Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Gone to Texas welcomes class of 2017

Shelby Tauber

Dancers perform at Gone To Texas on Tuesday night. This year’s ceremony also included informational speeches about the university and other performances by UT organizations.   

Thousands of incoming UT students flooded South Mall to participate in Gone To Texas on the eve of the start of a new school year.

Gone To Texas, an event put on by the University since 1997, invites new students to participate in a welcoming ceremony capped off by lighting the Tower orange. Many of the University’s individual colleges put on their own events before the larger ceremony in front of the Tower.

Rod Caspers, director of University Events, said the expected turnout was between 7,000 to 8,000 participants. To accommodate the large crowd, UT spent about $200,000 in organizing and executing the event this year. 

“[Gone to Texas] is a welcome to all new students, a welcome to a community of scholars,” Caspers said. “Our goal is to provide a wonderful welcome to all new students as they begin this new venture in their lives.” 

Traditionally, the UT president leads the event, but President William Powers Jr. was not available this year. Instead, Greg Fenves, incoming provost and former dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering, presided over the event.

This year’s audience watched a dance performance, the famous Longhorn Band and multiple videos about the University’s history and reputation.

In his remarks, Fenves emphasized the Freshman Research Initiative, a program intended to help freshmen involved in academic research.

Addie Block, a Middle Eastern studies freshman, said Gone to Texas reaffirmed her choice to attend UT.

“I feel like I have a home here,” Block said.

Freshman Hannah Hinton said it was exciting to see all the freshmen together in front of the Tower.

“I’m now very excited for classes to start and to get involved on campus,” Hinton said. 

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Gone to Texas welcomes class of 2017