Alumni News

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Welcome to the State of the Union Newsletter

The official alumni newsletter of the University Unions at The University of Texas at Austin.

August 2012 Edition:

As the new academic year at The University of Texas at Austin begins, we are also starting a new chapter in the Division for Student Affairs with the hire of our new Vice President, Dr. Gage E. Paine. Dr. Paine joins us from The University of Texas at San Antonio where she served as their Vice President for Student Affairs.

photo of dr. gage e. paine
Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Gage E. Paine

Not only does this serve as a homecoming for Dr. Paine...

Following the opening of the Student Activity Center in January of 2011, the University Unions turned its sights to the Texas Union and began a series of construction projects. These projects served a variety of purposes: necessary updates to the building, including the installation of a sprinkler system, upgrading the technology offered in meeting rooms, doing needed repairs to continue the full functionality of the building for the upcoming years, and making much needed improvements to the lounge spaces to better serve campus.

Now, just over one year after the Texas Union construction project began, we are pleased to reopen all...

The Texas Union has the ability to transcend the confines of its walls and to touch people’s lives – not just during their time as students, but beyond as well.  This is likely most evident in the case of our current alumni spotlight - Gary Shelton. 

Photo of Gary Shelton
Gary sitting at his desk in the Texas Union back in the ‘80s

Gary spent many days (and nights) in the rooms of the Texas Union studying to pursue his Bachelor’s degree...

The University Unions is again expanding. Through the efforts of Student Government, the College of Fine Arts, and the Division of Student Affairs, we are pleased to announce the reopening of Hogg Memorial Auditorium as a student-centric programming space for creative events primarily planned and produced by registered student organizations.

photo of Hogg building
Hogg Memorial Auditorium

Built as part of the “Union Group” of buildings in 1933, Hogg has been...

We are pleased to introduce our new Director for Student Programs, Jennifer Zamora!

Jennifer, a Texas native and Texas A&M graduate (we’ve decided not to hold that against her!), began her career as a kindergarten teacher before discovering student activities as a possible career path. She pursued her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University and upon graduation, took a position at Texas State University as Coordinator for Leadership and New Student Programs. From Texas State, she went on to become the Director of Student Activities and Leadership at Babson College in Massachusetts. This position...

It has been a year and a half since the Student Activity Center opened its doors to campus – and what a time it has been! Students, faculty and staff flocked to the building when it opened and the traffic has not slowed down yet. In the spirit of being a student building,the students have utilized the SAC to their great advantage and immediatelyfelt at home – whether that be cramming for a final in one of the fireplace lounges, relaxing on an oversized cushion on the stairs above the Starbucks, or hosting an event in one of the many meeting room options with one of their organization.


Each spring, the University Unions honors two students who exemplify the pinnacle of leadership, public service and campus involvement and action. These awards are the J.J. Jake Pickle Citizenship Award and the Pal – Make a Difference Award. This year’s student recipients are Ramu Kharel and Ben Weiss.

Dr. Syed Hyder with Bergan Casey
Dr. Syed Hyder (left) accepted the Pickle Award on behalf of Ramu Kharel
and is pictured with Congressman Pickle’s granddaughter, Bergan Casey.