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Transportation has always been a concern for students, but also for the citizens of Denton. In 1908, the Denton Traction Company sought to solve this problem with the introduction of street cars. The corporation was headed by H. M Griffin.  R. J. and W. W. Wilson purchased control of the operation in 1909.

The streetcars moved from the train depot to the downtown area. The cars then moved out to North Texas Normal College (now the University of North Texas). The streetcar moved west on Oak to Fry Street, then south one block to West Hickory where it turned and moved along West Hickory to Avenue C. At that point the line turned south and continued to Mill Street, turned west and stopped at the hill on Highland Park, a popular picnic spot, near what is now UNT’s Apogee Stadium area.  In August 1911, the extension of the line to the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman’s University) was completed.

By 1912, public school students could buy a book of forty tickets for a dollar. Other members of the public could purchase twenty-four tickets for the same price. The streetcars operated on a 10-minute schedule in 1911. By 1917, the time schedule had increased to 20 minutes. 

The ability to catch a ride to the city center lasted for about ten years.  In 1918, the service was ended. The cause was a combination of financial troubles and the rise in popularity of the automobile. The rails, poles, wires, cars, etc. were sold by R. J. Wilson to the American Junk Company. The Denton Traction Company’s realty was not included in the initial sale. The right of way for the streetcar line near Texas Woman’s University was converted into a narrow street, the north end of Oakland Street.

The Denton Traction Company’s power plant, located south of the city power plant, was eventually sold. John Johnson broke ground in 1939 for the construction of the Raw Water Ice and Cold Storage Company in the company’s power plant location. The construction of the new business was estimated to cost $60,000.

Although cars and busses replaced the Denton Traction Company, the joy and efficiency of catching a ride on an electric streetcar was a brief part of Denton’s history.

Students pose in a streetcar.

An image of the Denton Square shows the impact of car culture in the 20th century. The photo is undated. 

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            The Current Literature Club, an organization for women who shared an interest in literature, decided to bring the arts and lectures on current events to campus. The goal was to expand access to drama, music, and knowledge of world events to the student body.   In 1903, the Current Literature Club sponsored the first “Lyceum Entertainment.”  The performance consisted of a reading of “David Harum”, which started as a best-selling book, first published in 1898, by Edward Noyes Westcott.  Edward P. Elliot portrayed each of the twelve characters.


            “From the interest shown in these entertainments, and from the

            packed house that greeted Mr. Elliot, we feel sure a complete

            course of lyceum lectures would be appreciated by the students,

            and hope that arrangements for such can be made for the coming


                        The North Texas Journal, 1903


            That hope was fulfilled as fine art programs and lecturers were brought to campus to expand the cultural horizons of students and the citizens of Denton. Among the early acts booked were the Metropolitan Grand Quartette, Grand Opera Singers, Henry Lawrence Southwick (a performer of Shakespeare’s works), Maude Powel (violinist), and Sir Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic Motion Pictures.

            The Lyceum Series, or popularly known as the Lyceum Course, was also a popular place to meet or take a date. This social aspect was captured in a poem that was published in the 1925 Yucca:


            “Any girl can be gay, in a nice coupe,

            In a show they can all watch you slumber.

            But the girl worthwhile is the girl who can smile,

            When you take her to a lyceum number.”


            By 1917, the performers were booked by the Calendar Committee and tickets could be purchased for $1.50. By 1919, the Lyceum Series was paid for by a student activity fee. Season tickets were also sold to the citizens of Denton. Tickets could be purchases at the college library or Curtis’s Drug Store.

            The Mary Arden Club also sponsored the Lyceum Series into the 1920s. Then the Fine Arts Committee was formed. Dr. Sam B. McAlister served as its chair for 31 years, until 1963.           

            The composition of the Fine Arts Committee has been altered many times over the years. By 1971, there were no students on the committee. However, in 1972, the committee was reorganized to have an equal number of faculty and students.

            The Fine Arts Series was not stopped during times of war. However, the world pandemic of 2020 did temporarily stop the program.

            By the 1930’s the Fine Arts Committee, composed of faculty and students, brought nationally and internationally known artists to campus and funded performances by the College Players.  In 1938, The Eva Jessye Choir performed in the auditorium, in what is now called the Auditorium Building. She was the first African American woman to be an internationally known choral conductor. She also served as the musical director with George Gershwin on Porgy and Bess. The Martha Graham Dance Company and the premier of the opera “Cynthia Parker,” by composer and UNT alumna Julia Smith, were just two of the offerings that the activity fee made possible in 1939. In 1945, the Yucca (the school yearbook), stated that “…since its inception, [it] has attempted to provide a series of programs in which every student regardless of individual tastes would find numbers that he would enjoy. These various types of programs are alternated throughout the year.”

