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UT News

The Year in Tower Lightings: 2018 Brings Reasons for Tower to Shine

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The four seasons of the UT Tower.

The iconic UT Tower is more than just one of the most recognizable landmarks in Texas — it’s also a symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity.

While the standard lighting configuration illuminates the Tower in Austin’s skyline most nights, a handful of other lighting configurations convey signals of celebration, accomplishment or, sometimes, sorrow.

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 plenty of special lighting configurations in 2018.

We’re proud of all the reasons we turned the Tower orange this year.

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  • The Tower darkened on July 31 to honor Frank Denius, one of the university’s most loyal alums and “the ultimate Longhorn.”
  • On the night before the fall semester began, the Tower turned orange and displayed “22” on its sides to welcome new students and the Class of 2022 to the Forty Acres.
  • On September 13, the Tower shined with entirely burnt orange lights in honor of Bobby and Sherri Patton on the occasion of renaming the Liberal Arts Building as Patton Hall and in honor of the university’s birthday that same week.
  • In September, the Tower shined turned orange in honor of the new inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.


  • The Texas Football team turned the Tower orange nine times during the 2018 season, once for each of the team’s wins. As part of UT tradition, the top of the Tower turns orange to celebrate regular-season football victories.
  • At the start of November, the Tower was orange in honor of this year’s distinguished alumni.
  • The Texas Volleyball team turned the Tower orange in late November after winning the 2018 Big 12 Championship.
  • At the end of November, an orange the Tower turned orange in honor of the Canfields’ generosity. Phil Canfield, a successful private equity investor, made a generous multimillion-dollar gift to advance the Business Honors Program at the McCombs School of Business.
  • On December 5, the Tower darkened with the number “41” shining from the windows to celebrate the life and legacy of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush.
  • At the end of the fall semester, the Tower was orange with “18” displayed on its sides for two nights in a row to honor the Class of 2018 and this year’s graduates.

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