First conducted in 1988, the Moonlight Prowl is a nighttime walking tour packed with anecdotes of student life, campus architecture, and UT history. With content drawn from newspaper accounts, memoirs, and the UT archives, the Prowl is intended to help personalize the University, explore its history, and have some fun.
As a bonus, our Mid-Summer Prowl is scheduled for July 31st, the night of the second full moon in the same month – a Blue Moon!
Where do we meet? We’ll gather on the Main Mall in front of the UT Tower.
How long is the Prowl? The Prowl is a 1 1/2 – 2 hour walking tour, with “sit-down” stops along the way.
Photo above: Prowlers gathered on the East Mall steps to hear about the student antics in old B. Hall, the University’s first men’s dorm, where The Eyes of Texas was written.
Can anyone attend? Everyone is welcome. But parents who want to bring small children are cautioned that the wee ones generally get bored quickly, and want to either race down the South Mall or jump into Littlefield Fountain. Parents wind up chasing after their future Olympians and miss out on the tour.
What if it rains? If at all possible, the Prowl will go on rain or (moon)shine. Some of the best Prowls have taken place under a steady sprinkle. If it’s raining, bring umbrellas and we’ll adjust the tour stops to be mostly indoors. If there’s a severe storm at Prowltime, or one is imminent, we’ll look at rescheduling.
Photo above right: Moonlight Prowlers learn about the symbolism behind the ornamentation on campus buildings.
Do I need to bring flashlights? Nope. I’ll bring the Official Prowl Flashlight, known around NASA as the “OPF.”
What do I wear to the Prowl? Come comfortably dressed for a nighttime walk around the UT campus. Some Prowlers have arrived decked out in suits and evening dresses. Others have shown up in shorts and t-shirts, and more than a few have done the tour barefoot. Since it’s summer, I recommend leaving the winter coats at home, and you might want to spray on some mosquito repellent beforehand.
Photo at left: Some tour stops are in classrooms. Here, Prowlers learn about early UT football and the first stadium on the campus, built by the students in a week! (And, yes, the Prowl is come as you are – shoes are optional.)
Is this an official UT program? No, the Moonlight Prowl is not sponsored by the University of Texas. Think of it as a hobby that’s gotten out of control. I enjoy learning about the University’s history and sharing what I’ve discovered.
This will be Prowl number 603! A little history about the first tour is here.
The Daily Texan covered the 500th Prowl here.
In 2000, the Moonlight Prowl was a “Best of Austin” choice in the Austin Chronicle here.
See you on July 31st!