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President Fenves Takes Office

On a lively first day as the 29th president of UT, Gregory L. Fenves shared with campus and the Austin community his vision for the future of UT and how he will “innovate excellence.” View photos from Fenves’ first day in office and watch his introductory press conference.

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On a lively first day as the 29th president of The University of Texas at Austin, Gregory L. Fenves shared with campus and the Austin community his vision for the future of UT and how he will “innovate excellence.”

“I am dedicated to using 21st century approaches to build on the success of our core missions to educate leaders, expand knowledge through research and scholarship, and serve our diverse world,” President Fenves said. “To achieve that, we must innovate excellence. That includes empowering our scholars in the sciences, arts, humanities and beyond, expanding experiential learning opportunities, and strengthening collaboration among faculty members, students and researchers.”

Fenves’ day comprised of breakfast with staff members, lunch with students and dinner with faculty members. He also met with east Austin community leaders, Dell Medical School officials and the mayor and governor.

View photos from Fenves’ first day in office, and continue to follow him on Twitter at @gregfenves.

Gregory L. Fenves with UT staff

President Fenves kicks off the morning in a true Austin fashion — breakfast tacos with UT Austin staff members at the Facilities Complex. The crowd, peppered with the blue or tan uniform shirts worn by the facilities staff, listened as he spoke about the importance of the work carried out by the people who keep the building systems, grounds and utilities running for the students, faculty and staff on campus. “It meant a lot to us that he came here,” said support services manager Ben Reid. “He was willing to stand here in the heat to meet with us before he went to see the governor.”

Meanwhile, messages of welcome and congratulations began pouring in online.

Gregory L. Fenves meets with East Austin community leaders

Leaders in East Austin met with President Fenves at the David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church to discuss how to build on the momentum of partnerships between the university and the community. Fenves is chatting with civic leader and philanthropist Ada Anderson, a graduate of both UT and Huston-Tillotson University. Behind them, in red, is Wilhelmina Delco, the first African American elected to the school board of Travis County, who also spent 20 years serving in the Texas state legislature. To the left, in the orange tie, is Joseph Parker Jr., a Texas Law alumnus and pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.


Members of the media gathered for a press conference with President Fenves in the Governor’s Room at the Texas Union. “My name is Greg Fenves and I am very honored to say, I am the president of The University of Texas.” Watch the video.

President Fenves visits with Dell Medical School Clay Johnston

President Fenves is dedicated to transforming health care. With the creation of the Dell Medical School (scheduled to admit its first class in 2016), UT will be positioned to develop a health care system of the future with person-centered, valued-added health care that fosters healthier communities. On his final stop of the morning, Fenves met with leaders from the medical school, including Dean Clay Johnston, pictured here.


Gregory L. Fenves having lunch with UT students

Student leaders talked with President Fenves during a lunch at the Student Activities Center. One of Fenves’ key missions is to educate every student so they become knowledge generators and leaders in a globally competitive environment.



President Greg Fenves meets with a delegation of energy leaders from Argentina

With a focus on expanding and driving international energy research, President Fenves spoke briefly to attendees of the United States and Argentina Energy Forum at The University of Texas at Austin. The forum is an opportunity to exchange ideas and information about the development of energy resources in Argentina and the U.S. Pictured from left to right: Melinda Taylor, executive director of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business; Jorge Piñon, director of UT Austin’s Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program and the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy; Alejandro Diaz, CEO of Amcham Argentina; Alex Bottan, CEO of Southern Cone General Electric (GE) and former president of Amcham; President Fenves; Rodolfo Urtubey, National Senator for Salta State and member of the Energy Senate Committee; Alejandro Nicola, energy minister of Neuquen State, Argentina; and Daniel Deodato, consul general for Argentina in Houston.


President Fenves meets Austin Mayor Steve Adler at City Hall

President Fenves learned from Mayor Steve Adler that the City of Austin wants to better utilize the university’s research and faculty expertise to improve city procedures and policies. Developing stronger entrepreneurial approaches to city management, innovation and expansion is also an interest.


President Fenves with Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who just finished the 84th regular session of the Texas Legislature, hosted President Fenves in his office at the capitol.


President Fenves greets Joe Jamail with the Longhorn Band

The Longhorn Band extended a warm welcome to President Fenves with loyal alumnus Joe Jamail.


President Fenves enjoys dinner with members of the faculty in his office

About 20 faculty members from across campus joined President Fenves for dinner to celebrate the end of his first day in office.