A California reference echoes UT’s ‘changes the world’ slogan

My colleague W. Gardner Selby — he of PolitiFact Texas fame — noticed a familiar reference on the radio last week. He emailed me thusly:

“California: What starts here often changes the world” has been said on NPR at least the last couple days in connection with LA Times sponsoring the network’s Marketplace show.

Sounds a lot like the longtime slogan of the University of Texas: “What starts here changes the world.” Of course, the Texas version has a bit more swagger, with no “often” to hedge its bets.

I have no idea how the California version was coined, whether it’s the work of a copycat or a mere coincidence. Doesn’t really matter. I doubt that UT will be changing its slogan anytime soon. Back in May 2014, Adm. Bill McRaven, who would go on to retire from the military and become chancellor of the University of Texas System, gave it his endorsement during his commencement speech:

“I have to admit — I kinda like it.”

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