TI Gator Day Goes Virtual


Every year for the past nine years, Professor and Chair John Harris has made a point of traveling to Dallas to celebrate TI Gator Day. It’s a fun and unique way to celebrate the long and fruitful partnership between Texas Instruments (TI) and ECE Florida. Dr. Harris gets a chance to meet with all the Gator Engineers currently working at TI, and the alumni get a chance to reminisce while providing valuable, real-world feedback to the department about how their education has served them in the working world.

This year, with travel restrictions and social distancing requirements, an in-person get together was not an option. In response to this unprecedented time, Senior Director of Development for ECE Sarah Johnson and TI’s University Recruiting Manager for UF Alayna Guerro spearheaded the move to a virtual, online TI Gator Day. After a great deal of planning, Gator Engineers at TI celebrated their shared history with ECE Florida on July 22.

The virtual brown-bag lunch included an ECE-themed trivia contest and a contest to determine whose garb and/or background showed the most Gator spirit. In an effort to make it a fair competition, ├╝ber-Gator alum Rob Taylor had to be banned from the spirit competition. Taking first prize in the Gator spirit contest was Leonidas Lavdas.┬áHere’s the proof…


Brown-baggers also had a chance to hear from two current UF students in the middle of (virtual) summer internships at TI. Andy Yang and Olivia Brandel shared their experiences as interns and described a bit about the working world and the TI culture.

There was, of course, a whole lot of smack-talking about the hotly contested student/faculty volleyball, basketball, and chess matches that have taken place over the years. But more importantly, there was a great deal of camaraderie and good vibes as ECE Florida alumni were able to reminisce together about their time at UF.