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:
Transfer T-Shirt Bonfire
The homecoming bonfire is an important tradition for most universities, but for students who choose to transfer to UNT, our tradition differs slightly. To declare yourself a fully-fledged UNT Eagle, you can burn your former university’s shirt in the flames of our homecoming bonfire. The best part? When you donate another university’s T-shirt to the fire, you get a brand new UNT shirt to keep.
UNT wasn’t always the large and thriving university that we currently know and love. It was actually founded in a small, 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.
Light the Tower
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 ever since to signal that a Mean Green victory has taken place across all UNT sports.
Rock Bottom Lounge
Long before the Syndicate came around, UNT students were enjoying live music and performances by their peers. The Rock Bottom lounge served as a social hub for students beginning in 1976. It hosted happy hour, comedy nights and themed parties throughout its 14 years of service to the UNT community. Though the lounge has been closed since 1990, its spirit lives on through UNT’s current festivities in the University Union.
7th smallest book in the world
UNT’s miniature book collection began in the 1930’s when Gustine Courson Weaver donated a collection of miniature children’s books. Since then, the collection has grown to include nearly 3,000 tomes. While serval books in the collection were, at some point the “smallest book in the world,” today UNT is the proud holder of the 7th smallest book in the world.
Super Pit name
The UNT Coliseum, better known as The Super Pit, is home to the Mean Green basketball teams. The building opened with a Mean Green victory over TCU in 1973 and was immediately regarded as one of the finest basketball facilities in the southwest. This legendary beginning paired with the history of the original court, dubbed the “Snake Pit,” created a brand name for the building that would stick with it for many years to come.
There are a lot of football movies out there, but there’s only one that uses your favorite university as it’s setting. In 1991 a comedy based on the SMU “Ponygate” scandal was filmed in UNT’s very own Fouts Field.