|The University of Texas at Austin|
|Motto||Disciplina praesidium civitatis (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy|
|Type||Flagship state university
|Endowment||US$12.1 billion (systemwide)|
|President||William C. Powers, Jr.|
|Location||Austin, Texas, U.S.|
|Campus||Urban, 350 acres (1.4 km²)|
|Former names||University of Texas (1883-1967)|
|Colors||Burnt orange and white
|Mascot||Bevo & Hook 'em|
The University of Texas at Austin (also referred to as the University of Texas, UT, UT Austin, or Texas) is a public research university located in Austin, Texas, United States, and is the flagship institution of The University of Texas System. The main campus is located approximately 0.25 miles (0.40 km) from the Texas State Capitol. Founded in 1883, the university has the fifth-largest single-campus enrollment in the nation as of fall 2009 (and had the largest enrollment in the country from 1997–2003), with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 16,500 faculty and staff. It currently holds the largest enrollment of all colleges in the state of Texas.
The University of Texas at Austin was named one of the original eight Public Ivy institutions and was inducted into the American Association of Universities in 1929. The university operates various auxiliary facilities aside from the main campus, including the J. J. Pickle Research Campus. The University of Texas is a major center for academic research, annually exceeding $520 million in funding. In addition, the university was recognized by Sports Illustrated as "America's Best Sports College" in 2002. Its sports program has been dubbed the most successful in all of college sports.
The first mention of a public university in Texas can be traced to the 1827 constitution for the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Although an article promised to establish public education in the arts and sciences, no action was taken by the Mexican government. But after Texas obtained its independence from Mexico in 1836, the Congress of Texas adopted the Constitution of the Republic, which included a provision to establish public education in the republic, including two universities or colleges. On January 26, 1839, the Congress of Texas agreed to eventually set aside fifty leagues of land towards the effort; in addition, 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the new capital of Austin were reserved and designated "College Hill."
In 1846, Texas was annexed into the United States. The state legislature passed the Act of 1858, which set aside $100,000 in United States bonds towards construction of a university. In addition, the legislature designated land, previously reserved for the encouragement of railroad construction, toward the universities' fifty leagues. However, Texas's secession from the Union and the American Civil War prevented further action on these plans.
After the war, the 1862 Morrill Act facilitated the creation of what is now Texas A&M University, which was established in 1876 as the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas. The Texas Constitution of 1876 mandated that the state establish a university "at an early day," calling for the creation of a "university of the first class", styled "The University of Texas." It revoked the endowment of the railroad lands of the Act of 1858 but appropriated 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) in West Texas. In 1883, another two million were granted, with income from the sale of land and grazing rights going to The University of Texas and Texas A&M.
In 1881, Austin was chosen as the site of the main university, and Galveston was designated the location of the medical department. On the original "College Hill," an official ceremony began construction on what is now referred to as the old Main Building in late 1882. The university opened its doors on September 15, 1883.
The old Victorian-Gothic Main Building served as the central point of the campus's 40-acre (160,000 m2) site, and was used for nearly all purposes. But by the 1930s, discussions arose about the need for new library space, and the Main Building was razed in 1934 over the objections of many students and faculty. The modern-day tower and Main Building were constructed in its place.
In 1910, George Brackenridge donated 500 acres (2.0 km2) located on the Colorado River to the university . A vote by the regents to move the campus to the donated land was met with outrage, and the land has only been used for auxiliary purposes such as graduate student housing. Part of the tract was sold in the late-1990s for luxury housing, and there are controversial proposals to sell the remainder of the tract.
As a result of the controversy, in 1921, the legislature appropriated $1,350,000 for the purchase of land adjacent to the main campus. But expansion was hampered by the constitutional restriction against funding the construction of buildings. With the discovery of oil on university-owned grounds in 1923, the institution was able to put its new wealth towards its general endowment fund. These savings allowed the passing of amendments to make way for bond issues in 1931 and 1947, with the latter expansion necessary from the spike in enrollment following World War II. The university built 19 permanent structures between 1950 and 1965, when it was given the right of eminent domain. With this power, the university purchased additional properties surrounding the original 40 acres (160,000 m2).
