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Swing Out Awards - The Tradition

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Cap and Gown, a senior women's organization, began the Swing-Out ceremony in 1922. The Swing-Out became an annual tradition as part of the University Senior Week and included a bluebonnet chain ceremony that dated back to pre-WWI. The ceremony was extended to honor men's and coed organizations in 1955. The Swing-Out remained a campus tradition for recognizing student leaders and a symbolic gesture of transferring leadership from one class to the next until 1963.

In 1989, the University of Texas Leadership Board (UTLB), a student organization sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students, revitalized the tradition, broadening the scope of the Swing Out Awards to include all student organizations on campus. The University of Texas Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI) in the Office of the Dean of Students incorporated the leadership opportunities previously offered through UTLB, including the Swing Out Awards, in 2008.

Student Activities in the Office of the Dean of Students assumed responsibility for the awards in 2014 as part of an effort to unify student organization recognition and awards. Student Activities continues to support the tradition of the Swing Out Awards to honor outstanding student organizations and the students who drive them, for their commitment, leadership, and excellence at The University of Texas at Austin.