On Tuesday, June 13, the DDCE joined the greater Austin community in wishing Dr. Gregory Vincent farewell as he prepares to leave the Forty Acres to assume his new role as the 27th president of his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York.
The first person to serve as UT Austin’s vice president for diversity and community engagement, Vincent has championed diversity, access and inclusion on campus and in the Austin community.
“As you can imagine, the decision to leave UT was a difficult one,” Vincent said in his statement. “The University of Texas at Austin has always been an exciting, fulfilling place to be. I love UT Austin and the only place for which I could leave this university is my alma mater.”
Here are a few highlights from the event. All photos can be found on our Flickr site.
Teddy McDaniel III, president and CEO of the Austin Area Urban League, saluted Vincent in his opening remarks, commemorating their many years of friendship and brotherhood.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler and UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves both paid tribute to Dr. Vincent’s 12 years of service to the university, remarking on the legacy of his leadership on campus and in the Austin community. Adler emphasized his gratitude by declaring June 13 “Gregory Vincent Day.”
Members from alumni groups gave thanks for Vincent’s unwavering support for underrepresented students of color. Speakers included members of Black Ex-Students of Texas; The Precursors, Inc.; Texas Exes Black Alumni Network; and Texas Exes Hispanic Alumni Network.
Several Greek-letter organizations extended their goodbyes, offering tokens of gratitude for Vincent’s outstanding service. The organizations included Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Gamma Eta Lambda Chapter; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Gamma Gamma Boulé .
A number of longtime community partners applauded Vincent for his efforts in strengthening university-community ties. The organizations included Communities in Schools of Central Texas; The Links, Inc., Austin and Town Lake Chapters; the National Forum for Black Public Administrators; 100 Black Men of Austin; and Seton Healthcare Family.
Vincent closed the program with a heartfelt farewell, resulting in a standing ovation from the gatherers who all came to wish him well on the next phase of his impactful career.
The celebration concluded with good food, fellowship and music by Women in Jazz, Inc.