            Lectures were part of the diverse educational offerings.  John Dewy, Margaret Bourke White, Senator Robert La Follette, and Lech Walesa addressed the students.  The Campus Chat (now known as the North Texas Daily), stated that “…the Normal has always maintained a strong course of lectures and entertainments, each year securing the best available talent.  Men and women of national reputation, famous as leaders in public life, noted artists, musicians, and writers have been secured, who have contributed much to the student’s realization of the college purpose of helpfulness and spiritual uplift.” [Campus Chat, 1963-05-07]

            Maria Tallchief appeared with the Chicago Opera Ballet, Jose Ferrer, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra were among the artists that appeared in the 1950s and 1960s. Not all acts that appeared were successful. One, Love is a Ball, received bad reviews from the audience. It closed soon after playing Denton. Other acts, such as Hal Holbrook’s performance in Mark Twain Tonight, were great successes.  Other well received programs included the rock musical, Your Own Thing, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dame Judith Anderson playing Hamlet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Hip Pocket Theater production of A Saga of Billy the Kid, the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, the Nishikawa Dance Troup, and the artists Janet Fish and English potter Richard Batterham.

            The conviction that the student experience should be enhanced by bringing the best performers in fine arts (drama and music), exposure to the visual arts, and thought-provoking lectures has continued and become a hallmark of the well-rounded student and graduate of the University of North Texas. The program was honored by having a newly constructed, five hundred seat, auditorium named the Lyceum in the Union Building.  The auditorium name was continued when the Union was expanded in 2015.

Pamphlet of the Current Literature Club for the course of study for the 1924-1925 school year.

The rock musical, Your Own Thing, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Ballet were all part of the Fine Arts Series in the 1969-1970 year.
[1970 Yucca]

The lecture by Lech Walesa, president of Poland, was promoted in the North Texan, Spring 2002.

This page shows two shows that were booked for the Fine Arts Series. One was not well received, the other was very popular.

Cynthia Parker made its premiere in 1939.

A flyer for the Eva Jessye Choir. This would have been posted around campus to advertise this Fine Arts Series event.

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            Pursuing higher education has always been an expensive activity. Students in the 1910s and 1920s faced monetary shortfalls just as today’s students do. However, there was no scholarship office, no grants available to help a student in financial straits. According to the Denton Record Chronicle, the North Texas Normal Student Aid Fund was organized by the senior class of 1914 and Professor E. D. Criddle. By 1916, a faculty committee, composed of Criddle, W. E. James, and Edith Clark, provided oversight in making loans to needy students.

The loans to students varied from $15.00 to $150.00 (the highest amount a student could receive in any one year). To place these amounts in perspective, the entrance fee was about $15.00 during the 1910s.  The textbooks were furnished by the school, which if returned in good condition, could entitle the student to a $2.00 refund. Room and board could be $16.00 to $20.00 per month. The loans were made without interest, but students repaying the loans often added a contribution that was equivalent to interest.

The students’ contribution was raising money for the fund. They held a “circus” every year to provide entertainment to students and the wider Denton community.  The circus was a collection of public performances that were presented outside.  The circus began with a parade that moved down Hickory Street, around the square, and back on Oak Street. The participants in the parade varied by year, but usually included clowns, cars filled with students representing their clubs, displays of circus “animals” (students wearing costumes), and the Normal Band. In some years the circus was held in the college’s athletic park. This was an area from Avenue C to Welch, along Highland Street, that held tennis courts, an archery range, and other areas set aside to provide fresh air and physical activities for the students. The displays could include a wild west show that included exhibition horse riding, a concert by the Normal Band, singers, poetry reading, tableau presentations, skits, and rope walkers. Football and basketball games were also played.

No major campus event would be complete without a queen. Each class nominated a candidate. The winner was the one whose backers bought the most tickets. The queen and her court, after doing their part to raise money for their fellow students, were presented to the public while riding in their own car in the parade.  The queen was also frequently honored by having her image displayed in the college yearbook.

