December 10, 2018
Today is the last day of class for the fall semester. I want to let you know how proud I am of all the effort you’ve put into your classes, research, projects and the myriad activities you’ve participated in.
During the past 3½ months, you expanded your knowledge and sharpened your academic skills. You participated in clubs, sports, internships, research opportunities and jobs that have shaped your lives and understanding outside of the classroom. You supported a wide range of causes and candidates and helped inspire record participation in the November election. You developed lasting connections with professors and made friends. You served your community.
You brought our campus to life and, in doing so, prepared yourselves for a lifetime of learning that will extend far beyond your time on the Forty Acres. It’s been remarkable to watch.
The world-famous Harry Ransom Center is currently hosting an exhibit featuring the artist Edward Ruscha. If you have the time — during a break from studying for finals — I encourage you to visit. The work is magnetic, incisive and thought-provoking.
Edward Ruscha once said, “There's room for saying things in bright shiny colors.” (Although, I wonder whether he considered burnt orange a suitable option.) This semester I have listened to you say many things and express yourselves in many different shades. Over and over again, you’ve made your voices heard, and it is so clear that the world is listening. Your impact, as Longhorns, is undeniable.
I wish you success as you prepare for finals during the next week.
Gregory L. Fenves