The community farewell for Gregory Vincent at the AT&T Center was something to behold.
Two University of Texas presidents, Gregory Fenves and Bill Powers, along with Austin Mayor Steve Adler and President and & CEO of the Austin Area Urban League, Teddy McDaniel III, were there to laud the outgoing UT vice-president for diversity and community engagement. So was Fine Arts College Dean Doug Dempster, Austin City Council Member Ora Houston, former State Rep. Wilhelmina Delco and several of my favorite judges.
A long line of distinguished speakers lionized Vincent, who leaves to take the president’s job at his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. (Take a winter coat!)
Representatives from four black alumni groups, five fraternities and sororities and five community organizations from outside UT praised his ability to bring African-American, Asian-American, Latino and LGBT groups into the heart of the university.
Among many other things, Gregory deftly handled the removal of controversial statues from the South Mall and he mended strained relationships with East Austin residents. Although we’ve socialized almost exclusively in public, he’s also been a dear friend. I’ll miss Gregory and his wife, Kim Wilson Vincent, very much.
CHARLES AKINS HONORED