When Professor Criddle died in 1925, the school yearbook noted that 500 students had benefited from the Student Loan Fund. From the mid-1920s on other organizations on campus organized and sponsored additional loan funds. Some of these were targeted at the organization’s members, others were for specific majors. By 1939, Dixie Boyd, the college’s business manager was in charge of the distribution of loans from the various student loan funds.


1917 Circus Queen

Images of the circus and its “animals.”
Images of the circus and its “animals.”
Images of the circus and its “animals.”
Circus Queen, 1918 Yucca

The “circus” in action in 1920.

Views of the Circus Queen and her court and the parade, 1920.

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Dr. Imogene Bentley Dickey Mohat was a member of the UNT community from 1943 to 1979. Students nicknamed her “Big Red” due to her height and her red hair. The Denton Record Chronicle recorded that her motto was, “good discipline is good guidance.”

Imogene Bentley was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She came to Texas as a child and attended the public schools in Paris, Texas. She graduated from Paris High School in 1934.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts from East Texas State College and her master’s and Ph.D. from George Peabody College. Her teaching career started in the public schools in Paris, Texas. She then moved to Paris Junior College. When that institution’s dean became ill, she was called upon to take up many of his duties. When he decided to retire, Ms. Bentley applied for the position. This was a time when few women were considered for or served in administrative positions. She stated that it never occurred to her not to apply as she was already doing the work. She would serve as Dean of Paris Junior College from 1942 until she joined North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas) in the summer of 1943. She joined UNT as a member of the English Department. The following year she was named the Dean of Women.

Being the Dean of Women during a time of war brought challenges. Dean Bentley tried to solve a shortage of workers on campus by asking women to register their office skills (typing, shorthand, answering the phone, etc.) with her office. She planned to call on the women who stepped forward to fill positions all over campus.

In 1945, Bentley joined Dr. Max Heubner and Miss Hilda Haynes on the building committee of the ex-student’s association to raise funds for the Student Memorial Building, a union building. Students had long wanted a central gathering place on campus. The campaign for a union was hampered by the Depression, which prevented the school from raising the funds for this project, and then the outbreak of World War II. The campus finally did get a union, after World War II ended. The first union on campus was composed of a repurposed army service center from Camp Bowie. It was dedicated in 1949.

Dr. Bentley was widely known, on campus and off, due to the number of speeches she gave. She spoke to public schools, commencements, community groups, college organizations, and business conferences. In 1958 she spoke to the Texas Bankers Association in Houston. It was the first time in this organization’s 74 years, that a woman was one of the principal speakers. She spoke on Women, Banking and You, stating that, “If you want your women to stay, you pay them enough…..most women no longer choose between career and husband, children and home; they choose them all.” In 1959, she gave a talk on “The Art of Public Speaking,” to the Aerial Club and “Safeguarding Our Freedoms Through Responsible Citizenship” at a PTA conference banquet.

In June 1960, Dr. Bentley married the Reverend Charles Lively Dickey at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Dallas. The groom was the director of New Church Development in the Synod of Texas, United Presbyterian Church. Sadly, the marriage lasted only one year. While the couple was on a trip to San Angelo, Texas, to visit with Dr. Charles Dickey’s daughter from a previous marriage, he died of a heart attack. He was 56 years old.  

In 1968, both the Dean of Women and the Dean of Men, William G. Woods, announced that they wished to leave their positions. Dr. Dickey returned to teaching English while Dr. Woods returned to teaching psychology. Part of Dean Dickey’s contract had always had the provision that she be allowed to teach at least one class in addition to her duties as dean. Her stepping down as dean allowed her to return to teaching full-time.

In 1977, Dr. Dickey moved from the English Department to take up a new position as acting director of the Division of Drama for the Department of Speech Communication and Drama. Dr. Dickey held this position until 1979 when she retired. She was later named a professor emeritus.

In 1983, she married for a second time. The groom, John Theodore Mohat, was a member of the mathematics faculty, formerly the chair of that department. Dr. John Mohat died a decade later, on September 11, 1993, at the age of 69.

Imogene Bentley Dickey Mohat received many honors during her career. Among them were: Distinguished Alumna of East Texas State University; Distinguished Teacher at UNT; Paris Junior College created the Imogene Bentley Dickey Distinguished Scholarship Award in her honor; and the Otis L. Fowler Award in 1989 from the Denton Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Imogene Mohat died at the age of 91 in 2000.

Imogene Dickey 1961.
Imogene Dickey with a student in 1961.
Imogene Dickey in 1963.
Alumni Awards Luncheon, April 27, 1974. She is seen with Dr. Reginald Hinely of the College of Education; James Riddlesperger of the Department of Political Science; and Dr. David Fitch of the College of Business Administration.  They are posed in the Denton Country Club.