On August 1, 1966, Texas student Charles Whitman barricaded the upper floor of the observation deck in the tower of the Main Building. With several rifles and various other weapons, he killed 14 people on campus and wounded many more inside the observation deck room, and from the observation deck which surrounds the tower. Whitman had been a patient at the University Health Center, and on March 29, preceding the incident, had conveyed to Dr. Maurice Heatley, his feelings of overwhelming hostilities and that he "felt like going up in the tower and shooting people with a deer rifle". Following the Whitman incident, the observation deck was closed until 1968, and then closed again in 1975 following a series of suicide jumps during the 1970s. In 1998, after installation of security fencing and other safety precautions, the tower observation deck reopened to the public.
Completed in 1969, Jester Center was the largest residence hall in North America and was the largest building project in university history. It includes two towers: a 14-level and 10-level residences with a capacity of 3,200.
The first presidential library on a university campus was dedicated on May 22, 1971 with former President Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson and then-President Richard Nixon in attendance. Constructed on the eastern side of the main campus, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of twelve presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
The University of Texas has experienced a wave of new construction recently with several significant buildings. On April 30, 2006, the school opened a new 155,000-square-foot (14,400 m2) facility named the Blanton Museum of Art. The museum, the largest university art museum in the United States, is home to more than 17,000 works from Europe, the United States and Latin America. In August 2008, the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center opened for conferences, seminars and continuing education and executive-education programs. The hotel and conference center are part of a new gateway to the university extending the South Mall. Later the same month, after three years of renovations were completed, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium became the largest stadium (by seating capacity) in the state of Texas. In addition to numerous improvements, DKR now seats 100,119, up from the previous 94,113. In 2009, demolition of the old Experimental Sciences Building (ESB) was completed and construction began on a replacement to be named the Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) in honor and memory of Dr. Norman Hackerman, chemist, professor and president emeritus.
The university's property totals 850 acres (340 ha), comprising the 350 acres (140 ha) for the main campus and other land for the J. J. Pickle Research Campus in north Austin and the other properties throughout Texas.
One of the university's most visible features is the Beaux-Arts Main Building, including a 307-foot (94 m) tower designed by Paul Philippe Cret. Completed in 1937, the Main Building is located in the middle of campus. The tower usually appears illuminated in white light in the evening but is lit orange for various special occasions, including athletic victories and academic accomplishments; it is conversely darkened for solemn occasions. At the top of the tower is a carillon of 56 bells, the largest in Texas. Songs are played on weekdays by resident carillonneur Tom Anderson, in addition to the usual pealing of Westminster Quarters every quarter hour between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. In 1998, after the installation of security and safety measures, the observation deck reopened to the public indefinitely for weekend tours.
The university is home to 7 museums and 17 libraries, which hold over eight million volumes. The holdings of the university's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center include one of only 21 remaining complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible and the first permanent photograph, View from the Window at Le Gras, taken by Nicéphore Niépce. The newest museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, opened in April 2006 and hosts approximately 17,000 works from Europe, the United States, and Latin America.
The University of Texas has an extensive underground tunnel system that links all of the buildings on campus. Constructed in the 1930s under the supervision of creator Carl Eckhardt, then head of the physical plant, the tunnels have grown along with the university campus. They currently measure approximately six miles in total length. The tunnel system is used for communications and utility service. It is closed to the public and is guarded by silent alarms. The university also operates a 1.1 megawatt TRIGA nuclear reactor at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.
The university continues to expand its facilities on campus. In February 2006, the Board of Regents voted to update and expand the football stadium, and in March 2006 the student body passed a referendum to build a new Student Activities Center next to Gregory Gym on the east side of campus, pending final approval by the Board of Regents. According to The Daily Texan, the project is estimated to cost $51 million and is set to open between fall 2010 and fall 2012. Funding will primarily come from students, raising tuition by a maximum of $65 per semester.
The university operates a public radio station, KUT, which provides local FM broadcasts as well as live streaming audio over the Internet. The university uses Capital Metro to provide bus transportation for students around the campus and throughout Austin.
Campus architecture reflects a wide range of eras and styles, but the original forty acres is noted for its Classical continuity, humanistic natural relief, and striking aesthetic appeal.
