Fenves welcomes first class to University at Gone to Texas

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Students gather on the South Mall for Gone To Texas to bring in the new school year. The tower glows with “19,” representing the freshmen graduating class of 2019.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

In front the UT Tower, with "19” illuminated through its open windows, UT President Gregory Fenves welcomed his first incoming class since becoming president in June.
 
At Gone to Texas on Tuesday, Fenves said he is eager to begin his presidency alongside new students, who could be the first class he sees through four years of college.  

“Gone to Texas is an important rite of passage for every new Longhorn here, and we’re very excited to have our new law students, Texas transfer students and the class of 2019,” Fenves said.

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Physics freshman Deepesh Verma said he was encouraged to come to UT because of the great science program and the famous dedication to students and faculty of the University. Verma said Gone to Texas has already shown him what it means to be a Longhorn.

“Just being here for a few days has already shown me that everyone really wants their students to thrive, and even when they first step on campus, they really want you to be very productive and work towards your goal,” Verma said. “I really like that about UT, and I can’t wait to officially begin.”

Sinthuja Devarajan, a Nritya Sangam dancer who has performed at Gone to Texas for the past several years, said she is excited to see what the University will be like under a new president.  

“You can already tell, from even before the school year has started, [Fenves is] already taking initiative on a lot of things on campus,” Devarajan, a Plan II and psychology senior said. “I’m really excited to see how he does and how the new students will do, too.”  

Undergraduate studies freshman Anna Nichols said she thinks many students who will be starting their first year of college alongside Fenves look forward to the experiences they can have on their new campus. Nichols said she came to UT because of the many degree plans offered.  

“We’ll be his first graduating class, which is pretty cool,” Nichols said. “It’s just like a new start. A new start for us and a new start for him.”

Fenves ended the Gone to Texas ceremony by officially welcoming the new students and said he is excited to see everyone once again at their graduation.  

“I hope that your time on campus will be full of fun and adventure, but at the core of all of it is a very serious mission,” Fenves said. “Through a rigorous admissions process, each of you has risen to the top and now are students at this remarkable university, and tonight we begin a journey in the next stage of your lives. Your time at UT may pass quickly, but it will be a transformative experience you will never forget.”