Dr. John T. Mohat, the chair of the Mathematics Department, was pictured in the 1970 student yearbook, the Yucca
Dean Dickey is pictured with Dr. Reginald Hinely (Education); Dr. James Riddlesperger (Political Science), and Dr. David Fitch (Business Administration) at the Alumni Awards Luncheon where they were named Distinguished Teachers in 1974.

Posted by & filed under 1910's, 1920's, 1970's, 2000's, 2010's.

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Those words are Title IX, part of the Education Amendments Act, which was signed into law by Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972. The bill prohibited gender discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal funds. It recognized gender equity in education as a civil right.  Among its numerous effects, the bill opened athletic participation to women and girls.

The process of implementation of Title IX took years. The guidelines that governed fulfillment of the terms of the law were not available until 1975. Schools were given until 1978 to provide evidence that they were following the law. The implementation of the law involved scholarships, recruitment, equipment, travel, publicity, and the number and type of sports played.

Institutions face severe penalties for refusal to comply with Title IX. Complaints can result in formal warnings. Investigations can be opened by after series of objections or complaints concerning the implementation of the law. A negative finding can result in a “death” sentence enforced by the Department of Education. The sentence can involve the Department withholding federal funds from the school’s university funds.

The Yucca, Yearbook of North Texas State Normal School, 1912 Page: 153

“The NCAA has set up the Gender Equity task force to ensure compliance to Title IX. The task force has as a goal to increase women’s participation in college sports, not a reduction in men’s participation.” [NTD, 1992-10-06]

The task force looks at three areas to determine if the institution has gender equity: the athletic opportunities should be proportionate to enrollment; there should be a history of increasing opportunities for gender equity in athletics; and the school needs to show that they are doing the work to bring gender equity to athletics in their institution.  They look to see that the opportunities are equivalent but not necessarily identical.

The Yucca, Yearbook of North Texas State Normal College, 1913 Page: 183

There were no organized sports when UNT was founded in 1890. Interest in sports built as the school grew and students looked for social and athletic outlets. During this period of development, both men and women participated in team athletics. In 1902, the same year the men organized a football team, women formed three basketball teams. The teams were named the Cardinals, the Haulein Twelve, and the F.R.O.G.S. Playing as one team, the North Texas women became state champions in 1902. The college built a tennis court in 1905. The first women’s tennis team was formed in 1906. In 1914, Beulah Harriss was hired as the first female coach. She trained both men and women. By 1916, Texas officially entered intercollegiate sports. The women’s basketball team went on to be state champions for three straight seasons, 1918-1920.

The Brownies Basketball Team, 1912.

In 1925, the Texas Teacher’s College Board of Regents voted to abolish all intercollegiate athletics for women. Women at UNT formed intramural teams under the organization of the Women’s Athletic Association. Over the years, women were involved in basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, track and field, and golf. Title IX returned inter-collegiate sports for women at UNT.

Members of the Women’s Athletic Association practice archery.

The implementation of equity in sports at UNT was a slow process. UNT started official varsity athletics for women in 1976.  

Funding needs had to be addressed. Athletics has been financed by student fees, funds from ticket sales, and donations.  Seven women athletes were awarded the first athletic scholarships for women in 1978-1979. By 1979, the men’s athletic program received $62 million, and the women worked with a budget of $157,000. Of the 200 male athletes 150 received scholarships. There were 50 female athletes with 28 receiving scholarships.

Funding influenced which sports were supported and why teams were cut. In 1976, women were able to compete on the basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, volleyball, and track and field teams.  In each case, the university had existing facilities that could be used for the new women’s teams. Between 1988 and 1997 UNT dropped men’s baseball, soccer, and men’s tennis to keep up the financial support of football. In the year 1998, UNT added women’s swimming and diving.

Members of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team in the pool, 2007.

By 2005, under athletic director Rick Villarreal, UNT started to close the equity gap between men’s and women’s athletics. Facilities for women’s teams had been built or were planned for softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and basketball and an indoor golf facility. The complex is located at Eagle Point, on the former Liberty Christian School Campus, which UNT acquired in 2002.

“In 2007, UNT ranked first in the nation and received a grade of ‘A’ on Gender Equity Scorecard, a Penn State at York study measuring a university’s commitment to women’s athletics with criteria such as participation, scholarships, coaches’ salaries, recruitment budget and operating expenses.”

