History & Traditions


The University of Texas at Austin formally opened on Sept. 15, 1883.

Dr. John W. Mallet, professor of chemistry and the first chairman of the faculty, addressed an audience of 300 who had come to the unfinished Main Building to witness the seedling of a university being planted on College Hill. He said, "If Texas is to have a university of the first class ... its development must be the result of the united efforts of the people of Texas, of the state government, of the Board of Regents, of the faculty, and above all, of the students of the university."

Learn more about the history of The University of Texas at Austin on the UT History Central Web site. Explore photos, video and audio to experience and celebrate the history and traditions of the university.

"The Eyes of Texas," the official alma mater of The University of Texas at Austin, was written by John Sinclair in 1903.

Learn about the history of The University of Texas at Austin and the The Eyes of Texas from The Handbook of Texas Online. Listen to the The Eyes of Texas (500K .wav file).



Tower lighted orange with No. 1 for Rose Bowl championship The Tower has been The University of Texas at Austin's most recognizable landmark and symbol since it was completed in 1937. At 307 feet, the 27-floor Tower can be seen from almost any location in Austin.

Learn more about the university's iconic Tower and the Tower lighting configurations.

Want to gain a new perspective of the university campus while visiting the landmark Tower? Take a Tower Tour. Learn more about the Tower tour schedule on the University Unions Web site.


Bevo, a Texas longhorn, has been the school's mascot since 1916. The longhorn represents the pride and tradition of the university.

Hook 'em, Horns

Created in 1955 by head cheerleader Harley Clark Jr., the "Hook ’em, Horns" hand sign is recognized worldwide as the symbol of the Texas Longhorns.

More Resources

The Longhorn Band, often referred to as "The Showband of the Southwest," is one of the nation's most recognized and celebrated marching bands. In addition to performing at athletic events, the band is an ambassador for the university and the state, performing for U.S. presidents, at Super Bowls and National Football League games.

Learn about more university traditions at TexasSports.com.

Read about the university's Campus Master Plan.

Interested in the history of the university's funding? Read about the Permanent University Fund: Investing in the Future of Texas.

Experience We're Texas: UT Student Traditions Past and Present from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.