Friends and Colleagues:
The OUTreach: LGBT & Ally Resource Center has been an integral resource for our LGBTQIA students, faculty, and staff since it opened in 2010. Now in its 6th year on campus, the Center has evolved from a drop-in space with sporadic hours to a full-fledged office with a wide array of programs, services and resources. Our purpose has shifted from mere visibility to student development and campus education.
We owe many for our success. First, the Center was given an administrative home and support under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Rickey Hall, when integrated into the Office for Diversity and Inclusion in 2013. Second, we have been able to make an impact only with countless meaningful campus partnerships. Last, but not least, we exist because of the dedication, passion, and talents of our student leaders, staff, and volunteers.
There has been a collective shift in understanding—as a nation and an institution—of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression since the center opened in 2010. We want to remain inclusive to all the diverse identities and expressions within our campus community, and that starts with our name.
This summer we spoke with students, alumni, the Commission for LGBT People, the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, senior administrators, and peer institutions about a potential name change for the Center. After these consultations and careful consideration, we are proud to announce that the OUTreach: LGBT & Ally Resource Center is now the Pride Center.
It is an exciting time to be working on diversity & inclusion at UT and a great time to be part of the Pride Center. I cannot wait to see everyone back on campus next week. Join us on Thursday, August 20 from 5-7 for our annual Welcome Week Open House.