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Texas Tech Day in Austin

By Jim Douglass

One of the most exciting (and fun) events sponsored by the Texas Tech Alumni Association is the biennial Texas Tech Day in Austin. This event is held in the spring of every odd-numbered year in conjunction with the state of Texas legislative session. TTAA has sponsored this day of legislative advocacy for the past five sessions. The date set for the upcoming session will be Feb. 20, 2013.

The purpose of the event is to rally Texas Tech alumni, students and supporters to the halls of the Capitol to endorse adequate funding for higher education. State colleges and universities rely heavily on funding from the state legislature and our goal is to remind these decision-makers of the importance and value of this funding.

The day consists of a morning welcoming reception where our loyal Red Raiders hear from the Texas Tech chancellor, Texas Tech University president, the TTAA national president and a few of our alumni serving in the state legislature. Following the words of welcome and instruction, the entire Texas Tech delegation is recognized in each chamber, both on the House side and on the Senate side. Following a lunch break, there is a group photo taken inside the Capitol.

The afternoon is dedicated to visiting every legislative office holder and presenting them with a special commemorative gift from the Texas Tech University System. Three to five alumni are assigned to various offices and, in addition to presenting the gift, are asked to encourage each and every legislator to support higher education through their budget vote.

The effort is led by TTAA past president David Waggoner and national board member Kristina Harris Butts, chair of the TTAA Legislative Affairs Committee. Volunteers from the local Texas Tech alumni from the Austin area offer support and Texas Tech students from the Student Government Association and the Student Alumni Board learn how important legislative support is to the future of the university.

Waggoner, who lives in Whitney, has been heavily involved in Texas Tech Day in Austin for several years.
 
“Texas Tech Day provides a unique opportunity for alumni from all over the state to gather at the capitol to show their support for Texas Tech and higher education,” he says. “This special day has become one of the most popular events hosted by the alumni association. It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to actively support the Texas Tech System, and higher education throughout the state.”

Butts directs legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association based in Washington, D.C. Working on Capitol Hill, she recognizes the value of such an effort.

“This is a unique opportunity for the Red Raider family to join together in Austin and advocate on behalf of higher education,” Butts says. “Decisions made by our elected officials will continue to impact our lives. It is important for them to understand the importance of issues that are important to us—alumni of Texas Tech. As alumni, we can help make a difference. We hope you'll join your fellow Red Raiders in Austin during the upcoming session.”

Help us stand up for higher education and paint Austin “Scarlet & Black!” For more information about Texas Tech Day, contact Jim Douglass with the TTAA on campus: jim.douglass@ttu.edu or 806-742-3641 ext. 228. You can help spread the word to your joining and sharing our Facebook Event.