we’re proud to call Longhorns.
- Inaugural Dell Medical School Dean Clay Johnston joined the university in March, setting forth his vision for reinventing health care.
- Microbiologists and infectious disease researchers explored both what makes bacteria resistant and “The Trouble with Defeating Diseases.” In the health and technology fields, researchers developed “Innovative Devices That Aren’t Science Fiction” anymore. Both are examples of how UT scholars are continuing their Pursuit of Health through important research.
- Admiral William McRaven, a University of Texas at Austin alumnus responsible for the raid that claimed Osama Bin Laden’s life, brought the house down with a commencement address that went viral.
- The inaugural “40 for 40” two-day fundraising effort more than tripled its goal of $40,000, with a total of more than $128,000 raised in just 40 hours.
- William McRaven, B.J. ’77, was named the next chancellor of the University of Texas System. Here are “10 Things You Need to Know” about him.
- The University of Texas at Austin is a vast place, with more than 40 acres of campus containing untold collections, artifacts and treasures. Our #HiddenUT series begins to show “There’s More to UT Than You Know.”
- To coincide with the 12th annual Reading Round-up, professors shared “58 Books to Love This Summer (or Anytime).”
- The Texas Baseball team appeared in the College World Series for a 35th time, the most of any team.
- The Campaign for Texas ended with a bang, topping its $3 billion goal by $120 million and bringing to a close the state’s most ambitious nonprofit fundraising effort to date. The campaign’s last year raised a record-shattering $862 million, an amount believed to be a new single-year record for higher-education fundraising in Texas.
- The University of Texas at Austin often finds itself atop prominent college rankings, but Longhorns are also in the top spots on lists like “Happiest College” and “Coolest College Recreation Center.” Read about “The Other Rankings.”
- These “Five Great UT Ideas” prove that world-changing inventions come from the Forty Acres.
- The Longhorn Band put on some impressive performances during football games this fall, and members shared the “Secrets of the Longhorn Band” when explaining how they march in formation while staying in tune.
LIKE IT AGAIN
Longhorns fans share UT pride online, touting the university’s influence on social media. Take a look at some of our most popular posts during 2014, and share the stories again with your friends:
- UT researchers reported a needle-free Ebola vaccine protects monkeys 100 percent of the time, even a year after being vaccinated, from the virus.
- The Longhorn Band takes complex formations from the computer screen to the football field, revealing “Secrets of the Longhorn Band.”
- A legendary athlete, an Oscar-winning actor and an astronaut were only half of the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients.
- UT alumnus Matthew McConaughey picked up the Oscar for Best Actor, ushering in the “McConaissance.”
- Rows of U.S. flags offered a solemn reminder of the lives lost during the September 11 terrorists attacks.
- Students take a massive group photo in the shape of Texas.
- Scenic pictures of the #UTTower often bring out memories of college days among alumni online.
- Friendly jabs at opponents on the field help rile up the Longhorns spirit online.
- The Class of 2018 poses for a picture.
- Football fans loved seeing a New York Times map showing Longhorns fans dominate the Lone Star State.
- The famous turtles who live in the pond north of the #UTTower took a summer vacation while their home was cleaned.
- The Center for World University Rankings recognized The University of Texas at Austin as No. 29 among the world’s top 1,000 universities.
[Did you know UT is the No. 1 Most Influential University on Twitter?
Read more about “The Other Rankings.”]