April 1, 2021
I don’t know about you, but as the end of the spring semester approaches, I’m feeling surprisingly ... energized.
Our team brought so much fun, enthusiasm and Longhorn spirit to campus during Destination Spring Break! Hats off to the Division of Student Affairs Programming Council, who reimagined what Spring Break could look like for our students seeking a breather from instruction, assignments, deadlines and exams. They transformed three areas of campus into popular destinations – Austin, New Orleans and Miami – with immersive activities that followed the university’s health guidance, and offered delicious meals from University Housing and Dining. Even President Jay Hartzell was inspired to take an office break and tour all three cities:
"I really appreciate the creativity, talent and energy that went into this effort. As you know all too well, our students need a break in this tough year, and the spring break effort was a welcome respite from the COVID reality for many. Your team brightened our days, and I can imagine what it must be doing for our students. We liked all of it, but can we find a permanent home for the Beignet Bus? Actually, if we do, we should probably bundle the beignets with a Gregory Gym membership…” — President Hartzell
I want to echo the president’s gratitude: thank you for creating this experience.
Another memorable experience for our newest students and families to look forward to is summer orientation. Registration opened today and our New Student Services team is gearing up to welcome nearly 10,000 incoming students. The program will be 100% virtual again this year, as will Texas Parents’ Family Orientation.
Even with all that’s happening this summer, including our planning for reopening campus this fall, I hope you are able to find some time here and there to replenish your energy. I hope you spend the next few months doing anything and everything possible to care for yourselves and your families. I know I will be.
But I’ll also be doing something else: I’ll be getting excited for what the next year will bring. The innovations we’ve developed this year will have a great impact. The new programs we’ve launched — and the existing services we’ve expanded — will only grow, producing new, exciting and important ways of helping our students. And you can be a part of this as well. We’ve begun a new Division strategic planning process, and we’d like your help. Please fill out this survey by April 12.
Simply put, there are so many exciting things on the horizon, and I have never more eagerly anticipated a new year than this next one. We’re going to do big things together.
You have influenced the Longhorn life. That means something — to me, to our students, to your team members and to the world. I’ll send my final staff newsletter message in May but, for now, let’s finish strong and get thrilled about what’s to come.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students