President David E. Daniel

January 2015


Cultural Opportunities Grow with Campus

To view a listing of performances, lectures and other campus events, visit Comet Calendar.

Visitors attending exhibits, performances and lectures are discovering that the physical changes at UT Dallas are making for a pedestrian-friendly campus with structures ideally suited for a range of activities.

The synergy between the two—the ongoing campus transformation and the expanding calendar of public events—is intentional. By providing a welcoming environment for cultural exchange and collaboration, we are living up to our founders' expectations to be an engine for discovery, invention, creativity and entrepreneurship.

For instance, our inaugural Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series in 2014 showcased the fresh ideas and talent of a collection of innovative thinkers—from an astronaut to tech pioneers—that would have sparked the imaginations of our founders.

This year, through the lecture series, we again explore how the relationships between art, technology, engineering and behavioral and social sciences are evolving. Here is a quick look at the 2015 lineup:

  • Lincoln Wallen, the chief technology officer of DreamWorks Animation and former Oxford University professor, on Jan. 28.
  • John Maeda, artist, designer, computer scientist and educator referred to as the "Steve Jobs of academia," on March 4.
  • Hugh Herr, head of MIT's biomechatronics research group and renowned for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs, on April 8.
  • Tony and Jonna Mendez, former CIA officers whose life stories have been featured in books, television documentaries and the Oscar-winning film Argo, on April 28.

The lecture series, presented by the University and The Dallas Morning News, promises to be great, but it is not the only showcase of intellectual and cultural capital to be found at UT Dallas.

Click here to purchase tickets to the Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series.

One of our newest centers of inquiry—the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History—is hosting the Ad Astra Lecture Series on campus and at area museums. In translation, the Latin phrase ad astra means "to the stars," offering a hint as to the aspirations of the artists, sculptors, art historians, biologists and designers who will launch this series.

We provide avenues for expression of creativity in more traditional forms as well. In February, a commissioned work by Paul Taylor, who has been described by The New York Times as "the greatest choreographer alive," will be presented by UTDance Ensemble, a group of students with exceptional abilities. Then in March, we will host the 14th Annual Texas Guitar Competition and Festival, an event that brings international musicians to North Texas. Last year's competitors came from Tokyo, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam.

Performances that stir passions, lectures that challenge intellects, spaces that encourage collaboration—these are just some of the ways that universities throughout the country spark creativity and ignite innovation. UT Dallas is doing the same for its community. And in the process, we are making a great community—and a great university—even better.

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About This Newsletter

The President's Viewpoint is a periodic newsletter distributed to a select group of alumni, friends, faculty and staff. It comes from the desk of Dr. David E. Daniel, president of The University of Texas at Dallas, and provides the ultimate insider’s view on the news and concerns of the University.