Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
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Change Starts Here: You Belong Here

Change Starts Here: You Belong Here

MVFSA members smiling in a group photo (cropped)


The following timeline represents diversity, equity and inclusion-related milestones that have occurred over the past year, which are a continuation of the many significant improvements the university has made over time. Together, we have made great strides in fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus.

President Hartzell Launches Strategic Direction for Change Starts Here

While delivering his inaugural speech, President Jay Hartzell unveils the first phase of the “Change Starts Here” ten-year strategic plan, pointing out diversity, equity and inclusion as a top priority for the university’s strategic direction.

Jay Hartzell speaking at State of the University address 2021 and inauguration
President Jay Hartzell delivering inaugural speech

Students Take Finals for the First Time at New Campus Testing Center

In collaboration with Disability & Access (D&A), Testing and Evaluation Services opened UT’s first centralized testing center for in-person accommodated tests. In addition to the new testing center, the President’s Office has expanded many other campus resources and services to improve accessibility, including increased staffing in the D&A office and a higher budget for ADA construction improvements.

Front of Sanchez building lit up
The George I. Sanchez Building, home to the Testing Center (5th floor, Suite 5.102)

McCombs School Opens Peggy Drake Holland Student Lounge

The McCombs School of Business celebrates the grand opening of the Peggy Drake Holland Student Lounge. In honor of Drake Holland, a beloved member of the UT Precursors group, the lounge serves as a space for all members of the university community to learn about and be inspired by her achievements.

Peggy Holland
Peggy Drake Holland, BBA ’63, McCombs’ first Black graduate

Sweatt Center for Black Males Receives Major Gift

Martin Taylor, managing director at Vista Equity Partners, gives a $1.5 million to university programs, with a $750,000 gift commitment to the Sweatt Center for Black Males. With this funding, the center has expanded many of its programs including transformative experiential learning trips abroad.

President Hartzell with two individuals for Sweatt Center gift
UT Austin President Jay Hartzell, Martin Taylor and Emmanuel Williams

President Hartzell Launches ‘You Belong Here’ Strategic Direction

President Hartzell rolls out the second phase of the “Change Starts Here” plan and announces the launch of the “You Belong Here” roadmap for equity, inclusion and belonging at UT Austin.  Recruiting, attracting and retaining diverse faculty, staff and students on campus is a at the core of our efforts.  We need a wide range of identities, perspectives and experiences in our classrooms, on our campus and in our leadership.  That means ensuring equity of access and experience for all campus members while strengthening community and inclusion at UT Austin.

President Hartzell tweet about You Belong Here direction

First Cohort of Impact Scholarship Graduates Makes History at UT

Four years after the university launched the Impact Scholarship—the largest scholarship offered to undergraduates at UT—32 students in the first cohort graduated in the spring. The Impact Scholarship recognizes outstanding Texas students who have made a remarkable impact on their communities.

Impact Scholars sitting on steps in front of UT Tower
Members of the first cohort of the UT Impact Scholars

UT Joins Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities

The university announces its partnership with the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities with the goal to increase opportunity for those historically underserved by higher education.

Two students smiling at 2022 LatinX convocation
2022 Latinx Graduation at Gregory Gym

Cockrell School Receives $1.2M NSF Grant to Establish Center for Engineering Equity

The National Science Foundation awards the Cockrell School of Engineering a $1.2M grant to create a Center for Engineering Equity in an effort to recruit and support Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American undergraduate and graduate students.

A large lobby with students sitting
Engineering Education and Research Center interior atrium

DDCE Establishes Military/Veteran Faculty & Staff Association

The DDCE launches the Military/Veteran Faculty & Staff Association, a university resource group that works to provide resources, support and a community to active military, veterans and families.

MVFSA members smiling in a group photo
Members of the MVFSA

President Hartzell Announces ‘Reimagining East Mall’ Project

President Hartzell announces a new initiative to re-envision the East Mall landscape as a celebration of the history and impact of the Precursors, UT’s first generation of Black students.

Watercolor drawing of East Mall landscape
Watercolor of East Mall landscape

LLILAS Benson Receives $2.1M from the Department of Education

LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections is awarded two major grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The funds will support outreach, program development and fellowships in line with three central priorities mandated by the Department of Education.

Olmec sculpture in Benson Library, Sid Richardson Hall
LLILAS, Olmec sculpture

University Honors First Cohort of Darren Walker Scholars

UT alum and philanthropist Darren Walker joined university leaders at a celebration event honoring the first cohort of the Darren Walker Scholars program, which provides a fully funded undergraduate education at UT for students of the highest caliber with substantial financial need and a history of overcoming economic, social or educational obstacles.

President Hartzell, Darren Walker with Scholars
President Jay Hartzell and Darren Walker with the first cohort of the Darren Walker Scholars

BGSA Hosts Inaugural Multicultural Research Symposium

The Black Graduate Student Association hosted its first annual Multicultural Research and Professional Development Symposium. Supported by the President’s Office and co-sponsored by the DDCE and the Graduate School, the symposium is among several new initiatives that aim to bolster world-changing research and unlock student potential.

A group at the BGSA Symposium
Members of the BGSA at the Multicultural Research and Professional Development Symposium