Idalina Franca was a member of the Women’s Tennis Team in 2008.

UNT was one of only 11 schools in the country, and the only program in the South, to receive an ‘A.’” [North Texan, Fall 2008] Villarreal referred to UNT being Title IX compliant in 2009.

Posted by & filed under 1890's, 1900's, 1910's, 1920's, 1930's, 1940's.

Texas Normal College and Teachers Training Institute was founded in 1890 as a private university. Its primary mission was to prepare students to become teachers for the growing North Texas area. The school, now the University of North Texas, was governed by a Board of Trustees. Membership was made up of businessmen and lawyers who helped organize the institution and arranged the acquisition of land for the new institution.

In 1899, the school was accepted as a state institution. From 1901 to 1925, seven normal schools were organized as normal or teachers’ colleges. They were located in San Marcos, Canyon, Denton, Commerce, Alpine, Kingsville, and Nacogdoches. They expanded access to instruction in Texas from the previous three institutions that offered teachers’ training: The University of Texas, Sam Houston, and Prairie View.

Photograph of eight people sitting behind a large wooden table wearing suits. All are white men except for one white woman.

Board of Regents, The Yucca, 1951, p. 232.

In 1911, the state created the State Normal School Board of Regents to oversee the normal schools in the state. The legislation authorized the new Board to transform the state’s normal schools into colleges by 1917. The regents monitored budgets, approved the building of new structures, and most importantly sought to raise the academic standards by providing broadly accepted teacher training across the state. The Board abolished the general course of study and replaced it with five courses of study: the agricultural course, industrial arts course, science course, language course, and primary and art course (for those wanting to teach below the High School level).

The state’s normal colleges would be renamed as Teachers Colleges in 1923. At the same time a name change took place for the State Normal School Board of Regents, making it the Board of Regents, State Teachers Colleges.

In March 1949, a bill was introduced to the Texas Legislature to create a separate Board of Regents for North Texas State Teachers College. At the time, the school was the largest college in Texas without a separate board. The college attained a new Board of Regents on May 23, 1949, when Governor Beauford Jester signed the bill.  

            “The Legislature is to be commended in recognizing the progress of

            North Texas State College by setting up a separate board of regents.

            Since this school is making such wonderful strides in all phases of

            Liberal arts education, it is impractical to assume that it should

            Continue to improve without a separate board for direct supervision.

            With a large portion of the population of Texas concentrated within

            A 50-mile radius of Denton, the future of this school is unlimited,

            Especially with the leadership of its present administration.”

            S. A. Kerr [Denton Record Chronicle, 1949-06-03] 

The new board was made up of nine members, two were alumni (Ben Wooten, chair and Grace Cartwright), and one was a holdover from the previous board (S. A. Kerr, Jr., vice-chair).

Yearbook page with title Board of Regents. A block of text is below the title with a grid of eight photographs below, of all white men and one white woman.

Board of Regents yearbook page, The Yucca, 1949, p. 169.

S. A. Kerr, Jr. was appointed to the Board of Regents, State Teachers Colleges in 1943. In 1949, he was “reappointed” to the new North Texas Board of Regents. His presence offered continuity to the new board. Kerr, from Conroe, Texas, was a manager of a Beall Brothers store. He would later operate Kerr Department Stores in Huntsville and Livingston, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College and a masters from Peabody College. During World War II he served two and a half years in the Navy, first as a purchasing officer and later as a Lieutenant as a clothing officer for the eighth Naval District at New Orleans.

Edward D. Norment, a native of Paris, Texas, worked in the family insurance business before becoming a regent. He was also the vice-president and director of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association. He was a graduate of the University of Texas and served in the Air Corps as a lieutenant at Kelly Field.

Charles I. Francis, a native of Denton, earned a B. A. from the University of Texas, his L.L.B from the University of Michigan, and his L.L.M from the University of Texas Law School. In World War I, he was a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery, U. S. Army. During World War II, he served as a special assistant to the secretary of war and was a consultant to the attorney general of the United States. His career included being a public speaking instructor at the University of Texas, executive positions in energy corporations, working for law firms, and he was assistant to the U. S. attorney general in charge of oil litigation.

Robert H. Montgomery, a Mexia grocer, formerly worked in the wholesale grain business. Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, he came to Texas with his parents when he was five years old. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and Oklahoma A&M College.

