The Tejas Club is one of the oldest student organizations at the University of Texas at Austin. It was founded in 1925 to help mould honorable young men through friendship, leadership, and scholarship.
The Tejas Club was formed in 1925 by Tom Renfro and Howell Cobb with the vision of establishing "a club on this campus composed of men whom we believe to be honorable." In its early years, Tejas was associated with Theta Nu Epsilon (ΘΝΕ), a nationwide sophomore class society which also included such organizations as Skull and Bones at Yale University, The Phoenix – S K Club at Harvard University, and The Machine at the University of Alabama.
The official purpose of the club is "to allow our members to live a more complete life by sharing their personalities, abilities and efforts to promote good fellowship and a high standard of conduct among ourselves and our fellow students, to encourage loyalty and usefulness to our school, and to further good scholarship.". The membership process of the organization is secretive and not open to the public.
Tejas Braves have always been a highly involved and diverse group of men at the University of Texas. Members of the Tejas Club have served as student body presidents and vice presidents, head cheerleaders, chairmen of the University Union Board of Directors, and many other important roles on campus.
As is tradition, the Tejas Club hosts weekly coffees featuring influential guest speakers. Recent speakers have included actor Matthew McConaughey, Texas Longhorns athletics coaches Mack Brown, Rick Barnes, and Augie Garrido; UT professors Robert Metcalfe, H.W. Brands, and Larry Speck; former UT presidents William C. Powers and Larry Faulkner; former University of Texas System chancellor Mark Yudof; former Secretary of the Air Force Hans Mark; former National Security Agency director Bobby Ray Inman; Athlete Lance Armstrong, and Texas politicians Wendy Davis, Christi Craddick, Kel Seliger, and Carole Keeton Strayhorn among others.
Many notable alumni of the University of Texas are Tejas Braves. The Tejas Foundation was created in 1953 to establish communication between former and current members of the club. To this day, the alumni of Tejas continue to be involved with helping the club provide housing, encourage scholarship, and organize various events.
Alumni of the Tejas Club include:
- Harley Clark, former judge, attorney, and UT student body president; creator of the "Hook 'em Horns" hand sign.
- Frank C. Cooksey, former Mayor of Austin, Texas.
- Alex Cranberg, University of Texas System regent; founder and chairman of Aspect Holdings, LLC.
- Robert H. Dedman, Sr., former billionaire, founder and chairman of ClubCorp, and owner of the world-famous Pinehurst Resort.
- Michael L. Gillette, author, historian, and non-profit executive.
- W. Page Keeton, former attorney and dean of the University of Texas School of Law.
- Royce C. Lamberth, current Senior Judge and former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
- Austin Ligon, co-founder and retired president and CEO of CarMax.
- Steve Poizner, businessman, entrepreneur, and Republican politician.
- Rex Tillerson, Current United States Secretary of State, former chairman, president, and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation.
- Malcolm Wallace, former UT student body president, economist for the United States Department of Agriculture , and press secretary to then-United States Senator Lyndon B. Johnson.
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