Austin College is pleased to offer several Signature Events throughout the year that invites the general public to our campus to share ideas and hear from world-class speakers.
The IDEA Center at Austin College boasts two astronomical observatories, the Adams Observatory on the roof and the IDEA Solar Observatory in the Page Atrium. Both facilities provide extraordinary opportunities for teaching, undergraduate research, and public events. Open Nights at the Adams Observatory occur a few times a semester, and are great opportunities for the curious to come peer through the telescope and learn more about the research conducted there.
These special annual celebrations include:
- Lessons & Carols - Each December, Austin College presents a traditional Service of Lessons & Carols to celebrate the Christmas season. The service, led by the College Chaplain, is adapted from the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that has been celebrated annually at King’s College, Cambridge, for almost a century. The nine Scripture lessons are those traditionally used at the festival, while the carols and sacred music accompanying each passage are selected and performed each year by the Austin College choral programs, sometimes accompanied by instrumentalists. Students, faculty, and staff serve as readers. The service concludes with the lighting of the campus Christmas tree.
- Sherman Symphony Orchestra Christmas Pops - An annual tradition, the SSO Christmas Pops concert presents favorite music of the season, featuring student and community musicians. Two performances are traditionally held in early December.
- Community Christmas Eve Service - Each December 24, Austin College hosts a Christmas Eve service for local Presbyterians and the larger community.
Homecoming is a 'Roo tradition that reflects the values and the cultures of the Austin College community, celebrating decades of alumni.
Each year, the Texoma community comes together for the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for his leadership of the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and 1960s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States. While others were advocating for freedom by “any means necessary,” Dr. King used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly impossible goals. This year we invite you to celebrate with us in person or virtually, via Livestream.
Austin College created the Leadership Institute in 1995 to provide young people the opportunity to explore effective, value-based leadership. Through a combination of reflection and scholarly experiential learning, students are enabled and equipped to implement the understanding, responsibilities, and actions of effective leaders in their own communities. By observing leadership throughout the world and interacting with local, national, and world leaders, Austin College students gain an understanding of individual and organizational leadership at various levels and the importance of global service through the presentation of the Posey Award. In 2003, the Institute was named The Posey Leadership Institute to honor Lee and Sally Posey of Dallas, Texas, who have served as mentors to many students and have demonstrated a selfless example of leadership in their community.
Austin College formally launched its Austin College Leadership Award in 2005, naming its first honoree in 2006. Made possible through the generosity of Sally and Lee Posey of Dallas, the award name was amended upon Lee’s death in 2008 to add the Posey name to the title. The Austin College Posey Leadership Award honors an outstanding individual who has demonstrated the principles of servant leadership by:
- taking a courageous stand on a public policy issue that advances a humanitarian or educational purpose,
- serving the youth of a state, nation, or international community to improve the quality of health, educational, or community services, or
- by creating opportunities for young people that help them enhance their educational experience and move to a new level of service to society.
In 2021, the Posey Leadership Award re-launched as the Austin College Posey Leader-In-Residence Series to drive deeper student engagement with the award recipient. In addition to a keynote address and award presentation in the spring, the Posey Leader-In-Residence meets virtually with students and faculty throughout the academic year to explore multiple topics and build connections.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.