George Eagle, native of Fort Worth, Texas, was a funeral director. He graduated from Riverside High School, but did not have an opportunity to attend college. He served as a Fort Worth city councilman from1937 to 1949. He also served on the Fort Worth School Board from 1932 to 1937.

Charles Robert “Bob” McCrady was a former school superintendent, newspaper publisher of the Waxahachie Daily Light, and at the time of his appointment to the board, a chamber of commerce manager and rancher. He was a graduate of Weatherford Junior College, received his B. A. degree from the University of Arkansas, and did graduate work at the University of Denver, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Minnesota.

James Henry Allison of Wichita Falls, was the vice-president and advertising director of the Wichita Daily Times and the Wichita Falls Record News. He was born at Mount Vernon, Ohio. He worked in newspapers and business, but did not attend college.

Black and white photograph of a woman standing between two men posing for a photo. The men wear suits, while she wears a white dress.

Grace Woodruff Cartwright with President Nolen (right) and unidentified man, 1975.

Grace Cartwright, known to her friends as “Amazing Grace,” was an alumna of UNT. She was noted for working to improve the lives of rural Texans. She started by organizing her community in Weatherford to obtain some modern facilities (electricity and phone service were high on her list). She was also involved in clean-up and beautification campaigns and the renovation of the community center. She graduated with a degree in home economics and worked as a demonstration agent in Weatherford for two years before her marriage.

Black and white photograph of older white man sitting at a desk earing a suit.

Ben Wooten, 1956.

Ben Wooten, the Board of Regents chair, was from Dallas. He was an alumnus of UNT. A World War I veteran, he served as a lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps. He fought in the battles of Saint-Mihiel and Meuse Argonne and served in the army of Occupation in Germany. He spent his working life as a banker and was active in community groups.

The new Board of Regents held its first meeting on June 4, 1949. The first order of the day was a motor tour of the campus. President McConnell delivered a report providing basic information on enrollment, buildings under construction or completed, bond issues, and other campus concerns. The last part of the meeting concerned the board’s by-laws and the transfer of funds and payment for services.

Two of the members (Ben Wooten and S. A. Kerr, Jr.) of the first Board of Regents would be honored by having buildings named after them on the UNT campus.

Having its own Board of Regents allowed the university to respond to its continued growth in a timely manner. It would also make becoming a System possible as UNT’s service in the North Texas area expanded.

Posted by & filed under 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, 2010's, 2020's.

Black and white photograph of Stanley Marcus and Yves St. Laurent posing for a photo holding an award.

Stanley Marcus presenting award to Yves St. Laurent, 1958, Georgette de Bruchard.

The collection was founded in 1938 by Stanley and Edward Marcus in honor of their aunt, Carrie Marcus-Neiman.  Ms. Marcus-Neiman was one of the founders of the Neiman-Marcus department store, and an important arbiter of taste and quality. The nucleus of the collection came from the work of top designers featured in the Neiman-Marcus store. In 1962, the Dallas Museum of Fashion was established by the Dallas Fashion Group as a collection preserving the history of clothing as well as highlighting modern designers. Housed at the Apparel Mart in Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Fashion was given the Carrie Marcus-Neiman Collection in the mid-1960’s by Stanley Marcus and the Carrie Marcus-Neiman Foundation. In 1972, an agreement was reached to bring the collection of about 2,000 items to Denton and become part of UNT’s Department of Art, under Dr. Edward Mattill.  At that time the collection was renamed the Texas Fashion Collection.

Color photograph of a mannequin in old fashioned clothes standing at the end of a two-tiered hanging rack full of clothes.

Texas Fashion Collection storage, 2017, Robin Lyle.

The collection now consists of approximately 20,000 items. The focus is on works from the later 19th century onwards, with a focus on post-mid-20th century designers from England, France, and the United States. There are items dating back to the 1700’s, with one piece from the 11th-12th century. The collection also includes items from various traditional cultures around the world. Students and researchers are able to study garments by some of the world’s greatest designers, including Cristobal Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Hubert de Givenchy, and Chanel.

Photograph of a manaquin dressed in traditional Thai temple dancer costume, featuring a yellow top, red skirt, and black neck arm and waist bands, and a tall metal headdress

Thai temple dancer costume, Texas Fashion Collection.

The Texas Fashion Collection has had its items featured in exhibits in the Kimbell Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meadows Museum, and have been loaned to the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the de Young Museum, Museum at FIT, and the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Color photograph of a large room with a riser along the back wall and coming into the center of the floor. Mannequins in evening gowns are displayed along the riser.

