Welcome to UNT 101, a weekly series to prepare you to hit the ground running for your new life at UNT. We’ve interviewed Eagle Ambassadors (read: UNT aficionados) about everything from the best places to study to the best music venues in town. Let their answers be your guide to joining the Mean Green family.
Established in 1890, UNT has 128 years of history, trivia and general quirkiness to draw from, and few people know the ins and outs of UNT’s past and present better than the Eagle Ambassadors. Here are a few of their favorite tidbits:
UNT wasn’t always the large and thriving university that we all currently know and love. It actually started off in a rented space above a hardware store in downtown Denton. The school was established with only 70 students under the name Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute.
With an 875-acre campus, each building at UNT has its own history and tells a story. Here are just a few fun facts:
- Built during the Vietnam War, a time when campus protests were common across the country, legend has it Wooten Hall was designed with riot prevention in mind, with an exterior that would prevent potentially angry protesters from throwing things into the building.
- Chilton Hall (pictured) used to house World War II soldiers and is known as the inside outside building because part of what used to be the building’s exterior is now seen on the inside.
The UNT Dragons?
A petition that resulted in an eagle being chosen as the new mascot included other finalists such as the Hawks, the Lions and the Dragons, which finished as the runner-up. Don’t worry, it wasn’t that close. Eagle won in a landslide with 17 times the votes that Dragon received. #CAW
Light it up
The green lights of McConnell Tower date back to the 1970s, after losing a football game to rivals SMU resulted in the doors of the Hurley Administration Building being painted red and blue. Rather than retaliate, the Talons had the green lights installed and they’ve been lit to signal Mean Green victories across all sports ever since.
Homecoming is a time for festivities and fun. One of the earliest celebrations that involved a football game dates back to 1929 when the Eagles defeated East Texas State Teachers College 34-0. Activities included a parade around the square, a boarding house decoration contest and a pre-game barbeque. Any of these sound familiar?
UNT has its fair share of notable alumni. Dr. Phil attended the university to get his doctoral degree; the late Bob Dorough, the creative genius behind Schoolhouse Rock, is also a UNT graduate and UNT College of Music alumni have more Grammy wins than Beyoncé. It’s safe to say that our graduates go on to do amazing things.