Feature Stories

Alumnus Rick Church's Historic $12 Million Gift Helps Ensure Longhorn Band's Future

Monday, February 19, 2018
Rick Church shows the hook 'em sign, extending his pinky and pointer finger as horns, in front of a Longhorn band sign

Longhorn band alumnus Rick Church recently made the largest planned gift ever to the Longhorn Band — $12 million, to be exact.He also committed $7 million from his estate to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1977. These gifts are in addition to his generous $350,000 pledge to support the Longhorn Band’s Legacy Fund and scholarships. Church’s remarkable generosity to the Longhorn Band and the Cockrell School was motivated by gratitude and appreciation for the people who helped shape his future.

Mexico City-based artist and alum Thomas Glassford mixes many cultural influences in his work

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Dean Doug Dempster visits with Thomas Glassford in Glassford's studio in Mexico City. Photo by Alicia Dietrich.

When Thomas Glassford (B.F.A., Studio Art, 1988) moved to Mexico City to set up a practice in the early 1990s, he never dreamed he’d still be there nearly three decades later.

“Mexico City is a massive city with an enormous historical footprint—it's the oldest colonial city in the New World—so of course it's a huge amount of history to tap into,” said Glassford when asked about what’s kept him there so long. “I think more than anything it's just the fact that I've been here and created a home here and an exchange.”

Abe Koogler’s work reviewed by the New York Times

Monday, June 26, 2017   |  The New York Times
Abe Koogler

Abe Koogler’s (M.F.A., Playwriting, 2014) latest play, Fulfillment Center, was reviewed by the New York Times, which described it as “finding poetry in missed connections.” The play runs off-Broadway through July 9.

Alumnus Will Davis discusses first season with Chicago’s American Theatre Company

Thursday, June 8, 2017   |  American Theatre
Will Davis holds papers while directing

In an interview with American Theatre magazine, Will Davis (M.F.A., Directing, 2013), artistic director of American Theatre Company in Chicago discusses his process and planning his first season in his new role that includes work that reckons with race, gender, culture and controversy.

UT Grieves Loss of Opera Star and Alumna Barbara Smith Conrad

Monday, May 22, 2017   |  UT News
Barbara Smith Conrad gestures with her arms to a crowd

The University of Texas at Austin mourns the loss of world-renowned mezzo-soprano and alumna Barbara Smith Conrad (B.M., Music Studies, 1959), whose distinguished career has touched the lives of audiences around the world. Conrad died from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease on May 22. 

Robert Schenkkan’s latest play coming to UT

Monday, May 8, 2017   |  Austin American-Statesman
Robert Schenkkan

The Austin American-Statesman highlights the latest play by Robert Schenkkan (B.A., Drama, 1975) that will be performed at Brockett Theatre in August. “Building the Wall,” is set in West Texas two years into the future and will be directed by Brant Pope, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance.