Dec. 7, 2017

Dear UNT community,

I'm proud of our Mean Green football team's outstanding performance this season, and I hope you'll join me in cheering them on as they go for one more chance to Light the Tower Green this year, when they take on Troy at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 16!

The team's performance under the leadership of second-year head coach Seth Littrell exemplifies the transformation happening in our athletics program, and I'm predicting a great matchup between two teams with strong coaches. I'd love to see a large showing of the Mean Green Nation in New Orleans to celebrate our team. A variety of fun events like the Coaches Radio Show, I Love the 90s Concert and Pre-Game Pep Rally are planned.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Tickets: UNT will be seated on the east side of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and reserved seating is on sale for $40 and $60. All ticket purchases made through the North Texas Ticket Office, unlike monies paid to other vendors, remain at UNT and support our student-athletes. Student tickets are $10 and must be claimed by visiting the ticket office at Apogee Stadium or calling 940-565-2527 or 800-868-2366.

Alumni Travel Experience: The UNT Alumni Association is offering a travel package that includes roundtrip charter bus travel from Denton, mid-field premium game tickets and a one-night stay at the official team hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Pricing is available for single, double and quad rooms. All guests must be 21 years old. Buses will depart Denton at 6 a.m. Dec. 15 and return following the bowl game.

Student Travel Experience: Mean Green Athletics is offering a $60 student travel experience that includes roundtrip charter bus transportation from Denton to New Orleans, a double-occupancy hotel room and game ticket. Buses will depart early Dec. 15 and return to Denton following the game on Dec. 16. Students are responsible for the cost of all meals and incidentals. Only 165 travel packages are available and the deadline to sign up is midnight Dec. 10, so act fast! 

New Orleans Commencement Ceremony: Fall bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree candidates who previously applied for graduation ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 are invited to participate in a UNT Commencement Ceremony in New Orleans. Graduates must RSVP for the ceremony, which will take place at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 15. Your family and friends are welcome to join us!

Game Watch Parties: If you can't make it to New Orleans, you still can watch the game with other Mean Green fans! The game will be broadcast on ESPN and it'll be shown at The Syndicate in the University Union. Game sound will be on at Eastside in Denton and Dot's Hop House and Cocktail Yard in Dallas. For UNT fans in Collin County, head over to Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Allen, where UNT alum Todd Samuels ('90) has organized a watch party with giveaways and UNT door prizes.

Our student-athletes have made incredible achievements this fall, and I'm filled with a sense of pride watching them achieve their goals. Football isn't alone. The Mean Green soccer team won its 13th league title, the volleyball team earned its first-ever regular season conference championship and our men's and women's basketball teams are off to exciting starts. Each of our teams is exhibiting a high quality of competition.

When Wren Baker, our vice president and director of athletics, joined UNT in 2016, I charged him with building a “Tier One” athletics program that matched our excellence in academics and research. He certainly is on the right path to delivering on his promise to provide student-athletes - and all student fans - with opportunities to experience first-class athletics. I look forward to what is to come!

Go Mean Green!

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk