Tag Archives: ut

University of Texas Tower

The Austin skyline has changed tremendously over the years but the, UT Austin Tower is the one landmark every weary traveler cranes his neck to spot on the horizon in order to know he’s close to home.UTTower

The 307-foot tall tower was designed by Paul Cret of Philadelphia, was completed in 1937 and with the lighting expertise of Carl J. Eckhardt Jr., this edifice has become the traditional visual spokesman for the university. When the tower is flooded in full orange you know that U.T. reined victorious over Texas A&M University.  There are other worthy reasons for this kind of lighting, like Commencement or other events that the president feels the need to celebrate with this honor.  Sometimes lights are left on in offices on certain floors that convey football scores or rankings in divisions. Nothing pleases a Longhorn fan more than to see the tower bathed in orange and lit up with an immense number one.UTcele

For an up close and personal view of the tower, the UT Tower’s observation deck is open for tours.  This historic building has recently been remodeled and reopened to the public after a 30-year closure!  To check out the amazing panoramic views of the city, and learn about the building’s history, you will need to make reservations through the Texas Union Information Center.  For more information go to:

http://www.utexas.edu/universityunions/texas-union/scene/tower-tours

Austin: 21st Century Mecca For Techno-Geeks

Twenty-five years ago downtown Austin was a sleepy city center. There were no coffee shops, few restaurants, and events like South By Southwest were in their infancy. Flash forward to today and Austin is one of the most vibrant and livable cities in the United States. Driving much of this incredible evolution has been the rise of a technology culture based in and around the city. Companies like Dell, Apple, and Google are here, as are dozens of start-ups focused on software design, digital gaming, and mobile applications. The technological sophistication reaches from the highest echelons of big business down to our children and their hobbies.

innovationThis reach was evidenced March 2, 2013 as high-school students from across Texas converged in Austin to participate in HP Code Wars, a computer coding competition in which students tried to solve 22 complex problems. While the winners were awarded trophies and all participants could win other prizes, the shared excitement of the event and the challenges seem to be the highlight of the event for most participants.

Young students who are interested in programming and technology-driven projects have many opportunities in Austin to broaden their skills, all while meeting other like-minded students. There are ongoing activities, such as Central Texas FIRST LEGO League (FLL) introduce students age 9-14 to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots. FLL teams guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, design, build, test and program robots; apply real-world math and science concepts; learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills. There are also courses for kids as young as 6 years old. See their website (http://centraltxfirst.org/).

For students who want to immerse themselves in technology learning projects there are ‘computer’ summer camps. For example, iD Tech Camps offers courses at St. Edwards University campus. These courses, designed to keep student-teacher ratios at about 8-1, cover a variety of cutting-edge topics including video game design, mobile phone app development, computer programming, and digital video editing. Courses are a week in length and are offered at various times throughout the summer. For complete information, see their website (http://www.internaldrive.com/locations/tx-summer-camps-texas-computer-camps/st-edwards-austin-summer-camp/).

Another excellent learning opportunity is the Digital Media Academy at the University of Texas (http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/locations/kids-teens-locations/the-university-of-texas-at-austin/). Here kids and teens get to explore their interests, learn with their peers, and create a unique project. The camps range from one to multiple weeks, with options for day or overnight stays. Working under the guidance of experienced industry professionals, kids will explore filmmaking, game development, music and video production, web design, or cartoon creation.

SXSW 2013Finally, another fantastic event that is reflective of Austin’s place in the “techno-geek world” is the annual SXSW Interactive Festival (http://sxsw.com/interactive) held in downtown Austin. This year’s festival, March 8-12, will feature five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, dozens of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show, and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer. While a full pass to the entire event is costly, there are many free associated events suitable for folks of all ages to explore emerging technologies and socialize with others.

As Austin evolves in the 21st century there is little doubt that it will remain a hub of technologically-savvy individuals of all ages. The myriad educational and professional opportunities create a unique and exciting playing field. The above opportunities just skim the surface of this exciting time. Look around, explore, and get involved!

What’s In A Name?

