By his own account, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp is counseled by his staff to stay on script. Especially in Austin. But he just can’t help himself.
Case in point: A news conference at Austin Community College’s Highland campus Monday afternoon. A&M officials, ACC officials, officials of the Chevron Corp. and two state senators were on hand to announce a new program in which students admitted to A&M’s College of Engineering will complete the first two years of course work at ACC and finish their engineering degrees at College Station. The Statesman explained the program, which is partially underwritten by the oil giant, in a story Sunday.
As the officials were finishing up their thank you’s and congratulations, Sharp and ACC’s president and CEO, Richard Rhodes, exchanged school T-shirts.
“This is something you’ve needed for a hell of a long time,” Sharp told Rhodes, who earned his doctorate at the University of Texas, as they slipped their new T-shirts over their dress shirts.
The chancellor added: “Ordinarily it would be warm with all these clothes, but you’ve got that Big Ass Fan up there. You know, for 38 years I’ve wanted to use a word like that in a press conference, and now I can because that’s the name of that fan.”