January 22, 2019
Welcome back to the Forty Acres.
During the past month, I hope you had the chance to spend time with family and friends and have a respite from a busy 2018. As I’m sure you know, Longhorn Football helped us kick off the new year in style with a huge win in the Sugar Bowl. Congratulations to Coach Herman and the team on an excellent season.
Today, classes begin for the 2019 spring semester. In the coming weeks, you’ll be facing new challenges. Learning from new professors. Conducting research and opening your minds to new ideas. This is a very exciting time — a time for discovery and growth.
Yesterday, we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with our annual community march. UT students established this event 25 years ago to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy, and it has grown to become a valued tradition. This year’s turnout was phenomenal, and the crowd’s commitment coupled with the speakers’ powerful messages set a positive tone for the new semester.
In the months ahead, there will be an enormous range of opportunities for learning and experience across campus, including Kambui Olujimi: Zulu Time at the Blanton Museum of Art, the Pitch Texas competition at South by Southwest, a conversation presented by the Clements and Strauss Centers with Colonel Liam Collins of West Point and the Cohen New Works Festival presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance. These are just a few examples of the creative and thought-provoking events that happen every day on the Forty Acres.
During the past several weeks, some of you may have felt the effects of the partial shutdown of the federal government. I hope that a resolution will come soon. Until then, know that the university will do all it can to help students with challenges stemming directly from the shutdown, including problems related to federal financial aid. If you have a question regarding your federal aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
All of you are at different points in your academic journeys. Some are in the home stretch before commencement on May 25. Others are years away from graduation. But no matter how close you are to completing your degree, you have the opportunity to make significant progress. Work hard and get all you can out of the next five months.
I wish you success during this spring semester.
Gregory L. Fenves