On Friday, Texas Orange Jackets will honor the 10-year anniversary of the Barbara Jordan statue on campus.
Texas Orange Jackets, UT’s oldest women’s service organization, will hold a ceremony to honor Jordan — a former professor within the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the first African-American woman from Texas to serve in U.S Congress. The ceremony will be held at the statue at 24th St. and Whitis Ave. from 12-2 p.m. and will feature various speakers followed by a reception.
“Statues are symbolic,” said Sarah Davidson, special events director for Texas Orange Jackets. “They not only stand in for the person being represented, but also the values and character of that person. Barbara Jordan’s symbolic presence helps make me feel more represented on this campus as a woman.”
Jordan’s statue was the first statue of a female at UT. The idea for its creation came from the Orange Jackets’ fall 2002 incoming class, who recognized a need for female representation in statues on campus.
The ceremony will not only honor Jordan, but also serve as the conclusion to Texas Orange Jackets’ Week of Women, a series of events aiming to empower women.
“The statue itself was a tap class project, as was Week of Women,” said Nikki López, Texas Orange Jackets’ alumni director. “So, we thought this ceremony would link together two tap class projects by celebrating self-identified women with something wonderful that impacts campus.”
The event is open to the public. The Orange Jackets aim to honor the statue’s 10-year anniversary by holding the ceremony at the same time — 12 p.m. — as 10 years ago, according to Lopez.
At the event, members will speak on how the statue has impacted them. Brandelyn Franks, director of the Multicultural Engagement Center who was present at the statue’s unveiling 10 years ago, will also speak at the event.
Business freshman Amy Deaton plans on attending the ceremony and said Jordan has been a role model of hers since she was young.
“Barbara Jordan is a champion of civil rights,” Deaton said. “Her work at UT shaped so many students and her legacy continues to inspire so many today. As a woman, whenever I pass the statue I am reminded of what I am capable of and to keep going.”