Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund A. Paredes led a group of state and North Texas area dignitaries at the Oct. 13 ceremonial groundbreaking for the first building on the future campus of UNT at Dallas. The ceremony was held on the 264-acre site for the new campus at Camp Wisdom and Houston School roads, just north of Interstate 20.
Other state and local officials and community leaders participating included Texas Sen. Royce West of Dallas, Texas Rep. Jesse Jones of Dallas, Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Donald W. Hill and UNT System Regents Gayle Strange (’67), vice chair, and Marjorie Craft (’68).
Work began on utilities and the road at the new campus site in the summer. Construction of the first academic and administrative building started this fall with classes to begin in the new building in January 2007.
When enrollment at the current UNT Dallas Campus equals 1,000 full-time equivalent students, UNT can begin the process of opening UNT at Dallas. The unofficial on-site enrollment at the UNT Dallas Campus this fall was 1,450 students, or 564 students in full-time equivalents — a 20.8 percent increase in headcount and a 33.3 percent increase in FTE enrollment over Fall 2004.
The master plan for development of the UNT at Dallas campus recently won the 2005 award for excellence in planning and excellence in architecture from the Society for College and University Planning and the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on Architecture for Education.
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Patti LaBelle,Grammy Award-winning recording artist, and Dolores Huerta, co-founder and first vice president emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, received honorary doctor of humane letters degrees from the university on their trips to campus this fall.
LaBelle’s Sept. 22 speaking engagement at the Coliseum turned into an impromptu concert when she learned that Gulf Coast residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina were given free admission. Proceeds from the event went to support Division of Equity and Diversity student scholarships and hurricane relief efforts, and a Patti LaBelle Scholarship was established to be awarded to UNT students who have demonstrated a commitment to community service. LaBelle dedicates her time to issues such as adoption, foster care, AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease.
Huerta spoke at the University Union Oct. 14 at “Reaching La Raza: Catering to the Future,” the 16th annual Latinos in the 21st Century conference presented by the Division of Equity and Diversity. She was awarded the honorary degree in acknowledgment of her more than 50 years of work and commitment to human rights. Other speakers at the conference included Luis Valdez, founder of the Hispanic theatrical troupe El Teatro Campesino, and radio psychologist Isabel Gomez-Bassols.
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Star Award finalist
UNT’s Multicultural Scholastic Award program was named a Star Award finalist by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board this fall. The awards program recognizes the outstanding recruitment and retention initiatives in Texas helping to meet the goals of the state’s “Closing the Gaps by 2015” higher education plan.
The MSA program provides financial assistance and academic and professional support to traditionally underrepresented students to help them succeed in college and graduate school. MSA applications for Fall 2006 will be available Jan. 1. For more information, contact the Center for Outreach and Community Involvement in the Division of Equity and Diversity at (940) 369-7391, or visit the web site at www.unt.edu/edo/msa.htm.
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The Ronald C. Waranch Tennis Pavilion, which was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Homecoming Nov. 19, has already been chosen as the host site for the 2007 Sun Belt Conference tennis championship. The 12-court complex with a clubhouse is located at the entrance to Victory Hall on South Bonnie Brae and Walt Parker Drive. The $3 million facility is named for Waranch (’54), who owns Villa Pacific Building Co. in Los Angeles.
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Gloria Cox, associate professor of political science and director of UNT’s former honors program, has been named the first dean of the university’s new Honors College. Cox joined the UNT faculty in 1990 as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. She became an associate professor in the department in 1997. She was also assistant director and later director of the Office of Academic Core Programs. In 2004, Cox was presented with the UNT President’s Award for her efforts to advance the honors program and the National Student Exchange program. For more information on the Honors College, visit www.unt.edu/honors or call (940) 565-3305.
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