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Who We Are

History

Orange Jackets is the oldest honorary service organization at the University of Texas. The core tenets of the organization are excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Since its inception in 1923, OJs have been actively serving both UT and the greater Austin community. Members of Orange Jackets are easily recognized at campus events by their burnt orange vests emblazoned with a white “T” on the side pocket. Orange Jackets have been sporting this uniform ever since the UT v. OU game that took place on November 17, 1923. Every woman who becomes an Orange Jacket receives her vest at the end of her Tappee year.

Service

Although the Orange Jackets have historically been highly visible during UT football games, where they lead the school in the singing of “The Eyes of Texas” before kickoff, they remain first and foremost a service organization. Orange Jackets host numerous events for the University of Texas, plan and put on the annual Week of Women, and raise money for The Settlement Home with their Capture the 40 Acres flag football tournament.

OJ Tappee Project

OJ Tappees (first year members) also perform a unique service for the University of Texas or the city of Austin on an annual basis through the execution of their year-long Tappee project, a requirement the Tappees must complete in order to earn their vests by Initiation. Past Tappee projects have included the Push for Emergency Call Boxes Initiative, the Voices Against Violence Campaign, the We Rose: Stories of Longhorn Women journal, and the Barbara Jordan Statue project.

Legacy

Given that Orange Jackets was founded as an organization for the most outstanding women on campus, it is no surprise that many former members have gone on to become outstanding figures in their professional fields. Dr. Margaret C. Berry, Shirley Bird Perry, Carol Keeton Strayhorn, Liz Carpenter, and Lady Bird Johnson are only a few examples of countless prominent Orange Jackets alumnae. The Orange Jackets today continue the traditions set out by their illustrious predecessors. Through the continued selection of campus leaders for membership, Orange Jackets will long be remembered for their leadership, scholarship, spirit, service, and dedication to the University of Texas at Austin.

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