The iconic Tower is The University of Texas at Austin’s most recognizable landmark, and 2015 brought plenty of reasons for the Tower to show off Longhorn pride with a burnt-orange glow.
The standard all-white configuration illuminates the Tower in Austin’s skyline most nights, and a handful of other lighting configurations convey signals of celebration, accomplishment or, sometimes, sorrow.
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From the orange top best known for celebrating football victories to the windows lit in different formations bidding farewell to a graduating class and welcoming incoming freshmen, the Tower had special lighting configurations more than 30 times in 2015.
- In January, the Tower turned orange to welcome into office new Texas leaders: Gov. Greg Abbott, a 1981 graduate of the McCombs School of Business, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
- Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving claimed the Big 12 title for the third year in a row, leading to a Tower lighting in February.
- To mark Texas Independence Day, the Tower shined with orange lights on March 2.
- In March, we lit the Tower to honor the recipients of important awards bestowed by the university to deserving faculty and staff members.
- Manuel J. Justiz celebrated his 25th year as dean of the College of Education in 2015, and a Tower lighting in March thanked him for his work to propel the College of Education to national acclaim, making it one of the country’s premier schools.
- A Tower lighting in March celebrated the Texas Track and Field teams for winning both the men’s and women’s Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships.
- On Saturday, March 28, the Tower went dark to recognize Earth Hour — a global event raising awareness about humanity’s collective impact on the planet and how we can make a positive difference towards it preservation.
- At the end of March, the Men’s Swimming and Diving team won its 11th NCAA team title, giving us reason to turn the Tower orange with “1” shining on its sides.
- To start the spring, a Tower lighting honored GeoFORCE Texas, an outreach program of the university’s Jackson School of Geoscience, which received an award from President Barack Obama.
- We lit the Tower in April to celebrate alumnus Jordan Spieth’s victory at the Masters.
- The Tower turned orange in April in recognition of the six leading UT Austin alumni who were honored with Presidential Citations from then-UT Austin President Bill Powers.
- To celebrate the success of our students, the Tower shined with an orange light on Honors Day, the occasion when students who have achieved academic excellence are honored by administrative officials, academic deans and members of the faculty.
- A Tower lighting in April honored two teams of law students who took home national championships at the 2014 Lone Star Classic Mock Trial Competition and the 2015 UMKC Show Me Challenge.
- The Texas Men’s Golf team claimed its third straight Big 12 Conference Championship, turning the Tower orange in early May.
- In May, we lit the Tower after the Women’s Club Volleyball and Quidditch teams each won a national title.
- To recognize the university’s outstanding employees, a Tower lighting in May honored recipients of the President’s Staff Awards.
- Except for a white cap and observation deck, all of the Tower’s levels and windows darkened on May 8 in memory of Longhorns who died during the past year.
- We lit the Tower in May to celebrate four national championships won by McCombs School of Business students.
- Texas claimed the 2015 Big 12 Rowing Championship in May, turning the Tower orange.
- The Tower turning orange in May after the Texas Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams each won Big 12 titles.
- We lit the Tower and showed off a “15” configuration in the Tower’s windows when the Class of 2015 celebrated commencement.
- We lit the Tower on June 2 to welcome Gregory L. Fenves as the university’s 29th president.
- Jordan Spieth, who helped lead the Longhorns to the NCAA National Men’s Golf Championship in 2012, won the U.S. Open, and a Tower lighting honored his historic victory.
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- Instead of turning orange for an outstanding academic accomplishment or academic feat, the Tower turned orange for a Longhorn Network photo shoot one night in July.
- The Class of 2019 and incoming students got a burnt-orange welcome to the Forty Acres when we lit the Tower Aug. 25 during “Gone to Texas” as a way to celebrate the arrival of the newest members of Longhorn Nation.
- The university celebrated its 132nd birthday on Sept. 15, but instead of a cake, Longhorns celebrated with a Tower lighting.
- The UT Austin community honored President Gregory L. Fenves and celebrated his inauguration on Sept. 17 by turning the Tower orange and displaying “29” on its sides to recognize his role as the university’s 29th president.
[This year marked another great one for The University of Texas at Austin. Check out our recap top campus news.]
- The Longhorns won five football games this year, and we lit the Tower for each victory, celebrating wins over Rice, Oklahoma, K-State, Kansas and Baylor.
- In October, we the Tower shined in recognition of the three new inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and all members of the Academy.
- The Tower darkened at the end of October in support of Longhorn Lights Out, a voluntary initiative that demonstrates how simple, individual actions can result in significant energy savings across campus.
- The Tower shined in November to honor the six recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Texas Exes’ highest honor for outstanding UT Austin graduates.
- The Tower turned orange Nov. 12 in honor of the university’s Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team, which won a two-day competition challenging cadets mentally and physically while enhancing leadership, critical thinking and team cohesion.
- In November, we honored and thanked Professor John B. Goodenough with an orange Tower after he won a $1 million award for innovation and donated his prize to the university to help support his research lab.
- Texas Volleyball won its fifth-straight Big 12 Conference Championship, turning the Tower orange in November.
- As fall graduates of the Class of 2015 left the Forty Acres in December, a burnt-orange Tower with “15” shining from its windows wished the new alumni well.
[Researchers spent 2015 making world-changing discoveries and breakthroughs. Check out our recap of notable innovations from the year.]
We’re proud of all the reasons we turned the Tower orange this year.
What will you do in 2016 to light the Tower?