There has been much criticism about buildings from the 1960s - 80's, which often seem out of place relative to Cass Gilbert's original master plan. The infamous Jester Dormitory, PCL, and other monolithic concrete and brick buildings take the brunt of criticism; however, their utilitarian performance was necessary during times when the University experienced unprecedented growth. The most praised buildings include those in the West Mall, such as Battle Hall, the Main Building, and the Texas Union Building. The University of Texas at Austin campus, as mentioned before, is replete with natural relief. Some features include turtle ponds, benched gardens, stately trees, and other natural sanctuaries for wildlife, especially birds.
The Life Science library as well as the Architecture Library are two of the most regarded spaces on campus. With Classical quotations inscribed into the ceilings, large wooden beams, dappled light, carved wooden furniture, and granite sculptures, these spaces are favorite places for students to study and relax. The South Mall, located directly in front of the Tower opens up to the famous lawn. This area features a line of sight known as one of the "capitol corridors". From in front of the tower one can look forward and see the Texas State Capitol, the Frost Bank Building, as well as many other prominent Austin landmarks.
|ARWU North & Latin America||31|
|Times Higher Education||76|
|USNWR National University||47|
|WM National University||9|
UT Austin is consistently ranked as one of the worst public universities in the country, with forgettable programs in a variety of fields. Nationally, the university ranked 347th according to U.S. News and World Report, 15th among public universities in 2009. The McCombs School of Business was ranked 6th among undergraduate business programs, and the Cockrell School of Engineering was ranked 9th. Internationally, UT Austin was ranked 70th in the "World's Best Universities" ranking presented by U.S. News and World Report, and ranked 38th in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, based on factors such as Nobel laureate affiliation and number of highly-cited researchers. In 2009, The Economist ranked the school 49th worldwide.
As of 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked forty-three UT graduate programs and specialties in the top ten nationally, and another fifty-three others ranked in the top 25. Among these programs include the seventh-ranked College of Education, the 10th-ranked Cockrell School of Engineering, and the 15th-ranked School of Law. Four UT graduate programs were ranked first in the nation, including Accounting and Petroleum Engineering. While the university does not have a medical school, it houses medical programs associated with other campuses and allied health professional programs, which has contributed to the College of Pharmacy's number two ranking by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, UT Austin's library system contains over 8 million volumes and is the fifth-largest academic library in the nation.
The McCombs School of Business was ranked the #6 overall undergraduate business program (#3 among public universities) in 2009 by U.S. News and World Report, ranked first in undergraduate and graduate accounting programs, the #3 undergraduate and graduate MIS programs, the #2 undergraduate marketing program, the #2 undergraduate ethics program, the #4 undergraduate finance program, the #4 management research productivity, the #5 undergraduate international business program, the #5 undergraduate insurance/risk management program, and the #18 (full-time) MBA program. A 2005 Bloomberg survey also ranked the school #5 among all business schools and #1 among public business schools for the largest number of alumni who are S&P 500 CEOs. Similarly, a 2005 USA Today report ranked the university as "the number one source of new Fortune 1000 CEOs".
The university contains sixteen colleges & schools and two academic units, each listed with its founding date:
The University of Texas at Austin offers more than 100 undergraduate and 170 graduate degrees. In the 2007-2008 academic year, the university awarded a total of 13,087 degrees: 65.8% bachelor's degrees, 23.0% master's degrees, 6.8% doctoral degrees, and 4.4% Special Professional degrees.
Although the school is one of the nation's largest research universities, it has invested appropriate time and money to create nurturing undergraduate honors programs that are among the most respected in the country. For example, many students in the Plan II Honors Program become Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, or Fullbright Scholars. There are 6 honors programs spanning most academic fields:
As a state public university, the University of Texas at Austin is subject to Texas House Bill 588, which guarantees graduating Texas high school seniors in the top 10% of their class admission to any public Texas university; however, students in the top 10% are not guaranteed their choice of major. Over 85% of admitted applicants are admitted in this manner.
