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UNT Insider - Information for UNT alumni and friends
UNT Insider | January 2007 Issue

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President's Note
President Gretchen M. Bataille visits with UNT alumni and friends at a December reception in New York City.

President Gretchen M. Bataille visits with UNT alumni and friends at a December reception in New York City.

Dear Alum,

As many of you know, I am halfway through my nationwide inaugural tour and I've truly enjoyed being able to personally visit with so many of you during these alumni receptions.

Your willingness to share your amazing stories is a treat for me. Most recently, I was in Washington, D.C., where the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia kindly hosted a beautiful reception for more than 80 alumni and friends. What I heard there, and what I'm hearing again and again from alumni, is that North Texas gave them a solid foundation to pursue their goals and dreams.

This passion makes me even more proud of UNT and demonstrates the importance of ensuring that our quality programs continue. I strive to do just that during Texas' 80th legislative session, which kicked off in Austin this month. This session gives me the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to legislators that UNT is an outstanding university serving thousands of Texans.

I will join Chancellor Lee F. Jackson and the UNT System in its push for approval to establish the UNT College of Law, which would become the first public law school in the city of Dallas as early as 2009. In addition, I will show lawmakers the importance of increasing the funding allocated to our university so that we may offer better service to our students, expand the special initiatives we provide to improve our communities and strengthen our research.

I know you share my enthusiasm for these goals and that you are part of a dedicated and proud group of alumni. I encourage that and hope you will use your green pride to become more involved in UNT - attend one of the inaugural tour gatherings if possible, support our interests during this legislative session or just brag on your North Texas experiences whenever you can.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


Spring Family Day

Join us for UNT's first Spring Family Day
I'd like to encourage you to attend our first Spring Family Day Feb. 17, which is specially designed to give families of UNT alumni, students, faculty and staff the opportunity to come together during the spring semester. Activities include tailgating in the Coliseum, cheering on the Mean Green basketball teams against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and laughing it up at A Night of Comedy featuring Vic Henley. I'm giving away a Family Pack for the day (two adult tickets and two child tickets) in a random drawing. And I'll throw in a few T-shirts. To participate, e-mail me at by 5 p.m. Feb. 5.


PACCAR Foundation gives $1.5 million to College of Engineering
Our university recently received a $1.5 million donation to benefit research and teaching in the College of Engineering. About $1 million of the gift will create permanent endowments to establish the PACCAR Technology Institute at the UNT Research Park and will allow us to further our multidisciplinary research at the new institute, where UNT will furnish state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms. The remainder of the donation enables us to endow the PACCAR Professorship for a full-time, tenured engineering professor. These amazing strides would not be possible without the generous gift from PACCAR Inc., a multinational transportation and technology company based in Belleville, Wash., and the parent company of Denton-based Peterbilt Motors Company. We are excited about this collaboration with a company that has a significant impact on the development of transportation solutions and technologies.

Howard Johnson

Provost to begin work for UNT System Feb. 1
Howard Johnson, who has served as UNT's provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2003, accepted a UNT System-level position that he will begin Feb. 1. He has agreed to this new challenge to help our System develop plans to address state priorities for student access and timely graduation, while he seeks a position as a university president. I have appointed Gary S. Krahenbuhl, formerly senior vice president at Arizona State University, to serve as UNT's interim provost and vice president for academic affairs while we conduct a national search to fill the position. Dr. Krahenbuhl will begin work at UNT Feb. 1.

UNT Dallas brand

Dallas Campus leaps forward
Earlier this month, I enjoyed participating in the grand opening event for the first building on the campus of the future UNT Dallas. I also was excited to see the UNT System unveil branding for the UNT Dallas Campus and for the future UNT Dallas. This means when UNT Dallas emerges as the first full-fledged, public university inside the Dallas city limits in the next few years, it already will have its own individual colors (gold and blue), its own mascot (a leaping, roaring Jaguar), its own word marks and a permanent campus in southern Dallas. The Dallas Campus will remain an extension of our Denton campus until enrollment in Dallas reaches the equivalent of 1,000 full-time students and the UNT System can establish the new university. This is indeed a major milestone for the up-and-coming university.

