Orange Jackets is the oldest women's service organization at the University of Texas at Austin. The group was founded in 1923 as a women's honorary service organization, named for their distinctive orange vests. As the official hosts of the university, Orange Jackets is one of the most prestigious and esteemed women's organizations at the university. The core tenets are excellence in service, leadership, and scholarship. The organization is composed of women leaders from all majors and various facets of campus life. Orange Jackets is set apart for its dedication to service of the campus community and to the empowerment of young women leaders at the University of Texas.
The Orange Jackets are known for their volunteer efforts and service projects on campus and in the community. Orange Jackets's primary philanthropy is The Settlement Home for Children in Austin. They are responsible for founding Family Weekend in 1924, originally Dad's and Mother's Day. In 1926 they started the Women's Self Government Association, a now retired governance body, which addressed women's issues in college environments. Other notable contributions include the implementation of police call boxes across the university campus and starting fundraising efforts for Voices Against Violence, a UT program offering sexual assault counseling and education, after federal funding for the program was cut. The Orange Jackets began the initiative to erect the first female statue at the University of Texas. Barbara Jordan was selected because of her civil rights activism, political accomplishments, love of Texas, and connection to the University. The Barbara Jordan statue remains a symbol of women's presence and power on the university campus.
Roles and Responsibilities
As official hosts of the university, Orange Jackets are called upon to host special guests and donors on campus. They are also responsible for leading the Eyes of Texas (UT's Alma Mater) on the field before each home football game. Members of Orange Jackets are easily recognized at campus events by their burnt orange vests emblazoned with a white “T” on the side pocket. Orange Jackets have been sporting this uniform ever since the UT v. OU game that took place on November 17, 1923. Every woman who becomes an Orange Jacket receives her vest at the end of her Tappee year. Texas Orange Jackets is a revered organization of young women leaders dedicated to the improvement of their university.
- Liz Carpenter
- Lady Bird Johnson
- Florence Shapiro
- Carole Keeton Strayhorn
- Karen Elliott House
- Margaret C. Berry
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