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Former students descend on capitol for Orange & Maroon Legislative Day

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 01:02

The University of Texas and Texas A&M University are putting their rivalry aside and joining forces at the state capitol Tuesday to advance a common interest of higher education.

Orange & Maroon Legislative Day is organized for UT alumni and A&M former students to come together with Texas representatives to discuss future investments for each educational institution.

The Association of Former Students and The Texas Exes are two of the largest and most respected graduate organizations in the world and will have around 200 participants at the event. University presidents, R. Bowen Loftin and Bill Powers, will attend as honored guests.

“We are proud to work alongside the Texas Exes to promote the significant impact our two flagship universities make on our state, nation and world,” David Heath, Class of 1976 and 2013 board chair for The Association of Former Students at A&M, said in a statement. “Together, our universities seek to serve the citizens of Texas and deliver both excellence and value in education.”

Kathryn Greenwade of The Association of Former Students at A&M said there will be groups of four that meet with members of the legislature to discuss the initiatives.

The goal of Tuesday’s legislative event is to restore funding to higher education previously cut by the Texas Legislature in 2011, as well as a couple joint capital investments at UT and A&M. Apart from basic funding to support student instruction, the investments include increased funding for the Competitive Knowledge Fund, a formula-based initiative to help hire and retain high-achieving faculty, and funding for a facility of biosafety research.

“As the flagship public universities of Texas, UT and A&M are vital to the past, present and future of our state,” John Beckworth, president of the Texas Exes, said in a press release. “What Orange & Maroon Legislative Day shows is that our rivalry strengthens both institutions, and we are united to advance our common interest in the very best higher education for Texas.”


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