BevoFew college mascots are as iconic as Bevo, the Texas longhorn steer with burnt orange coloring, always prominent on the sidelines of The University of Texas football games. Bevo made a first appearance at the November 1916 Thanksgiving game between the University of Texas and their rivals from A&M College of Texas. At halftime, a longhorn steer was brought onto the field by a group of Texas Exes led by Stephen Pinckney, who had long wanted to acquire a real longhorn as a living mascot for the University.

Longtime legend has it that Bevo got his name as a result of a Texas Aggie prank which had pranksters branding the score of the 1915 game (13-0, Aggies victorious) on the side of the longhorn and Texas Longhorn supporters rebranding to adjust that score to read “Bevo”. However, Bevo got his name far more simply. Following the 1916 game the Texas Exes Alcalde magazine provided a full account of the game and the then new mascot. Editor Ben Dyer stated simply, “His name is Bevo. Long may he reign!”

Where then did the name Bevo come from? Another popular theory has been that it was borrowed from the label of a new soft drink at the time. “Bevo” was the name of a non-alcoholic “near beer” which was introduced in 1916. However, while the Bevo drink was a long-term success, its sales in 1916 were comparatively small and its unlikely that many folks knew of it in Austin at that time.

A 1993 article in The Daily Texas suggests the name may be a play on a contemporary comic strip which featured monkeys named for their personality traits. For example, Braggo the Monk constantly made empty boasts. The comic strips were popular enough to create a nationwide fad for persons to nickname their friends the same way, with an “o” added to the end. To this fad add the term “beeve” which is the plural of beef, but is more commonly used as a slang term for a cow (or steer) that’s destined to become food. The jump from “beeve” to “Bevo” isn’t far, and makes more sense given the trends of the time.

Whatever the reason, UT’s mascot’s history is full of colorful characters and great stories. Long may the tradition continue and long may Bevo reign!

Source: TexasSports.com

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation To Donate $50 Million To The University of Texas

Dell FoundationThe Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have announced that they will be donating $50M to the University of Texas very soon. If that wasn’t enough, they’ll be donating an additional $10M in grants for the community that will be used to greatly improve the quality of care at local clinics, as well as make them easier for people to access.

While announcing the upcoming donations at the foundation’s offices, Susan Dell discussed some of the other things the foundation has recently had a hand in, such as working in South Africa and India to bolster children’s education and health in these areas. However, the Dells still have a lot of love for Central Texas, too. Susan Dell went on to indicate how much her and her husband admire the University of Texas, and that they wish to “put UT and the city of Austin at the forefront of children’s health care”.

Expansions and operation costs to UT’s medical school aren’t reliant on philanthropic donations, as Travis County voters recently approved a property tax increase to cover these expenses (combined with endowments from the UT System Board of Regents and funding from the Seton Healthcare hospital system). It has yet to be determined exactly how the $50M donation will be spent, however it is likely that it will go to improve overall quality and increase “excellence” in various programs, and also to have stipends to assist students that individually excel.

Officials from the UT medical school have big plans for fund raising in the future. The school is hoping to raise $150M annually in donations over the next few years. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has certainly helped them get closer to this goal this year.

Source: Austin American-Statesman

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation To Donate $50 Million To The University of Texas

Dell FoundationThe Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have announced that they will be donating $50M to the University of Texas very soon. If that wasn’t enough, they’ll be donating an additional $10M in grants for the community that will be used to greatly improve the quality of care at local clinics, as well as make them easier for people to access.

While announcing the upcoming donations at the foundation’s offices, Susan Dell discussed some of the other things the foundation has recently had a hand in, such as working in South Africa and India to bolster children’s education and health in these areas. However, the Dells still have a lot of love for Central Texas, too. Susan Dell went on to indicate how much her and her husband admire the University of Texas, and that they wish to “put UT and the city of Austin at the forefront of children’s health care”.

Expansions and operation costs to UT’s medical school aren’t reliant on philanthropic donations, as Travis County voters recently approved a property tax increase to cover these expenses (combined with endowments from the UT System Board of Regents and funding from the Seton Healthcare hospital system). It has yet to be determined exactly how the $50M donation will be spent, however it is likely that it will go to improve overall quality and increase “excellence” in various programs, and also to have stipends to assist students that individually excel.

Officials from the UT medical school have big plans for fund raising in the future. The school is hoping to raise $150M annually in donations over the next few years. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has certainly helped them get closer to this goal this year.

Source: Austin American-Statesman