There are few moments more exhilarating for UT students and their families than Commencement. We know, because we walked across the stage once, and now the Association puts on an open house for graduates and their families at the Alumni Center on the day of Commencement, complete with champagne for toasting.
An open letter to the parents of the
Class of 2015
Dear Parents of the Class of 2015,
We are writing to tell you how impressed we are with your children, the students who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin last weekend, and to congratulate you on raising such fine young people.
As University of Texas alumni ourselves, we take tremendous pride in our school. What your sons and daughters did this weekend represents one of the most impressive demonstrations of school spirit in UT history.
But in case you haven’t heard, Austin has been a wet place recently. In the days leading up to Commencement, it had been raining steadily. As graduation day approached, the sky filled with dark clouds, and a thunderstorm raged across Central Texas. It rained so much that, for the first time in the history of UT, Saturday night’s Commencement ceremony and fireworks show were canceled.
Your sons and daughters, however, had come too far for that.
Some industrious students took to social media to organize an impromptu graduation for the next night. They weren’t daunted by the logistical nightmare of planning a massive event in less than 24 hours. Using the hashtag #whatstartshereisntstoppedbyrain, they quickly booked a band and scheduled speakers.
More than 1,000 people turned out for the unofficial celebration. The mood was jubilant, with cheers and song breaking out. Your sons and daughters filled social media with triumphant pictures of themselves, their friends, and joyous scenes beneath the Tower. When fireworks lit up the night at 10 p.m., they felt like not just a celebration, but a victory. The students even persuaded outgoing UT president Bill Powers to address the crowd gathered at the Tower steps. He had been at a wedding, but left early to stand before his final graduating class as president of the university.
Powers read the hallowed words to confer the degrees upon the graduates, and he told them something you should all hear: “I can’t believe the crowd we have tonight and the organization. This is what students at the University of Texas are all about. You all are the very best students in America.”
We couldn’t agree more.
The way the Class of 2015 came together for something bigger than themselves inspired us. These are people who can make good on UT’s tagline, What Starts Here Changes the World. With the help of the Texas Exes’ powerful alumni network, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish.
Because of the incredible spirit they have shown, we are extending the deadline to buy a Life Membership in the Texas Exes at the deepest discount we offer (40% off) until June 5, 2015.
We are so proud of your young graduates and we compliment the job you did raising them. They have brought incredible credit to the University of Texas and the Texas Exes, and their remarkable gumption will long be remembered in the annals of UT history.