[UTA Magazine]



General Tommy FranksGreeted with a standing ovation, a smiling Tommy Franks (’71) stepped to the podium to accept his award at the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Gala in October.

The last of 13 honorees to make an acceptance speech, the man who directs all forces in Operation Enduring Freedom recalled having learned something about Julius Caesar in a history class at UTA.

“Julius Caesar was a general. He made long speeches. They killed him.”

Laughter erupted again moments later when Franks described a recent encounter with his high school principal in Midland. “When you were out here in high school,” the principal told him, “you were not the brightest bulb in the socket.” To which Franks replied: “Ain’t this a great country?”

Then his tone turned serious as he spoke about the American dream.

“All of us in this room have great wishes for our children and our grandchildren. Get an education—the key that unlocks the door. I am honored to be in this institution of higher education. I am honored to have been a student here. I am very honored by the fact that you support all these great young people who are—through the sacrifices you see every day—willing to continue to work so hard to purchase the next 200-plus years of American history.”

– MP

shim shim shim shim shim shim shim