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Third Annual Orange Jackets Texas Tea: Featuring Wendy Davis and Leticia Van De Putte

On April 14th, the Texas Orange Jackets will host their third annual Texas Tea, an afternoon geared towards promoting achievement among the women of the University of Texas community. This year, the Orange Jackets will be hosting the Texas state governor candidate Senator Wendy Davis and her running mate, Senator Leticia Van de Putte.


The Texas Orange Jackets are the oldest honorary service organization at the University of Texas, having formed in 1923 and premiering their recognizable orange vests at the Texas-OU game that year.  They seek to promote scholarship, leadership and service, hosting events like their Texas Tea around campus and participating in service projects throughout the year.

I was able to talk to the chair of the event, Eva Valilis, who told me more about Orange Jackets, Texas Tea, and Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte.

Her Campus Texas: What is Texas Tea?

Eva Valilis: Texas Tea is an annual event that honors female leaders on UT’s campus and empowers women to pursue and accomplish their goals. The core tenets of our organization are excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service, and with Texas Tea we strive to promote female leadership. During the day, we usually serve tea and cookies to all students on campus and share our Orange Jackets traditions with them. Later in the day we have a female speaker from UT or the community speak about her struggles and accomplishments as a female in her line or work. Last year we were fortunate enough to have former UT women’s basketball coach Jodie Conradt speak. This year we are hosting Senators Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte as speakers, who are the Democrat candidates for Texas governor and lieutenant governor for the November 2014 election.

HCTX: How does Wendy Davis appeal to Orange Jackets and Texas Tea?

EV: Since her summer’s historic filibuster against more stringent abortion legislation in Texas, Wendy Davis made herself known as a state senator who fought for women’s rights. Her personal struggles while trying to complete her education and become an elected public official truly inspired our committee. And after declaring her candidacy for governor, our committee thought she would make an ideal speaker on the issue of female leadership and the perfect speaker for our event.

HCTX: Similarly, what about Senator Davis’s running mate, Leticia Van de Putte, appealed to the Orange Jackets?

EV: Senator Leticia Van de Putte most famously known for her question to the Texas Senate, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” Soon after, she became the center attention on news publications nationwide. Senator Van de Putte publicly advocates for female leadership and broader human rights, which is incredibly relevant to our organization. Not only is she a wonderful public speaker, she is also a pharmacist, legislator, and a mother to six children. She displays an admirable balance between professionalism and personal happiness.

HCTX: What can one hope to gain from attending Texas Tea?

EV: Texas Tea is our way of giving back to the UT community and recognizing all of the admirable accomplishments females have achieved each year. We hope that Texas Tea with Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte will empower women to pursue their dreams, just as these women have strived to do. However, this event is not meant for just women; we encourage everyone to attend to because these women’s testimonials represent the diversity present in our community. Our committee thought it would be beneficial to host two female political leaders who come from different backgrounds but possess similar qualities of ambition and leadership.  

Texas Tea hosted by the Orange Jackets will take place on Monday, April 14th at 7pm (doors open at 6pm) in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom in the Union, room 3.202.

To RSVP, please visit http://ojackets.com/projects/the-texas-tea-party/ to reserve a spot.

The ballroom only holds 1000 people, so if you would like to attend, RSVP as soon as possible. You will be notified by email a couple days before the event confirming your reservation.

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