The Eyes of Texas History Committee

Students at commencement holding their hands up in the hook 'em horns gesture

Scope and Purpose

As The University of Texas at Austin continues to move forward singing "The Eyes of Texas” as its alma mater, The Eyes of Texas History Committee has been charged with chronicling and documenting the full history of the song, sharing that history broadly and providing context around its meanings, origins and roles during the past 120 years. The committee is composed of two dozen faculty scholars, students and alumni — including athletes and Longhorn Band representatives — who are participating in these efforts as part of the university’s commitment to fully own, acknowledge and teach about its school song.

President Jay Hartzell’s Charge to The Eyes of Texas History Committee

November 2020

As The University of Texas continues to affirm that “The Eyes of Texas” will remain our alma mater, The Eyes of Texas History Committee has been established to document the full history of the song, share that history broadly and provide context around its meanings, origins and roles during the past 120 years. The committee will be chaired by Dr. Richard Reddick, Professor and Associate Dean for Equity, Community Engagement and Outreach in the College of Education. It will be composed of diverse alumni, staff members, faculty members and students, including athletes and Longhorn Band members, and will draw upon the expertise of historians and higher education scholars at UT. The committee will complete its work in early 2021, in response to these four charges:

Charge 1: Collect and document the facts of: the origin, the creators’ intent, and the elements of "The Eyes of Texas," including the lyrics and music.

Charge 2: Examine the university’s historical institutional use and performance of "The Eyes of Texas."

Charge 3: Chronicle the historical usage of "The Eyes of Texas" by University of Texas students, staff, faculty and alumni, as well as its usage in broader cultural events, such as film, literature and popular media.

Charge 4: Recommend potential communication tactics and/or strategies to memorialize the history of "The Eyes of Texas."

Committee Chair

Dr. Richard Reddick, Committee Chair, is associate dean for equity, community engagement and outreach in the College of Education. He is also a Texas Ex, co-founder of Texas Blazers, and a member of the Silver Spurs, the group that takes care of Bevo. Reddick earned a bachelor’s degree from UT’s Plan II Honors Program and was named a College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Distinguished Graduate.

Learn more about Richard Reddick

Committee Members

**HW Brands, Professor of History

**Ricky Brown, Assistant Athletics Director, Director of T-Association

Don Carleton, Executive Director, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

**Rick Church, Longhorn Band alumnus

**Quan Cosby, Former Longhorn football player; President, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

**Jim Davis, Vice President for Legal Affairs

*Logan Eggleston, Longhorn Volleyball player

**Caroline Enriquez,  Assistant Director of Recruitment Scholarships, Office of Admissions

**Cloteal Davis Haynes, President of The Precursors

**Yolanda Hall, President of Black Alumni Network

*Kathleen Holloway, Communications Director, Graduate Student Assembly

Peniel Joseph, Professor, Department of History and LBJ School of Public Affairs

Sharon Justice, Former Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

*Anagha Kikkeri, Student Government President

**Jim Nicar, Former Director, UT Heritage Society, and author of the UT History Corner

*Kyanna Richard, Longhorn Band member

**Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Professor of Journalism, Director of the VOCES Oral History Project

**Victor Saenz, Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

Cherise Smith, Chair, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies

*Courtney SoRelle, Captain of Spirit Squad

**Ronnye Vargas Stidvent, Executive Director, Center for Women in Law

**Andrew Vo, Chief Human Resources Officer - Growth Markets at Accenture

**Jenn Wang, Senior Director of International Advancement and Principal Gifts

*current UT student, **Texas Ex

Ex Officio Member:

J.B. Bird, Director of Media Relations & Issues Management, University Communications

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the song remaining as the school song?

    Yes. “The Eyes of Texas” will continue as our school song, as President Jay Hartzell announced during the summer. The University of Texas System Board of Regents unanimously supports President Hartzell’s decision. The song has been played at Texas Athletics events throughout this season and will continue to be played at future games and events.

  • Will the committee decide the fate of the song?

    No, the committee will collect and document the facts of the history of the song and its uses since its inception. The president already made it clear “The Eyes of Texas” will remain as our alma mater.

  • What is the committee’s goal?

    The committee’s goal is to chronicle and document the 120-year-long history of “The Eyes of Texas” as part of the university’s commitment to fully own, acknowledge and teach about its school song. More specifically, the president charged the committee with the following:

    Charge 1: Collect and document the facts of: the origin, the creators’ intent, and the elements of “The Eyes of Texas,” including the lyrics and music.

    Charge 2: Examine the university’s historical institutional use and performance of “The Eyes of Texas.”

    Charge 3: Chronicle the historical usage of “The Eyes of Texas” by University of Texas students, staff, faculty alumni, as well as its usage in broader cultural events such as film, literature and popular media.

    Charge 4: Recommend potential communication tactics and/or strategies to memorialize the history of “The Eyes of Texas.”

  • Do the committee members represent a wide range of perspectives on the song?

    The committee consists of two dozen faculty scholars, students and alumni, including athletes and Longhorn Band representatives, selected to bring a wide range of perspectives. The members reflect a broad array of scholarly and cultural interests related to understanding the song, including historians, student leaders, prominent alumni, admissions officers, alumni athletes, leaders of spirit organizations and musicians. They were selected for their breadth of connections to the university but are serving as individuals and not as representatives of their specific organizations.

  • When will the committee finish its work, and what will it produce?

    The committee expects to complete its work before the end of January 2021. The committee plans to produce a report answering its charge. Additionally, the committee will recommend potential communication tactics and/or strategies to memorialize the history of “The Eyes of Texas.”