Elida Tamez, director of development for the College of Music, describes her position at UNT as her "third incarnation" at the university.
She received bachelor's degrees in both history and English from North Texas in 1981, became a trade book manager with the University Bookstore in 1988, and obtained her current position with the College of Music in 2000.
James Scott, dean of the College of Music, says Tamez's enthusiasm for her job and the university is highlighted in her work.
"She is a splendid development officer who wins the friendship and respect of all those with whom she works," says Scott. "She has an unflagging dedication to the College of Music and UNT."
As a director of development Tamez solicits donations for the College of Music from alumni, friends of UNT and various corporations. Whether she extends an invitation to a concert, dinner or reception, she helps gather donors interested in the advancement and success of the music program and the university.
Tamez is a longtime UNT community member and Denton resident. For the past 20 years she has lived in a 1600-square-foot home built in 1928, located five blocks from the Courthouse Square.
"When I first saw the house, there was something that compelled me to buy it," says Tamez. "I wanted to make that house my home."
The California bungalow-style home has hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves and archways uncommon in more modern homes. The last major renovation to the house was in 1940, though Tamez has continued to modernize the home.
She and her husband, Theron Palmer, have replaced a bay window with French doors that open onto a newly constructed deck overlooking their gardens.
The four gardens, which she created with the help of her husband, a graduate student in environmental science at UNT, are Tamez's most prized renovations and the focal point of the home.
"I wanted to utilize the outside of the home and treat the yard as an extension of the house," Tamez says. "I think of them as outdoor rooms."
Much of Tamez's time is spent on activities that involve her love of plants and landscaping. She develops her passion for gardening by reading horticulture books and magazines and by researching native Texas plants. She also travels to nurseries throughout Texas for ideas for her landscape gardens.
"When I am in my home, I feel really good," Tamez says. "I consider it my sanctuary in the city."
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