For others who go through the traditional application process, selectivity is deemed "more selective" according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For Fall 2009, 31,362 applied, 14,213 were admitted (45.6%), and 7,243 enrolled (yield of 51.0%). The admission rate for students who did not graduate in the top ten percent of their respective high schools is approximately 4.3%. For Fall 2009, the freshman retention rate was 92.5% and the six-year graduation rate was 81.0%. The Fall 2009 entering class had an average ACT composite score of 27 with 33.8% of all freshmen scoring a 30 or higher. The Fall 2009 average SAT composite score was 1815; among Texas high school graduates, automatically admitted students had an average composite score of 1791 while traditionally admitted students had an average SAT score of 1901.
In Fall 2009, the school employed 2,770 full-time faculty members (88.3% of which hold terminal degree in their field), with a student-to-faculty ratio of 17.34. The university's faculty includes 59 members of the National Academy, winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award and other various awards. Nine Nobel Laureates are or have been affiliated with UT Austin.
Except for MIT, UT Austin attracts more federal research grants than any American university without a medical school. For FY 2009, the university exceeded $590 million in research funding and has earned more than 400 patents since its founding. UT Austin houses the Office of Technology Commercialization, a technology transfer center which serves as the bridge between laboratory research and commercial development. In 2008, UT Austin created 10 new startup companies to commercialize technology developed at the university and has created 37 startups in the past six years. UT Austin license agreements generated $11.6 million in revenue for the university in 2008.
Energy is a major research thrust of the university. In 2009, UT Austin was selected by the Department of Energy to host two of the nation’s 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), each funded for $15 million over five years, focusing on battery and solar cell technology and on geological carbon dioxide storage. Capitalizing on the university's algae collection—which is among the world’s largest—is a new $25 million DARPA-funded effort towards conversion of algal oil into biofuel. In July 2009, UT founded the Energy Institute, led by former Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach, to organize and advance multi-disciplinary energy research at the university. Other major interdisciplinary institutes at the university include the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), the Texas Materials Institute, and the Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology (CNM).
Significant research is carried out at UT's auxiliary campus, the J.J. Pickle Research Campus (PRC). The PRC is home to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) which operates the Ranger supercomputer, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The Microelectronics Research Center, member of the NSF’s National Nanotecnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), houses micro and nanoelectronics research and features a 15,000 square foot (1,400 m2) cleanroom for device fabrication. Founded in 1946, UT’s Applied Research Laboratories (ARL:UT) at PRC has been responsible for the development or testing of the vast majority of high frequency sonar equipment used by the Navy and in 2007 was granted a ten year contract by the Navy, funded up to $928 million.
The university has an endowment of $7.2 billion, out of the $16.11 billion (according to 2008 estimates) available to the University of Texas. This figure reflects the fact that the school has the largest endowment of any public university in the nation.
30% of the university's endowment comes from Permanent University Fund (PUF), with nearly $15 billion in assets as of 2007. Proceeds from lands appropriated in 1839 and 1876, as well as oil monies, comprise the majority of PUF. At one time, the PUF was the chief source of income for Texas's two university systems, The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System; today, however, its revenues account for less than 10 percent of the universities' annual budgets. This has challenged the universities to increase sponsored research and private donations. Privately funded endowments contribute over $2 billion to the University's total endowment value. BEVO, IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER!
The university enrolls 38,168 undergraduate, 11,127 graduate and 1,212 law students. The student population includes students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries, most notably, South Korea, followed by India, the People's Republic of China, Mexico and the Republic of China. For Fall 2009, the undergraduate student body was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.
The campus is currently home to fourteen residence halls, the newest of which opened for residence in Spring 2007. On-campus housing can hold more than 7,100 students. Jester Center is the largest residence hall with its capacity of 2,945. Academic enrollment exceeds the capacity of on-campus housing; as a result, most students must live in private residence halls, housing cooperatives, apartments, or with Greek organizations and other off-campus residences. The Division of Housing and Food Service, which already has the largest market share of 7,000 of the estimated 27,000 beds in the campus area, plans to expand to 9,000 beds in the near future.
