Proud and legendary Traditions
The UT Tower has served as the university’s most recognizable landmark and symbol since it was completed in 1937. At 301 feet high, the 27-floor Tower measures six feet taller than the Texas Capitol and can be seen from almost any location in Austin.
The Tower is most visible on nights when it’s bathed in orange light following athletic victories or to recognize faculty, staff, and student achievements. But the Tower is also beautifully lit in various configurations for other reasons, too.
At the top of the Tower is a four-sided clock painted in gold leaf. Every fifteen minutes, the Tower’s 56-bell Knicker Carillon chimes, and at 12:50 p.m. three times a week, Tom Anderson, the university’s carilloneur, plays songs as students go off to their afternoon classes—just as he’s done since 1956. He even takes requests. (Watch “For Whom the Bells Toll” video)
Interested in seeing the campus and the city of Austin from a unique vantage point? Register for a Tower tour through the Texas Union.
HOOK ′EM, HORNS:
Created in 1955 by head cheerleader Harley Clark, Jr., the Hook ’em, Horns hand signal is recognized worldwide as the symbol of the Texas Longhorns. The Hook ’em sign is created by extending your pinky and index finger and tucking your middle and ring fingers under your thumb. The Hook ’em signal was named the top college hand sign by Sports Illustrated. The Texas Exes (alumni association) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Hook ’em hand signal in 2005 with multiple events and programs.
No other mascot could symbolize the spirit and character of the university better than a Texas Longhorn. Since 1966, Bevo has been present on the sidelines of Texas football games. In the fall of 2004, Bevo XIII—the Bevo to see the most football victories in the university’s history—retired, and a young Bevo XIV took its place on the sidelines to continue the tradition of one of college’s most popular (and heaviest) mascots.
Listen to “Texas Fight" and other traditional songs from the Longhorn Band.
As the official fight song of The University of Texas at Austin, you’ll hear “Texas Fight” played following a dramatic moment in football or basketball game or whenever the Longhorns need to rally. In a 1990 national study of the most inspiring college fight songs, “Texas Fight” was listed in the top 10.
THE LONGHORN BAND:
Ever since 1900 when the band—made up of only 16 members—was formed by a university chemistry professor, the Longhorn Band has provided the sights, sounds and pageantry that make Longhorn football games a spectacle to behold.
At 300-plus members today, “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 serves as an ambassador for the university and the state, performing for presidents (Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton and G.W. Bush), at Super Bowls and NFL games, and on television (CBS’s “This Morning” and NBC’s “Today Show”).
Everything really is bigger in Texas! Since 1955, “The Largest Bass Drum in the World” has accompanied the Longhorn Band on the sidelines at home football games. Handled by a crew of five Longhorn Band members, Big Bertha leads the band into the stadium and onto the field to begin the pre-game festivities.
“THE EYES OF TEXAS:”
Written in 1903 and sung by the Texas faithful ever since, the “The Eyes of Texas” is recognized worldwide as the alma mater of The University of Texas. You’ll hear it played before and after athletic events, at official university events or any time Longhorns are gathered together for a common cause.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You can not get away.
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn-
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
'Till Gabriel blows his horn.