The familiar white and burnt orange hues shone onto the Tower building Tuesday and Wednesday evening for the filming of a new commercial to showcase the University.
The University filmed various light configurations for several hours both evenings starting at sunset.
UT spokesman Gary Susswein said the University is filming these promotional advertisements to highlight the success and excellence of the University, and as part of that, the University wants to include configurations of the lit Tower.
“We’re lighting the different configurations to get good footage,” Susswein said. “It’s part of the University’s marketing campaign to attract the best talent. All the universities have opportunities to promote their best talents, but this is the time to refresh them and tell our story in a contemporary way.”
The University has had promotional opportunities in the past, including the dedication of the plaza of the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center to former student Walter Cronkite in 2012 and placing advertisements around campus of featured alumni, Susswein said.
“This is not unprecedented, but in terms of lighting the Tower on an individual night, this is fairly unique,” Susswein said.
Communications freshman Caroline Stout said she was drawn to the Tower when she applied to UT.
“It’s like the UT staple,” Stout said. “I was born in a small town, and being here and seeing the Tower, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m on this campus. It’s big … and it’s not messing around.’”
Health and society sophomore Aleeya Ali said she thinks the Tower is the heart of campus because you can see it from many different parts of Austin.
“It’s what defines the campus,” Ali said. “Whenever there is something special that happens like a celebration or something, it just lights up and celebrates it and it’s a memory.”
Ali said it’s the little things about the Tower that make students feel like they’re a part of campus.
“I’m from Pakistan, and I remember there was this one attack in Pakistan the semester [before last],” Ali said. “[The next day, UT] was playing the national anthem of Pakistan. It was so cool.”
According to the UT main website, there are six different lighting configurations that can be seen on the Tower walls as part of the lighting system originally designed by Carl J. Eckhardt Jr in the 1940s.