LIGHT THE TOWER: McCombs School of Business Centennial Celebration
The UT Tower will shine in burnt orange lights and display “100” on each side Thursday, Nov. 10 — the culmination of a year of special events celebrating McCombs School of Business’ centennial.
McCombs invites students, faculty, and staff to join in a group photo at Littlefield Fountain at 6 p.m., to commemorate the school’s 100-year legacy of excellence.
“It’s been both grounding and inspiring to spend this year reflecting on where we’ve come from, and casting a vision together for the future,” said McCombs Dean Lillian Mills.
The Centennial Planning Committee decided early on to frame the year around storytelling and connection, with a goal to invite everyone — students, staff and faculty members, and even far-flung alumni — to the party, said Yolanda Urrabazo, McCombs director of communication and member of the Centennial Planning Committee.
“Rather than plan one commorative event that only a handful of people could attend, we wanted to reach as much of our McCombs family as we could with events spread across the year and around the globe,” Urrabazo said.
The centennial commenced in February with the dedication of the Peggy Drake Holland Student Lounge in honor of McCombs’ first black graduate in 1963.
“Peggy’s trailblazing strength, her compassion and fortitude — her life is so much about what McCombs stands for and where we see ourselves going as we look ahead into the next century for McCombs. Honoring her was the perfect start to our celebration,” Urrabazo said.
From there, centennial events ranged from informal campus-based meetups, such as Pizza on the Plaza spring event and a Welcome Back fall event, to an alumni reunion in London, to Longhorn parties in several major US cities.
Urrabazo recalls the surprisingly robust turnout at the centennial event at a restaurant in downtown New York City. “New York is part of our key cities strategy, and it was incredible to see hundreds of alumni and both incoming and current students gather for this lively brunch. There was a distinct sense of family in the middle of the city bustle. Thanks to the incredible development and alumni team at McCombs, these communities thrive all over the world,” she said.
“All year I’ve been blown away by how people show up for McCombs.”
The centennial also inspired a StoryCorps project — audio recordings that will serve as a perpetual time capsule, featuring important voice from across the McCombs community. A conversation with Shudde Fath, McCombs’ oldest alumna, launched the project, as students, alumni, Advisory Council members, faculty, and staff joined in conversation to discuss their McCombs experience with a close friend, mentor, or family member.
“These conversations shine a light on the powerful relationships behind McCombs’ success and how our work changes the world,” Urrabazo said.
That was the goal of McCombs Magazine’s Centennial Edition as well, with stories of innovation, multi-generation family businesses, and the trailblazers spanning 100 years who made the world a better place.
The year-long celebration also offered opportunities to give toward the school’s future in the Million for McCombs matching challenge toward the Annual Fund. There are still matching funds available.
“After connecting around the stories of alumni who are shaping industries and changing the world, we step into our next century full of energy and purpose,” Mills said.
The Centennial Committee:
Arthur Allert | Wendy Anderson
Miranda Bradley | Christine Burdell
Bernice Calderon | Juana Hardwick
Colin Haymes | Carol Margolis
Monique Mehta | Jim Nicar
Ivy Oliver | Laurie O’Meara
Todd Savage | Dana Taylor
Yolanda Urrabazo | Rachel Willis