2013 – One for the Record Books

Tower13

 

As 2013 draws to close, I want to thank you for the role you have played in our extraordinarily successful year at UT Austin.

It was a year marked by momentous generosity.

Michael and Susan Dell gave UT $50 million enabling the creation of the Dell Medical School. This was only the first of three times the Dells and UT would make major headlines in 2013. The second was the opening the Dell Computer Science Hall this spring, named in honor of another $10 million gift from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The hall opened as part of the Gates Computer Science Complex, made possible by a $30 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And the third headline was the gift of the Magnum Photos Collection, one of the most valuable gifts in the history of the University, given to the Ransom Center by Michael and Susan Dell, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, and John and Amy Phelan.

We named the College of Communication for the Moody family in recognition of a $50 million gift from the Moody Foundation. And former Regent Robert Rowling and his wife, Terry, pledged $25 million for a new home for the McCombs School of Business graduate programs to be named Rowling Hall.

All of these gifts and many more contributed to a record-breaking fundraising year for 2012-13. We need one more record year to achieve our $3 billion goal for the Campaign for Texas by the end of August.

It was a year marked by tremendous achievement.

UT’s largest college got a new home in January when we opened the Liberal Arts Building. We also launched the Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft. And the Blanton Museum celebrated 50 years with a wonderful exhibit composed of masterworks from alumni collections.

Our faculty continued to win national and international recognitions: The National Academy of Engineering inducted Joseph J. Beaman Jr. of Mechanical Engineering; Sharon L. Wood of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; and Keith P. Johnston of Chemical Engineering. The National Academy of Sciences elected John Goodenough of Mechanical Engineering. And the Institute of Medicine elected George Georgiou of Molecular Biosciences, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. Dean Young of the English Department was appointed Texas Poet Laureate. And C. Grant Willson of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering won the Japan Prize.

Our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both won Big 12 championships.

And it was a year marked by passages and transitions.

This year we lost the beloved Bill Livingston, who for nearly 60 years had served the University in numerous roles including that of interim president and senior vice president.

It was a year of major transitions as we thanked giants of our UT family for their dedicated service: DeLoss Dodds, who served 32 years as men’s athletics director; Tom Staley, director of the Ransom Center for more than 25 years; Mack Brown, who led our football program for 16 years; Steve Leslie, our executive vice president and provost, who had served in that role since 2007; and Robert Dahlstrom, who had served as UT police chief since 2006.

Among those who have succeeded them — our new executive vice president and provost Greg Fenves, formerly UT’s engineering dean; new athletics director Steve Patterson; new dean of graduate studies Judith Langlois; new dean of Undergraduate Studies Brent Iverson; new director of the Ransom Center Stephen Ennis; and new UT police chief, David Carter.

I’m always proud of UT Austin as I travel and meet my peers, and I am especially so this year as I fulfill my role as chair of the Association of American Universities.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday. Thank you for all you have done for UT Austin this year.

Bill's Signature

 

Welcome, new UT Police Chief David Carter

Carter

 

Our first operational concern must always be the safety of our campus, so it’s critical that we have the right person leading the University of Texas at Austin Police Department. Today, I want to welcome David Carter on his first day as UT’s police chief.

Chief Carter began his career as a patrol officer with the Austin Police Department in 1985, eventually advancing to the rank of assistant chief and, later, chief of staff. He has overseen and directed public safety for numerous international events from South by Southwest to the 2012 opening of Circuit for the Americas.

One of the Austin Police Department’s most decorated officers, Carter has earned many distinguished awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross for Valor, the Distinguished Command Medal, the Life Saving Medal, and three Meritorious Service Medals. The U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division also awarded Carter combat spurs in recognition of his being engaged by enemy insurgents in Iraq, where he was providing police leadership training to the U.S. Army.

On this occasion, I’d also like to thank immediate past chief Robert Dahlstrom, who retired in May after seven years as chief and more than three decades in law enforcement. I also thank Mike Lauderdale, professor of social work, who chaired the committee that conducted our nationwide search, and all of the committee members. Most of all, thank you to the 130 UT police officers who serve our campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our people make all the difference, and I’m proud Chief Carter will be leading our campus security in the coming years.

Bill's Signature