Chestnut Hall

Chestnut Hall opens in time for Spring semester
I also was lucky enough to be among the first to tour the newly constructed Chestnut Hall, home to the Student Health and Wellness Center, Career Center, Counseling and Testing Services, Student Money Management Center and the Wellness Resource and Substance Abuse Resource Center. The 74,000-square-foot building at the corner of Chestnut and Avenue D, which cost about $18 million, replaces what many of you will remember as the health center that was built as a student hospital in 1958. This new expanded facility is truly state-of-the-art and allows our university to offer students an even higher quality of service.

Andrew B. Harris

Faculty Focus: Andrew B. Harris
My congratulations to Andrew B. Harris, one of our gifted theatre professors who recently earned the 2007 Golden Pen Award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology for his book, The Performing Set: The Broadway Designs of William and Jean Eckart (published by the UNT Press). Dr. Harris will receive the award, which is given annually to the author of an outstanding publication in the field of design and production for the performing arts, at the institute's annual conference and stage expo in March in Phoenix. I'm also proud to tell you that scenes from his play, The Eternal Romeo and Juliet, will debut in February in London at the remains of the historic Rose Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse where William Shakespeare is believed to have performed. These accomplishments are certainly an honor for Dr. Harris and truly speak highly of his work.

Old Normal Building

UNT Traditions: Old Normal Building
This month, the city of Denton kicked off a yearlong sesquicentennial celebration, which will include a special exhibit featuring the rich history of our university. Photos and items from what was Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute in 1890, and items from the decades since, will be displayed in the UNT Archives' Treasures of UNT exhibit through the spring semester. To help celebrate our history, I wanted to share this photo - it is one of the few that remain of the Old Normal Building. Built in 1891, the building was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1907, according to University Archives.

Library Mall webcam

Featured Link: Library Mall Webcam
If you are nostalgic for your North Texas days but can't make it back to campus, you might enjoy a virtual visit through the university's webcam. These days it is especially helpful in watching the progress of the Library Mall renovation project, which is expected to be complete this semester. The $1.36 million project will add a waterfall feature at the south end of the mall, bring additional renovations to Jody's Fountain (which was renovated for use as a working fountain in April 2005), add a water feature between the fountain and Cartwright Plaza, and improve or add landscaping, paving and seating areas throughout the area.

North Texas Exes

North Texas Exes
The North Texas Exes and UNT Foundation recently came together in an effort that will ensure more scholarship dollars faster for our students. In what Exes and Foundation board members are calling a "pragmatic approach," the two entities directed more than $72,000 of unrestricted assets - in addition to $10,221 from anonymous Foundation board members - to turn 31 scholarship accounts into formal endowed funds. This means that each of the accounts, which total $278,000, have reached the required minimum gift amount set by the UNT System Board of Regents to become endowed and begin accumulating enough investment income to generate scholarships. It is anticipated that more than $11,000 will be distributed from these endowments in the first year of operation alone. This is great news as we work to offer our current and future students more scholarship opportunities. To learn about fun alumni activities and chapters to join, visit

January 2007

At a Glance

Join us for UNT's first Spring Family Day

PACCAR Foundation gives $1.5 million to College of Engineering

Provost to begin work for UNT System Feb. 1

Dallas Campus leaps forward

Chestnut Hall opens in time for spring semester

Faculty Focus: Andrew B. Harris

UNT Traditions:
Old Normal Building

Featured Link: Library Mall Webcam

North Texas Exes

Don't Forget!

I invite you to join me in San Antonio Feb. 21, Houston Feb. 24 and Los Angeles March 8 as part of my nationwide inaugural tour.

UNT offers numerous entertainment opportunities, most often presented by our College of Music, School of Visual Arts and Department of Dance and Theatre.

About UNT Insider

The UNT Insider, a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

The UNT Insider is brought to you by the Office of the President in conjunction with the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing. Please send any comments or suggestions to

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