Balenciaga and His Legacy: Haute Couture from the Texas Fashion Collection exhibition at the Meadows Museum, May 21, 2007, Michael Bodycomb.

The Texas Fashion Collection is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and documentation of historically significant fashion.  The Texas Fashion Collection is administered by the College of Visual Arts and Design. Learn more on the Texas Fashion Collection website, and view collection items online.

Posted by & filed under 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, 2010's.

Johnny Quinn wearing suit and tie, speaking at a podium

Johnny Quinn speaking at UNT on the Square, June 2, 2015.

Johnny Quinn first came to the attention of the public as an Olympian during the 2014 Russian Olympics in Sochi as a member of the American four-man bobsledding team. He gained notice during the games by becoming trapped in his room’s bathroom and forcing his way out. After tweeting a picture of the door, a version of his name, “Quinning,” was adopted as a description for people powering through life’s obstacles. Quinn’s team, which included Nick Cunningham, Justin Olsen, and Dallas Robinson, finished tenth.

Johnny Quinn racing against another man on a track. They both wear tight uniforms and running shoes.

Johnny Quinn (left) competing in 200 meter dash, April 15, 2006.

Johnny Quinn (1983-) attended McKinney High School, McKinney, Texas, graduating in 2002. He graduated from UNT in 2006 with a degree in criminal justice. During his time as a student, he was a football player and member of the track team. Quinn was a receiver on the football team and competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes on the track team. He attempted a career as a professional football player. He was a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills (2007), the Green Bay Packers (2008), and in the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2009) in the Canadian Football League but was cut from all three teams. Forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury, his agent suggested he try bobsledding, so he attended the team trials in Lake Placid, New York, in 2010, where he came in third and found himself on a team.

Johnny Quinn on football field in full uniform catching a ball.

Johnny Quinn at Fouts Feild, c. 2005.

 Bobsledding, also called bobsleighing, is a sport where competitors are composed of two or four person teams. Teams travel down an ice track in a carbon fiber, four-runner, gravity-powered sled. Speeds can reach 80+ miles per hour. Quinn stated that the ride is like a “really rough roller coaster at Six Flags – and at any time, that roller coaster could break.” [North Texan, 2014-03-28]

Neal Smatresk, Amanda Quinn, and Johnny Quinn posing together. People and the wall of an art gallery are visible behind them.

UNT President Neal Smatresk, Amanda Quinn, and Johnny Quinn at UNT on the Square, June 2, 2015.

Quinn has since shifted his career into promoting student athletes. He founded The Athlete Watch, LLC, a web-based platform for student athletes to market their skills to colleges and universities. He is also a speaker for businesses and organizations and author (Push: Breaking Through the Barriers). He entered the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Posted by & filed under 1960's, 1970's, 1980's.

First opened on June 4, 1971, the new library would not be dedicated for almost a year. On April 26, 1972, librarians, students, administrators, and members of the public gathered to dedicate the new university library. Due to inclement weather, the ceremony was held indoors on the first floor of the library. The guests entered a five-level structure with brightly colored walls and furniture. Many of those gathered remembered that the location where this new building stood was once the site of the school’s first football field.

Dr. David A. Webb, the Director of Libraries, was a driving force in developing the new facility. Dr. Webb served as the Director of Libraries from 1953 to 1978, as well as the director of the School of Library and Information Sciences, now the College of Information. David Webb was responsible for opening the library stacks to students, changing the classification system from Dewey to Library of Congress, and expanding the School of Library and Information Sciences.

Black and white photograph of a balding man standing between two sets of metal book shelves. He leans his elbow on a shelf and looks up and to his right.

Dr. David A. Webb, no date.

The dedication program was short. Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott Architects were presented. The building was accepted by the Chair of the Board of Regents, A. M. Willis, Jr. The Brass choir, conducted by Leon Brown, provided the music. Dr. Joe B. Frantz, director of the Texas State Historical Association and the University of Texas at Austin’s Oral History Project, was the guest speaker at the dedication ceremony. Dr. Frantz’s speech was titled, “Who Needs Friends?”  Parts of his speech were quoted in the North Texas Daily on April 27, 1972:

            “The Real friends to the library are its books, manuscripts,

            Phonograph records, films and other material preserved for

            the interests of the public.”

            “Our friends in the library (the books and other material) are

            the priests and the psychiatrists who will help us make our

            peace with a complex world.”

