Friday, Aug. 27, 2021

Dear UNT Community,

I am saddened to share the news of the death of Calvin Cleave ‘Jitter' Nolen, who served as university president from 1971 to 1979, a period of tremendous growth and progress for North Texas. He died Aug. 13 at age 96 and flags will be flown at half-staff in remembrance. 

During President Nolen's eight years at North Texas, enrollment rose 11% and the budget increased 66%. Our campus grew significantly, with construction completed on Wooten Hall, the Art Building, the Coliseum, the General Academic Building, and the Sullivant Visitor Center, which is now the Sullivant Public Safety Center. Our University Union also was expanded, construction began on the Physical Education Building and a south wing was added to the Music Building.

President Nolen was considered one of North Texas' most personable and active presidents, and someone who helped us expand our reach into the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 1975, the Texas Legislature placed the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth under the university's Board of Regents and Nolen served a dual role as president of TCOM, known today as the UNT Health Science Center. 

He worked hard to move North Texas from “good” to “great” and programs established during his time include the School of Community Service, the Intensive English Language Institute, and the computer science department. His hire of Hayden Fry as football coach and athletic director also led to winning seasons for the Mean Green football team.

It has been 50 years since President Nolen joined the university family and because of his leadership, we continue to transform our students' lives. Please keep President Nolen's family in your thoughts as we remember his legacy. 

Neal Smatresk
UNT President