Community Engagement

Community Engagement Strategic Goal: Cultivate mutually beneficial community-university partnerships that further the mission of the university to serve Texas and beyond with an emphasis on historically and currently underserved communities.

On this page, you will find updated information and current activities within the Community Engagement goal. For more information about the goal and specific objectives, click here.

The 87th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, which attracted top high school, collegiate and professional track and field athletes in the nation, was held at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on March 26-29.

In order to honor the achievements of the Texas Relays and its participants, DDCE and the City of Austin hosted the Texas Relays Celebration Reception and Awards Ceremony at Austin City Hall. Sheryl Cole, Mayor Pro Tem, expressed her gratitude for the event: “As a community we have progressed over the last few years in our efforts to embrace diversity and create a welcoming environment for all of our visitors. I was proud to again host a joint reception with the University of Texas on Relay Weekend that honored student athletes, Longhorn Leaders and outgoing Athletic Director, DeLoss Dodds.”


From left to right: Austin City Manager, Marc Ott; UT Athletics Director, Steve Patterson; Mayor Pro Tem, Sheryl Cole; Former UT Athletics Director, DeLoss Dodds; and Vice President for DDCE, Dr. Gregory Vincent


I Live Here, I Give Here is a local non-profit organization with a mission of increasing philanthropic efforts in Central Texas by connecting people with important issues and non-profit organizations that support various causes.  In 2013, I Live Here, I Give Here launched Amplify Austin, a 24-hour “festival of giving” and community-wide day of online philanthropy to raise money for non-profits in Central Texas.  Now in its second year, Amplify Austin giving day kicked off on Thursday March 20th at 6pm and ended on Friday, March 21st at 6pm. Almost 400 non-profits within Travis County and surrounding counties participated and $5,705,808 was raised!

The Division of Diversity and Community Engagements counts I Live Here, I Give Here as an important collaborative community partner. Erica Saenz, DDCE’s Assistant Vice President for Community and External Relations, has been involved with the organization since 2011 and began I Live Here, I Give Here board service in 2012.



The 15th anniversary of Explore UT: The Biggest Open House in Texas took place on March 1st of this year.  Explore UT attracts over 40,000 attendees each year to a day of free performances, exhibits, lectures, and activities for the entire family.  Like most open houses, it offers an opportunity to come “inside” — to see the University’s literary and art collections, learn about its cutting-edge research, experience its history and traditions, and interact with faculty, staff, and, students.

Explore UT seeks to broaden the horizons of schoolchildren and motivate them to aspire to higher education.  It is also an opportunity to help parents and teachers instill the excitement and wonder of learning in children.  In addition, Explore UT welcomes alumni to re-connect with the institution that prepared them for their careers.  With more than 400 programs across the campus, there is something for everyone at UT’s open house.


Photo by Marsha Miller


The Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, founded in 2004, works to increase the number of Central Texas Hispanic students accessing higher education by providing scholarships and networks of support to empower the students to graduate from higher education as workforce ready leaders engaged with the community.

Charles Schwab and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement hosted the annual Hispanic Scholarship Consortium Winter Summit on January 2014.  The reception and dinner were held at the Thompson Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The Winter Summit included a day of learning and reflection as well as information on career and graduate school readiness. This year marked the third occasion of DDCE’s involvement and support for the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium’s Winter Summit.




October 1, 2013 kicked off the beginning of the annual Hearts of Texas Campaign, which ran through October 31st.  This is the largest community engagement initiative for DDCE, given its breadth and scope.  As part of the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC), Hearts of Texas provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to contribute to more than 500 charities.  Given the overwhelming contributions from UT in the past, the SECC has awarded UT with the Highest Per Capita Gift award for two years running.

Benefactors can choose which charities they wish to give to or they can provide an undesignated gift.  There are also two ways to pledge: either online or paper.  The Hearts of Texas website provides directions and information about the process.  There are also department coordinators and representatives who can assist in answering questions or offering help in contributing to the campaign.

Dr. Vincent is the honorary chair of the campaign and encourages all UT employees to contribute, at any level.