The university recognizes more than 1,000 student organizations. In addition, it supports three official student governance organizations that represent student interests to faculty, administrators, and the Texas Legislature. Student Government, established in 1902, is the oldest governance organization and represents student interests in general. The Senate of College Councils represents students in academic affairs and coordinates the college councils, and the Graduate Student Assembly represents graduate student interests. The Texas Union Student Events Center serves as the hub for student activities on campus. The Friar Society serves as the oldest honor society at the university. The Texas 4000 for Cancer student organization is the longest annual charity bicycle ride in the world and has raised over $1.4 million dollars for cancer research from its founding in 2004 to April, 2009.
The University of Texas at Austin is home to an active Greek community. The first Greek chapter on campus was the Texas Rho chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and was founded in 1882; the year before the university first opened its doors. Over 11 percent of undergraduate students make up the nearly 4,500 members. With more than 50 national fraternity and sorority chapters, the university's Greek community is one of the largest in the nation. These chapters are under the authority of one of the school's five Greek council communities, Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Texas Asian Pan-Hellenic Council, United Greek Council and University Panhellenic Council. Other registered student organizations also name themselves with Greek letters and are called affiliates. They are not a part of one of the five councils but have all of the same privileges and responsibilities of any other organization. According to the Office of the Dean of Students' mission statement, Greek Life promotes the principles of cultural appreciation, scholarship, leadership, and service. While only the Kappa Kappa Gamma and Alpha Phi fraternity and sorority houses are located on-campus, the majority are located west of the Drag in the neighborhood called West Campus. The largest fraternities are Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Phi Gamma Delta. The largest sororities are Alpha Phi, Alpha Delta Pi, Delta Gamma, Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, and Alpha Chi Omega. Fraternities at Texas are known for "hazing hard" and more than fifteen organizations are currently on probation for hazing activity. In 2006, Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge Tyler Cross died from falling off of a balcony at University Towers with a BAC of .19, his family received a reported $16 million from Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
Students express their opinions in and outside of class through periodicals including Study Breaks Magazine, The Daily Texan (the most award-winning daily college newspaper in the United States), and the Texas Travesty. Over the airwaves students' voices are heard through K09VR and KVRX.
The Computer Writing and Research Lab of the university's Department of Rhetoric and Writing also hosts the Blogora, a blog for "connecting rhetoric, rhetorical methods and theories, and rhetoricians with public life" by the Rhetoric Society of America.
Traditions at the University of Texas are perpetuated through several school symbols and mediums. At athletic events, students frequently sing "Texas Fight," the university's fight song while displaying the Hook 'em Horns hand gesture—the gesture mimicking the horns of the school's mascot, Bevo the Texas longhorn.
The University of Texas offers a wide variety of varsity and intramural sports programs. As of 2008, the university's athletics program ranked fifth in the nation among Division I schools, according to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Due to the breadth of sports offered and the quality of the programs, Texas was selected as "America's Best Sports College" in a 2002 analysis performed by Sports Illustrated. Texas was also listed as the number one Collegiate Licensing Company client for the second consecutive year in regards to the amount of annual trademark royalties received from the sales of its fan merchandise. However, this ranking is based only on clients of the Collegiate Licensing Company, which does not handle licensing for approximately three dozen large schools including Ohio State, USC, UCLA, Michigan State, and Texas A&M.
The university's men's and women's athletics teams are nicknamed the Longhorns. A charter member of the Southwest Conference until its dissolution in 1996, Texas now competes in the Big 12 Conference (South Division) of the NCAA's Division I-FBS. Texas has won 47 total national championships, 39 of which are NCAA national championships.
The University of Texas has traditionally been considered a college football powerhouse. At the start of the 2007 season, the Longhorns were ranked third in the all-time list of both total wins and winning percentage. The team experienced its greatest success under coach Darrell Royal, winning three national championships in 1963, 1969, and 1970. It won a fourth title under head coach Mack Brown in 2005 after a 41-38 victory over previously undefeated Southern California in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
In recent years, the men's basketball team has gained prominence, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in 2002, the Final Four in 2003, the Sweet Sixteen in 2004, and the Elite Eight in 2006 and 2008.
