From The President’s Desk

Newsletter Texas Cowboys

[June 25, 2024 – Blog] For many of us who have served in leadership roles, it comes with great responsibility, requiring tough decisions and sheer staying power. Of course, being ever-present is at the top of the list for me. However, in all of these leadership roles there is a day when you have to pass the baton on to the next leader. It can be bittersweet, but part of the job. 

When I was nominated to be the President and Chairman of the Board of the University of Texas Ex Students Association, I was honored to serve. However, before giving my final “yes” to the opportunity, I looked at the full-year agenda. Frankly, it was quite daunting, filled with meetings, travel, speaking engagements and the task of overseeing the work of the Texas Exes internationally! After careful consideration, I threw my hat into the ring, and off we went. We have over 570,000 Texas Exes, and one friend told me I was like the mayor of a city. True. 

The year has been filled with incredible opportunities to connect with outstanding alumni, scholarship recipients, faculty, administrators, the Board of Regents, as well as parents of some of the brilliant students that UT attracts. Every day was an adventure laced in burnt orange and I loved every minute of it. Getting to address over 55,000 people at the UT graduation this May was mind-blowing. 

One of the many student organizations I am proud to work with is the Texas Cowboys. Started in 1922, this group meant a lot to me when I attended UT, and I got to stand by Smokey the Cannon on the field at football games with some of my Cowboy friends. 

In the photo above, I was invited to participate in the Texas Cowboys initiation this past spring at the Texas Exes Alumni Center. I am so impressed with the character, willingness to serve and leadership skills these young men exhibit. And yes, one of the new initiates I am standing by in the photo is UT quarterback, Arch Manning. I am going to hang on to this photo just in case he makes it to the big time and I can say “I knew him back when.”

Although my year as President comes to an end on June 30th, I will remain on the Texas Exes board, will have responsibilities as past president, and of course, will continue to be an ambassador and advocate for UT in the years ahead.

I want to express a huge thank you to the Texas Exes board, staff and all of you who have supported me through one of the best experiences of my life.


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Gay Gaddis
Founder. Author. Artist. Trailblazer.

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