Halley's Comet
Halley's Comet was first photographed in 1910.

An Auspicious Sign


Halley’s Comet is visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years. In 1910, it streaked across our skies leaving a spectacular trail that illuminated the heavens for all to see. In fact, in that year, the tail of the comet actually passed through the Earth’s orbit allowing the collection of important data on astral wavelengths and radiation. The 1910 comet was also the first Halley’s Comet to be photographed—giving many a lasting reminder of its beauty and power. All in all, the 1910 apparition was an event of great significance for science and watchers of the sky.

But something else of lasting impact was happening at The University of Texas at Austin.

In 1910, Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE) was created by the university's Board of Regents on the recommendation of President Sidney R. Mezes. The “Extension Department,” as the division was then called, was formed “to make the university more useful to the people of Texas.”

As we celebrate our 100th anniversary, CIE now encompasses programs ranging from K-16, distance education, evening and online courses, professional certification, training for the petroleum industry, and options in personal enrichment.

Somehow, it's fitting that CIE shares a landmark with such an auspicious event. Perhaps Halley's Comet was a sign of the impending impact CIE would have on countless students in Texas and around the world.

Read this blog daily as we collect stories from the CIE’s students, faculty and staff who've been impacted by CIE’s role on our campus. Individually, we hope these stories will inform, entertain, and inspire you. Collectively, we hope to create a portrait of the impact CIE has had on Texas and the world for 100 years.

Stay tuned.


Tags: sidney r. mezes, halley's comet, extension department, anniversary, 100 years,