50th Chancellor's Council Annual Meeting & Symposium


Looking Back to Leap Forward

The 50th Chancellor's Council Annual Meeting & Symposium celebrated the extraordinary accomplishments that have occurred at UT institutions over the past decades – and explored how we plan to continue the leap forward.

Over 1,000 passionate philanthropists gathered in Austin to commemorate 50 years of coming together to advance education, research and health care across Texas and the world.

In the State of the System address, Chancellor William McRaven highlighted the extraordinary contributions of UT institutions and delved into the recent progress of the Quantum Leaps as part of his vision for the UT System. Past and present UT leadership explored the past and looked to the future of the UT system, health care and higher education with native Texan, award-winning journalist and national television anchor Stone Phillips moderating the engaging discussions.

Chancellor McRaven: State of the System

Chancellor William McRaven highlighted the extraordinary contributions of UT institutions and provided a progress report on the UT System’s bold vision for improving lives in Texas and across the globe.

"I believe that more than anything else - more than the great engineers, the great lawyers, the great doctors, the great artists and the great athletes - we must be known for building men and women of great character."

"If we set our sights beyond the technical, beyond the pragmatic, and focus as much on character as these other important qualities, then the state of system, the state of Texas and the state of the nation will be strong long into the future." McRaven told Chancellor's Council members.

"And those that came before us and those that will follow us - will always be proud to say, that they were students at UT. "

 Read the full State of the System. 

Chancellor Rewind


  • William H. Cunningham, Ph.D., Chancellor 1992-2000
  • Mark G. Yudof, J.D., Chancellor 2002-2008
  • Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., Chancellor 2009-2015

Four former UT chancellors shared the moments and the memories that marked their tenures at the helm of one of the largest university systems in the nation. It was fascinating to learn of the unknown stories of struggle, perseverance and ultimately triumph – reflecting on the long-lasting impacts their signature initiatives have had on the University of Texas, our state and beyond.

Watch the full panel discussion:

Throughout its history, the University of Texas has been blessed with strong and dynamic leaders who became chancellor knowing it would be the most challenging role of their careers. Since the position of chancellor was established in 1950, every chancellor has brought different experiences and leadership styles to the table. But two qualities have defined and guided every leader of the UT System for more than half a century: vision and impact. Each chancellor has made his mark on the UT System, but the repercussions of that mark reach far beyond the UT System and are felt far after the chancellor’s tenure is over.

Watch a tribute to UT System's former four Chancellors since 1967 - their impact to the state, nation and world: 

Picture of Health


  • Kirk A. Calhoun, M.D., President, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
  • David L. Callender, M.D., President, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

UT institutions have contributed to the health care revolution, taking an active role in the unprecedented advances in medicine over the past 50 years. We discovered the many exciting ways our academic health institutions are working together to improve the health and well-being of future generations through revolutionary collaborations, ground-breaking research and innovative medical education, while keeping true to our proud history as medical pioneers.

Watch the full panel discussion:

Watch the rich history of UT health institutions and their contributions to the health revolution:

Change U.


  • Guy Bailey, Ph.D., President, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Gregory L. Fenves, Ph.D., President, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Vistasp M. Karbhari, Ph.D., President, The University of Texas at Arlington

Higher education and campus life have changed dramatically thanks to impact and evolution of technology, social climate and culture on the overall student experience. The concept of “traditional” student has evolved during the last five decades. However, it is comforting to hear directly from UT campus leaders of the many constants that remain faithfully ingrained deep within the student of today and will endure in the student of tomorrow – persistent desire for learning, intense inquisitiveness and relentless commitment to making the world a better place.

Watch the full panel discussion:

See the evolution of higher education through the eyes of UT institutions: 


Discovery Sessions

Attendees of the Chancellor’s Council Annual Meeting & Symposium explored special learning opportunities via three concurrent Discovery Sessions:

Walk the Halls of Sports History

Housed in the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at UT Austin is both an internationally famous research archive and exhibition space devoted to the history of sports and fitness. Founders and UT faculty members Jan Todd, Ph.D., and Terry Todd, Ph.D., took council members through the Center’s twelve galleries and on a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives that included viewings of Coach Royal’s personal photo albums, Harvey Penick’s original red notebook, the first illustrated book on exercise (dated 1573) and many other rare items.


Tales from the Ransom

From Henri Matisse’s Jazz to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s photographs of ghosts, every item housed in extensive cultural collections of the world-renowned Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin has a story to tell. Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss, Ph.D., led a tour of the aptly named “Stories to Tell” exhibit – which features more than 250 manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia that offer stories of inspiration, frustration and innovation – and gave insight on how the Ransom Center acquires, preserves and makes its extraordinary collections available to the public. 


UT Shines the Light on Student Safety

Chancellor William McRaven has launched the most comprehensive survey of sexual assault and misconduct in the nation ever undertaken by an institution of higher education. Council members heard from Noël Busch-Armendariz, Ph.D., Director of UT Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, and John Kaulfus, Title IX Director at UT Health San Antonio, on why the UT System is making student success a priority by being a leader in addressing campus safety.