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Texas Longhorn Boots

Sales of official Longhorn boots give students a leg up

These boots are made for walking — in Longhorn style, and for a good cause. All proceeds from sales of the 1883 University of Texas Boots, made by Lucchese and sold exclusively by the University Co-op, flow into the Rebecca H. Carreon Scholarship Fund, which Student Government created to help meet the financial needs of exemplary UT students.

The boots, in distinctive orange and white with goat leather leg areas and smooth-quill ostrich skin lower portions, come in men’s and women’s versions and cost $400.

Friends and fellow Longhorns Evan Autry, Andrew Solomon, and Clayton Stewart worked together to bring the 1883 University of Texas Boots to the UT community.

It took the efforts of three different SG administrations — and three friends in particular — to get the footwear on the shelves. The idea for a pair of UT boots was the brainchild of Clayton Stewart, BA ’06.

The external financial officer for SG at the time, Stewart was interning at the State Capitol when he noticed lawmakers wearing boots featuring the state seal.

“It didn’t make sense that we were the largest school in Texas and we didn’t have an official pair of boots,” Stewart says. So he got to work. As graduation approached, Stewart worked on getting the go-ahead from UT’s trademark office before passing the baton to incoming SG executive director Evan Autry, BA ’07, who set about developing a design.

An SG committee decided the boots would carry the traditional Longhorn logo and the UT seal and would be made by a high-quality U.S. manufacturer. Autry pinpointed Lucchese in El Paso as the company for the job. The project, nearing completion, was handed over to Andrew Solomon, BA ’08, JD ’11, when Autry graduated. Solomon’s job was to get the boots to market.

Sales of the boots at the University Co-op have generated $200,000 in scholarships.

Since the quest’s beginning, the primary goal had been to put the proceeds toward a scholarship fund — a purpose that the University Co-op embraced. Solomon worked with then-SG president Danielle Rugoff, BA ’09, and the Co-op’s George Mitchell to ensure that students would benefit.

The boots landed on the Co-op shelves in 2007, and since then sales have generated $200,000 in scholarships, benefiting 68 students thus far. All UT students except current SG representatives are eligible for the awards.

SG’s current external financial director, liberal arts/communication junior Kornel Rady, is now carrying the torch, serving on the committee that chooses the scholarship recipients. “Giving out the scholarship is an incredible opportunity for Student Government to live up to our goal of giving back to students,” he says.

Becky Carreon in the Dean of Students office has provided administrative support for SG and other student leadership organizations for the past 26 years.

Sales benefit a scholarship named for Becky Carreon, a longtime employee of the Dean of Students office.

“I’m super-pleased that the boots scholarship is need-based,” says Carreon, whose name graces the scholarship fund in honor of her dedication and service. “I think that is the most important part. Student Government saw the need to help students with their struggle to make ends meet.

“I have the best job on campus,” she says. “Every year we have a new administration of super-involved, super-motivated student leaders who have only one short year in office to accomplish their extremely ambitious goals. I help set up meetings for them with UT administrators, fellow students, city leaders, state officials, and whoever can help them accomplish their agenda. It is amazing how much the students grow in one year by actually being able to put their ideas into action.”

Those who helped make the UT boots reality take pride in seeing their pet project on the feet of Longhorns, all around Texas, and not just on game days.

“We were definitely on the forefront of university boots,” Stewart says. “The best is when an Aggie sees the boots and is jealous. That’s just the icing on the cake.”

 

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