Could You Imagine Austin Without UT?

Posted on 08/31/2015 by Austin Chamber of Commerce

Without The University of Texas, Austin would not be what it is today.

The Chamber has a long history with the Texas Longhorns. In 1881, we worked with Alexander P. Woolridge on an intense public relations battle versus Tyler, Waco, and Lampasas to promote Austin to the people of Texas as the best location for the University of Texas (UT). The Texas Constitution called for the Legislature to establish a first-class university to be located by a vote of the people. On September 6, 1881, the people voted.

In 1921, we took swift action to help UT expand the original 40 acres. We worked to secure options for 132 acres of additional land. This was a key moment that essentially ended the threat of UT leaving Austin. Today UT’s main campus is 431 acres.

Collaboration on Health, Technology and Education Initiatives

  • We supported the development of the new Dell Medical School at UT. It’s the first medical school in 50 years to be built from the ground up at a Tier One Research University. The school was created in partnership with local taxpayers who voted in 2012 to support a vision for better health in Austin and Travis County.
  • The Chamber is also working to expand the related life sciences business sector in Central Texas. This will further diversify our economy. It is expected to drive $2 billion in annual related economic impact and more than 15,000 new, permanent jobs for the region.
  • We work with the UT Austin stARTup Studio run by Bob Metcalf, co-inventor of Ethernet, to drive commercialization of new technologies.
  • We also partner with the UT Ray Marshall Center on numerous initiatives to improve K-12 education throughout Central Texas and help more high school students get ready for and go to postsecondary education.

For 138 years, members of the Austin Chamber have had a passion for shaping our region into a great place to live, work and play. We have been engaged and involved with the founding of UT, SXSW, technology and innovation, the international airport, Barton Springs, and many other defining characteristics that make Austin’s culture unique. We are a community that is authentic, creative, caring, and diverse. These are some of the traits that have attracted more than 370 companies -- and 270,000 new jobs—to our region in the last 11 years.

Click here to subscribe to our newsletters or manage your subscriptions.

Related Categories: Chamber, Economic Development, Education and Talent, Innovate Austin, Public Policy