REPORT: UTexas donors succeed in saving 'Eyes of Texas' song from cancel culture
Alumni threatened to stop donating to the University of Texas-Austin if it were to cancel the “The Eyes of Texas.”
The UT-Austin president vowed to "continue the conversation about our song" in a statement issued Tuesday.
Hundreds of alumni threatened to pull donations from the University of Texas-Austin if it were to stop playing the "Eyes of Texas" song after football games.
As Campus Reform previously reported, students at the University of Texas-Austin have been organizing to ask the school to stop playing “The Eyes of Texas” — a song once linked to minstrel shows — after football games.
As of late October, the university stood by its choice to play the song.
As emails obtained through a public records request by The Texas Tribune reveal, this move came after hundreds of alumni emailed the university.
Sam Ehlinger — the school’s quarterback — stood alone on the field for the postgame playing of “The Eyes of Texas” in early October while the rest of the team left the field. Donors did not appreciate the optic and its implications for the song’s future.
"My wife and I have given an endowment in excess of $1 million to athletics. This could very easily be rescinded if things don’t drastically change around here," emailed one donor in October. "Has everyone become oblivious of who supports athletics??"
"The Eyes of Texas is non-negotiable," wrote an alumnus who has held season tickets since 1990. "If it is not kept and fully embraced, I will not be donating any additional money to athletics or the university or attending any events."
"It is disgraceful to see the lack of unity and our fiercest competitor Sam E[h]linger standing nearly alone," wrote another graduate. "It is symbolic of the disarray of this football program which you inherited. The critical race theory garbage that has been embraced by the football program and the university is doing massive irreparable damage."
Of the almost 300 people who emailed University of Texas-Austin President Jay Hartzell, roughly 70 percent supported “The Eyes of Texas.” Roughly 75 people threatened to withdraw donations.
University of Texas spokeswoman Ellie Breed referred Campus Reform to a statement from Hartzell, which explained that “a few extremist views in the sample of emails the Texas Tribune reported on do not speak for the 540,000 proud Longhorn alumni who actively support our students and university.”
“The fact that we don’t all agree on our school song doesn’t mean that we don’t all belong,” he explained. “Next week, the Eyes of Texas History Committee will release its report. Equipped with a common set of facts, we will then continue the conversation about our song. Having spoken to students and faculty on the committee, I truly believe we can be a model for how communities address complex problems and move forward together.”
Conservatives have grown increasingly willing to pull funds from their alma maters following the censorship of free speech and imbalanced advocacy of leftist ideologies.
As Campus Reform reported in August, conservative activist Charlie Kirk launched “DivestU,” which encourages alumni to stop donating to schools that give voice to the “radical, anti-American Left.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft