Take a look at how these Longhorns are changing the world:
NASA Chief Scientist Alan Stern
When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto, one Longhorn had particular cause to celebrate the historic accomplishment: Alan Stern, the mission’s leader.
Stern holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and astronomy and master’s degrees in both aerospace and civil engineering from UT Austin. As part of the New Horizons mission, Stern helped launch the fastest spacecraft ever and captured breathtaking photos of Pluto.
His work has already helped scientists determine Pluto is larger than many prior estimates and will ultimately help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system.
“He has taken us to a realm of the solar system we would not now being seeing up close without his commitment and persistence.” —Time
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker
As president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker oversees more than $12 billion in assets, $50 million in grants and 10 international offices for the Ford Foundation, the second largest philanthropic organization in the country.
Walker earned three degrees from The University of Texas at Austin: a bachelor of arts in government, a bachelor of science in speech communication and a doctorate in jurisprudence from the School of Law. Last year, Walker addressed the Class of 2015 during commencement, asking the graduates to use experiences and knowledge gained while on the Forty Acres to build world-changing bridges.
As president of the Ford Foundation, Walker has prioritized restarting grants to peace and global security efforts and dedicating funding to urban issues, both in the U.S. and internationally.
“His leadership is authentic, and his focus on equality is nothing short of revolutionary.”—Time
PGA star Jordan Spieth
In 2012, Jordan Spieth helped lead the Longhorns to the NCAA National Men’s Golf Championship.
In 2015, Spieth won both The Masters and the U.S. Open, prompting two burnt-orange Tower lightings on the Forty Acres to celebrate his victories.
Today, Spieth is continues to compete at an elite level and is poised to continue his historic trajectory.
“He is the standard by which our heroes should be measured.” —Time
UT El Paso President Diana Natalicio
Diana Natalicio has “done a masterful job” as president of The University of Texas at El Paso for nearly three decades.
Natalicio holds a master’s degree in Portuguese and a doctorate in linguistics from UT Austin. Her passion and determination have helped her make an immeasurable impact on UT El Paso, transforming it into a national model for educating a 21st century student population.
As president of UT El Paso, Natalicio has recognized the critical importance of pre-college preparation to a student’s enrollment and success in college. She’s been a driving force in creating community partnerships to raise the aspirations and education attainment of young people in the Paso del Norte region.
“Natalicio was ahead of her time, seeing the future of America in the faces of her students.” —Time
Congratulations (and Hook ‘Em), Alan, Darren, Jordan and Diana!