Sharing a Few Student Statistics

Gone to Texas 2011_0534

The statistical analysis of our student body for the fall 2014 semester is now complete, and I’d like to share a few of the highlights with you:

  • This fall, there were 51,313 students at UT Austin. This is down 1.4% from the previous fall.
  • The one-year retention rate increased from 93.6% to 94.5%. This is the highest one-year retention rate in UT’s history.
  • The average SAT score for first-time freshmen increased 42 points this year to 1914. The average ACT score increased to 29.
  • Our largest college is Natural Sciences, with 23.1% of our students. The next largest colleges are Liberal Arts (18.3%), Engineering (14.7%), Business (10.5%), and Communication (9.2%).
  • The ethnic makeup of our student body is:

46.9% White
19.2% Hispanic
16.2% Asian
4.4% Black

  • UT has 1.6% more women than men.

As our spring semester classes begin today, I welcome back our outstanding students. I’m looking forward to a great second half of the school year.

Hook ’em Horns!

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Carnegie Foundation recognizes UT Austin for community engagement

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized UT Austin with its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. I’m proud of our Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Vice President Greg Vincent for attaining this designation.

UT Austin is among 83 institutions receiving this relatively new classification for the first time, and among those, we are one of just six universities designated by Carnegie as having very high research activity.

At UT, we live out our mission of service in many ways. A few examples include:

Currently 366 institutions of higher education hold the Carnegie classification out of more than 3,000 institutions nationwide. Twelve universities in Texas hold the designation, including five in the UT System.

What starts here changes the world.

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Wishing You Happy Holidays

As we near the close of 2014, I want to wish you happy holidays and a joyful winter break.

When the campus comes alive with students once again in January, we will have a new chancellor, Distinguished Alumnus Bill McRaven. I congratulate Admiral McRaven on his new role, and I want to thank Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa for his service to the UT System over the past five years and wish him well in the next chapter of his career.

I’d also like to share with you a list of the top stories from UT over this calendar year, which can be found here. Surveying these stories of teaching and research excellence from the last 12 months will make you prouder than ever of UT Austin.

Finally, good luck to all of our Longhorns competing in the upcoming days — our football team, which takes on Arkansas in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston at 8 p.m. on December 29, our highly ranked women’s and men’s basketball teams, and our fantastic volleyball team, playing in the NCAA semifinal Thursday, Dec. 18. The winner will play for the National Championship on Dec. 20. Join me in supporting all of our great student-athletes.

This is the time of year when Kim and I feel especially blessed to count so many of you as friends and to have enjoyed so much support from the University of Texas family.

Hook ’em Horns!
Bill Powers signature

Congratulations, New Graduates!

Commencement 2014 fireworks by Marsha

This weekend, 3,095 students will enter the next phase of their Longhorn careers, graduating and becoming Texas Exes. I’d like to welcome the families and friends of our new graduates to the Forty Acres, and I join you in celebrating this momentous event in the lives of your loved ones.

To our new graduates, I look forward to seeing what you do with the education you earned here. We say “What starts here changes the world,” and we mean it. The Eyes of Texas — and the world — are upon you, so make the most of your lives. Stay in touch with your professors, your deans, and with me, and come back often to visit your alma mater. UT Austin should be a significant part of your life for the rest of your life.
Congratulations to all of our graduates and to all the people in their lives who have helped them reach this point.

Hook ’em Horns!

Bill Powers signature

Marshall and Rhodes Scholars hail from UT


Jessica Glennie, Sai Gourisankar, and Mark Jbeily

I’m delighted to report that among UT’s thousands of outstanding students, we now have a Marshall Scholar and two Rhodes Scholars.

The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding students for two years of study at the University of Oxford. Thirty UT Austin students have now received the award in its history. Approximately 83 scholarships are awarded each year. Our Rhodes Scholars are Jessica Glennie and Sai Gourisankar.

Jessica Glennie, an architecture student and member of UT’s varsity women’s rowing team, will focus on environmental policy and change during her time at Oxford. She is interested in the world’s environmental and social management issues and plans to be an architect and environmental leader. The Rhodes Scholarship is administered through various English-speaking nations. Jessica’s scholarship comes via New Zealand, where she attended Macleans College before coming to UT. A native of South Africa, Jessica received the Big 12’s 2014 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award.

Sai Gourisankar, a Plan II student, will focus on mathematical modeling, scientific computing and theoretical physics. After completing his two years at Oxford, he plans to return to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Sai is particularly interested in understanding and solving problems at the intersection of chemical engineering and mathematics. Sai is one of 32 Rhodes Scholars selected in the United States this year.

Mark Jbeily, also a Plan II student, has won the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which allows Americans to do graduate study in the United Kingdom. He is one of 34 Marshall Scholars this year. Mark is a recipient of the ROTC Leadership Award and wants eventually to help develop America’s national security strategy in a rapidly changing and interconnected world. Mark will pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in International Relations at Oxford University. At UT, he is currently drawing upon an interdisciplinary arts and sciences degree to study literature, philosophy, science, mathematics, and language (Arabic), as well as to explore courses in United States government and the classic texts that shaped and continue to shape our civic life.

I know you join me in congratulating Jessica, Sai, and Mark.

What starts here changes the world.

Bill Powers signature

Happy Thanksgiving


In this week of Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank each of you for what you do — day in and day out — to make this a life-changing institution. To our students, thank you for your Longhorn spirit and for making this campus a place I want to be every day. To our faculty, thank you for dedicating your lives to our students’ futures and for pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of the world. To our staff, thank you for your dedication and creativity — you make this place run. And to our alumni and friends, thank you for your pride in UT Austin and for your critical support. Here is a great compilation of reasons to be thankful.

Speaking of support, I know you all join me in cheering on Coach Strong and the Longhorns as they take on No. 5 TCU this Thursday at 6:30 at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. It’s been exciting to watch the team grow this season, and we’re looking forward to a bowl game. (And if you are coming to the stadium, don’t miss our great new exhibit in the North End Zone featuring memorabilia donated to UT by Willie Nelson.)

I also want to congratulate Coach Jerritt Elliott and our volleyball team for winning their fourth straight Big 12 Conference regular season title, their fifth in six years, and eighth overall. What a dynasty.

I hope that you have much to be thankful for this year, and that your time with family and friends will be  relaxing and enjoyable.

Hook ’em Horns!

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