About The University of Texas
The University of Texas is many things to many people. To some it is as simple as a football team and a place to spend Saturdays during the fall. To others it is a Tower bathed in orange light on the Austin skyline in commemoration of some event or achievement. And still to others it is one of the most esteemed institutions of higher learning in the world, which has molded the lives of young men and women from all over the globe for over one hundred and thirty years. To me it is all of these things and more.
Its history is almost as old as the state of Texas itself. “An Act to Establish the University of Texas” was considered by the Texas Congress as early as 1838, only two years after Texas won its independence from Mexico. Over forty years of legislative wrangling would take place before Texas’ flagship university would open its doors in 1883 on forty acres of land in Austin originally known as College Hill. Strangely enough, the original name of the plot of land was apparently not as memorable as its size since the campus is affectionately known to students and alumni today as the Forty Acres.
As the campus grew, buildings came and went. The original Main Building, built in three phases in the late nineteenth century and known as Old Main, was razed in the early 1930s and replaced with the now world-famous University of Texas Tower. Brackenridge Hall, built in 1890 and known as B. Hall, was torn down in 1952. But many of the other buildings which constituted part of the early campus, such as the Gebauer Building, Battle Hall, and Sutton Hall are still standing and in use today, over one hundred years after their construction.
The remainder of the twentieth century saw considerable expansion of the University’s footprint, even away from the main campus. Garrison Hall, Waggener Hall, Goldsmith Hall, Hogg Memorial Auditorium, Painter Hall, Welch Hall, Gearing Hall, the W.C. Hogg Building, the buildings of the Six Pack (Benedict Hall, Mezes Hall, Batts Hall, Parlin Hall, Calhoun Hall, and Rainey Hall), along with several others, form the core of the campus today. Others are continually added or rebuilt. In fact, the only constant at the University of Texas seems to be its unending evolution and growth.
I have known the University of Texas since the early 1980s, having been introduced to it as a fan of its sports teams from a young age. The walks I took across the campus as a child are indelibly etched in my memory and, subconsciously, served to become the foundation of this portfolio. Certain sights, even smells, transport me back to that time. Years later when I became a student there, my connection with the University became inevitably much more personal. The University of Texas is a collection of photos created as an attempt to maintain that personal connection to an institution that has played a significant role in my life. It is my hope that the work inspires my fellow alumni to remember fondly the time they spent on the Forty Acres.