The McKetta Tailgate: What a Success, Thanks Phillips 66!

Students put their horns up for a picture with Dr. McKettaMore than 300 ChE students, alumni and friends tailgated with beloved Professor Emeritus John McKetta on the front lawn of the Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Building Saturday, September 21 before the Texas vs. Kansas State football game.

Slow-smoked barbeque was served with cold drinks and several tailgaters proudly put their horns up to pose for a picture with Dr. McKetta.   Also in attendance were Department Chair Tom Truskett and Greg Fenves, UT Austin provost and former dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

“It was such a pleasure to see everyone,” said John McKetta.  “I take advantage of every chance I get to visit with former and current students-they are what make this department so great. And, everyone knows I love showing off my Longhorn spirit!”

Rex Bennett, Tom Truskett, Greg Fenves and John McKettaThe pre-game event was supported by Phillips 66, the integrated energy manufacturing and logistics company headquartered in Houston, Texas.  Several Phillips 66 representatives attended the event, many of whom are also department alumni, including Rex Bennett, B.S. ChE ‘74; Jeff Reilly, B.S. ChE ‘86, Julie Lambert, B.S. ChE ‘96; Paula Timciuc, B.S. ChE ‘11 and Darrious Betts, B.S.  ChE ‘12.

“We were all happy to get back to campus and enjoyed talking with students, faculty and alumni,” said Rex Bennett. “This was a great way for Phillips 66 to show our support for the university and to support a department producing some of the top chemical engineering talent in the country.”

Tailgaters sported burnt orange McKetta Tailgate t-shirts over to the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to cheer the Longhorns on to a 31-21 victory over the Wildcats.

“This was the best department tailgate I’ve been to so far,” said recent graduate Darrious Betts, B.S. ChE ‘12.  “I’ve been working for Phillips 66 for nearly a year and I’m really enjoying it. It was good to come back and see friends and former professors and tell them what I’m doing.

Darrious Betts, B.S. ChE '12“My friends still working on their degrees got a lot out of hearing about my experience and asking questions about transitioning into the workforce-it was nice to be able to give advice.  The department has done a lot for me, so I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with everyone and being an active alum.  I’ll definitely be attending next year’s tailgate-Hook ‘em Horns!”

Watch your inbox next fall for an invite to the 2014 McKetta Tailgate.

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