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The North Texan welcomes letters from alumni and friends. Send letters, with writer's full name and address, to

The North Texan, University of North Texas, Office of University Communications and Marketing, P.O. Box 311070, Denton, Texas 76203-1070.

Letters may also be faxed to (940) 369-8763, sent via Internet to or submitted on this page. Letters may be edited for length and publication style.



The letter from Dr. Frank C. Spencer in the summer issue recalling Dr. James Carrico, head of the chemistry department in the '40s and '50s, caused my recollection of Frank Spencer, who in 1941-42 was a star student in Dr. Fred Connell's physics class in which I also was a student.

My memories of North Texas are mostly from the time I was on the staff as auditor and associate business manager, 1949-55. Dr. W.J. McConnell was the president when I started, and we worked to get a separate board of regents for North Texas, which at that time was governed by the Teachers College Board. Dr. Carl Matthews was installed as president on the retirement of Dr. McConnell.

The construction of Fouts Field, a basketball field house, Bruce Hall, the Quadrangle and Masters Hall came about around this time, as did the start of the Administration Building.

I knew well Alex Dickie, Sam McAlister, Carrico, Robert Toulouse, J.K.G. Silvey, Floyd Graham, T.J. Fouts, Sadie Kate Bass, Imogene Bentley, Arthur Sampley and all other department heads as I prepared the budget for the college. We had about 6,000 students including many veterans, and the tuition and fees were $40 for Texas residents and $125 for out-of-staters.

From 1955 to retirement in 1985, I was business manager of public schools in Midland, San Antonio and Alamo Heights. Now I raise longhorn cattle in Llano County. Thanks for The North Texan — keep it coming.

Harry W. Stanford ('42)
via e-mail

Great idea

I really enjoyed reading the article on Swapping Places in the summer issue (in which students renovated a room in each of four residence halls).

  West Hall's kitchenette

Residents of Maple Hall turned West Hall’s kitchenette into a blue and chrome kitchen and entertainment area during UNT’s Swapping Places project.


Since I am a former resident of all four dorms and was a resident assistant at Maple Hall for three semesters, it was fun to see the changes to each of the rooms.

What great changes these residents and students brought to the university — wish we had thought of such a great idea while I was there. Keep up the great articles.

Jill Spencer ('96)


Dr. Mitchell

I am saddened by the news of Dr. Giles Mitchell's passing (spring issue). I first had the occasion to study literature under his tutelage as a sophomore. I was so impressed by his style of teaching and his love for literature that I declared English as my major and went on to take three more of his classes, including "Creative Writing" and "History of the Novel," a graduate class that I somehow registered for as an undergrad.

He was truly a champion of literature. I remember learning about the "heroic system of fate" and wondered if I'd ever use that again. I am proud to say that last summer when I was studying novel writing with the head of the M.F.A. department at Arizona State University, this subject came up and I was the only one in the class who knew about it.

Since then I have gone on to teach writing at the Dallas County Community College District, hopefully with the same enthusiasm that Dr. Mitchell always exhibited.

I am sure that students and faculty alike realize the rare gem that we had in Dr. Mitchell.

Yvette R. Blair ('95)

Lost Battalion

On page 11 of the spring issue, there was a reference to prisoners of war and the Lost Battalion. One of my relatives, who had recently graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, was ordered to the battleship USS Houston. The ship disappeared without any kind of signal. The Japanese had knocked out the Houston's radio room and, due to other damage, it sank.

There was no notice about the crew, but the young officer's mother never gave up. Finally, the family got word he and others were alive in a POW camp in Burma. He eventually got home alive but in bad shape.

Part of the Lost Battalion was from the Wichita Falls area. They also had a horrible prison life.

G.F. Whitlow ('48)

Ol' birdOld Scrappy

An article in the fall 2002 North Texan featuring the new Scrappy reminded me of the old Scrappy who looked quite scrappy indeed.

Although a fine job was done on the creation of the new bird, he seems to me somewhat buff over substance and a sort of pumped-up cliché.

The original Scrappy, whose picture I am submitting from the cover of an old Spanish textbook, had the defiant look of an irascible underdog (perfect for UNT). As I recall, the girls used to think he was cute as well.

Let's bring old Scrappy back.

A.B Thomas ('66)



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