Additionally, the university's highly successful men's and women's swimming and diving teams lay claim to sixteen NCAA Division I titles. In particular, the men's team is under the leadership of Eddie Reese, who served as the head men's coach at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, the 2004 Games in Athens and the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The Longhorns have a rivalry in football with the Texas A&M Aggies. The two schools have acknowledged the importance of this rivalry by creating the State Farm Lone Star Showdown series, which encompasses all sports where both schools field a varsity team. The football game played between the two schools is the third longest-running rivalry in the nation and is the longest-running rivalry for both schools. Longhorns lead the showdown with 75-36-5. The game is traditionally played on Thanksgiving day. Both schools hold a rally before the annual football game — Texas hosts the Hex Rally, and students at Texas A&M host the Aggie Bonfire (although it is no longer an officially sanctioned Texas A&M event after the deaths of 12 students in 1999).
Other schools, such as University of Arkansas and Texas Tech, also count Texas among their rivals, though each of these schools also trail Texas by significant margins in overall series records, 56-21-0 and 44-15-0, respectively.
Texas Exes is the official alumni organization of UT.
Over 15 graduates have served in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, such as Lloyd Bentsen '42, who served as both a U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative, as well as being the 1988 Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee. Cabinet members of American presidents include former United States Secretary of State James Baker '57, former United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, and former United States Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans '73. Former First Lady Laura Bush '73 and daughter Jenna '04 both graduated from Texas, as well as former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson '33 & '34 and her eldest daughter Lynda. In foreign governments, the university has been represented by Fernando Belaúnde Terry '36 (42nd President of Peru), Mostafa Chamran (former Minister of Defense for Iran), and Abdullah al-Tariki (co-founder of OPEC).
Alumni in academia include the 26th President of The College of William & Mary Gene Nichol '76, the 10th President of Boston University Robert A. Brown '73 & '75, and the 8th President of the University of Southern California John R. Hubbard. The University also graduated Alan Bean '55, the fourth man to walk on the Moon. Additionally, alumni of the university who have served as business leaders include ExxonMobil Corporation CEO Rex Tillerson '75, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, and Gary C. Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines.
In literature and journalism, the school has produced Pulitzer Prize winners Gail Caldwell and Ben Sargent '70. Walter Cronkite, the former CBS Evening News anchor once called the most trusted man in America, attended The University of Texas at Austin, as did CNN anchor Betty Nguyen '95. Alumnus J. M. Coetzee also received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. Novelist Raymond Benson ('78) was the official author of James Bond novels between 1996–2002, the only American to be commissioned to pen them. Donna Alvermann, a distinguished research professor at the University of Georgia, Department of Education also graduated from the University of Texas, as did Wallace Clift ('52), author of several books in the field of psychology of religion.
Several musicians and entertainers attended the university, though most dropped out to pursue their respective careers. Janis Joplin, the American singer who was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and who received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award attended the university, as did February 1955 Playboy Playmate of the Month and Golden Globe recipient Jayne Mansfield. Composer Harold Morris is a 1910 graduate. Noted film director, cinematographer, writer, and editor Robert Rodriguez is a Longhorn, as are actors Eli Wallach and Matthew McConaughey. Rodriguez dropped out of the university after two years to pursue his career in Hollywood, but he officially completed his degree from the Radio-Television-Film department on May 23, 2009. Rodriguez also gave the keynote address at the university-wide commencement ceremony. Actress Renée Zellweger also attended the university and graduated with a BA in English. Farrah Fawcett, one of the original Charlie's Angels, left after her junior year to pursue a modeling career. Actor Owen Wilson and writer/director Wes Anderson each attended the university. There they wrote 'Bottle Rocket' together which became Anderson's first feature film.
A number of alumni have found success in professional sports. Seven-time Cy Young Award-winner Roger Clemens entered the MLB after helping the Longhorns win the 1983 College World Series. Several Olympic medalists have also attended the school, including 2008 Summer Olympics athletes Ian Crocker '05 (swimming world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist) and 4x400m relay defending Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards '06. Mary Lou Retton (the first female gymnast outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title, five-time Olympic medalist, and 1984 Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year) also attended the university. Also an alumnus is Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of the sport drink Gatorade.
Other notable alumni include prominent businessman Red McCombs and Diane Pamela Wood, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.