Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft up and running


In November, I told you about the opening of a new center of teaching and research on our campus — the Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft. Named for late Gov. William P. Clements Jr. and supported by a founding gift from George Seay and family, the Clements Center is already making its mark on UT and the world.

To reach its four primary constituencies — students, scholars, policy-makers, and citizens — the center has organized itself around three activities:

  • Teaching. The center’s teaching imparts a body of knowledge to students, develops their critical thinking skills, and cultivates the values necessary for leadership in a free society.
  • Research and Publication. The center is disseminating the findings of its researchers through both scholarly and popular publications. Subject matter experts at the Clements Center like director Will Imboden have placed op-eds in the New York Times and other national media on topics ranging from the crisis in the Ukraine to international terrorism.
  • Convening. The convening power of the Clements Center is creating a network of scholars and practitioners. Its brisk schedule of events has already brought numerous intellectuals to the campus, such as author Tom Ricks, who spoke in March about his book The Generals: American Military Command from WWII to Today. Among the many upcoming events is David Adesnik’s April 16 lecture, “Isolationism: Policies of the Past and Lessons for Today.”

I’m proud of the progress the Clements Center has made and look forward to what the coming years will hold.

Bill's Signature

2013 – One for the Record Books



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


Opening the Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft

Clements Center Gala

On Thursday night, we launched a great new UT institution — the Clements Center for History, Strategy & Statecraft. At an inaugural gala, friends of UT and friends and family of our late governor, Bill Clements, for whom the center is named, gathered on campus to celebrate the opening.

Clements Center Gala

George Seay, Chairman of the Board of Advisors

George Seay, chairman of the Clements Center Board of Advisors, grandson of Governor Clements, and lead donor for the center’s creation; William Inboden, the center’s executive director; and I welcomed special guest Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA director, who spoke to the group about his life in national security. It was a great event and an auspicious start for this new center of scholarship and teaching.

Clements Center Gala

Secretary Robert Gates

Clements Center Gala

Executive Director Will Inboden


I thank all those who attended and especially the Seay family for its leadership in this exciting new endeavor. In recognition of the birth of the Clements Center, the Tower was lighted orange.

What starts here changes the world.

Bill's Signature
Clements Center Gala










Photos by Brian Birzer