            “We need also to let those people on the outside know that

            friends everywhere these friends in the library can suffer from

            neglect. The best friend is a friend you work with. The best

             friend is one to whom you give a little time, and he gives

            whatever he can in return.”

It would not be until August 24, 1978, that the Board of Regents would pass a resolution to honor A. M. Willis, Jr. by naming the library after him.

            “Whereas he expresses constantly his deep devotion and great

            respect for the intellectual, Social and human accomplishments

            of the University, it is appropriate that he be honored for his

            loyal and devoted service: therefore, be it resolved, that the

            University Library at North Texas State University is hereby

            named the A. M. Willis, Jr. Library.”

Black and white photograph of an older man wearing a suit and tie, sits posed on a step outside of a long brick building.

A.M. Willis, Jr. in front of Willis Library, c. 1978.

Willis, of Longview, Texas, was a staff director of the House Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington, D. C. He had been a member of the Board of Regents since 1965 and served as chair since 1969. Willis stated his reaction to the North Texas Daily, “It’s a high honor to me to have my name associated with this university which I love so much.”

Posted by & filed under 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, 2010's.

Page from a yearbook with a black and white photograph of a woman in the top left corner, a black and white photograph of two rows of women in all black at the bottom, and text including the title Meritum filling the rest of the page.

Meritum page, The Yucca yearbook, 1951, p. 431.

The Meritum Honor Society was founded on April 19, 1950 with fifteen senior women selected by a faculty committee based on their leadership, scholarship, character, and service. The goals for this new organization were to promote cooperation among honor societies, promote college loyalty, advance the spirit of service and fellowship among college women, maintain a high standard of scholarship, recognize and encourage leadership, and develop a finer type of college women.

Black and white portrait photograph of a woman with short hair in tight curls, wearing a dark blazer with white short scarf.

Imogene Dickey, Dean of Women, 1963.

In 1966, Meritum petitioned for affiliation with the national organization Mortar Board, because it stressed the same ideals as Mortar Board. In April, 1968 Mortar Board officially accepted the University of North Texas chapter. Two national Mortar Board officers, Mrs. J. E. Evans and Mrs. William T. Jones, conducted the installation into the Mortar Board. The faculty advisors at this time were Imogene Dickey, the Dean of Women; Mrs. David Webb, wife of the Library director; and Mrs. Don Colegrove, a part-time member of the journalism faculty.  The newly elected members were chosen from the candidates who applied and who would be seniors by the coming fall semester. The calling out ceremony for new members continued with tradition by being held on the north steps of the Library Building (now Sage Hall). Dr. Louise Allen, of the Education faculty, gave the speech during the ceremony. She stated, “to meet the world of the 21st century with assurance and competence we must find some way to use our knowledge – individually and collectively – in a creative manner.”

New members often learned of their acceptance when a senior member, dressed in cap and gown, interrupted a class they were attending to read an announcement of their induction into the organization.

Yeah book page with black and white photographs of women in 1960s clothing, with text including the title Mortar Board Society sponsors unique projects.

Mortar Board page, The Yucca yearbook, 1969, p. 195.

Members of Meritum / Mortar Board were involved in activities and projects to help campus (the Big Wheel Dance) and off campus (giving a Christmas party for the children of the Cumberland Children’s Home). The event that they are most famous for is Honors Day, which they established in 1950 to recognize outstanding students and professors. The increase in awards presented at graduation ceremonies was the impetus for Honors Day. Graduation ceremonies became more streamlined and students and faculty could be honored on a day set aside for that purpose.

Black and white yearbook page with a list of people being honored for Honors Day 1990, and two photographs below.

Honors Day page, The Aerie yearbook, 1990, pg. 62.

Among those that gave speeches at Honors day were: Dr. Arthur M. Sampley, who gave a speech titled “The Texan’s Heritage;” Dr. O. J. Curry, “Opportunity and Responsibility;” and Dr. Florence Scoular, “After Honors, What?;” Dean Dwane Kinery stated, “I challenge you to look beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge, to employ the productive kinds of intellectual functioning. We need to apply this knowledge to learn to analyze, to create, to make judgments.”

Color photograph of a student wearing graduation robe speaking at a wooden podium. Rows of people sit behind her on stage wearing various types of graduation gowns and caps.

Student speaking at Honors Day ceremony, 2016.

In the 1970s, Mortar Board started to hear criticisms that it was an all-women’s organization. In 1975, that changed after the passage of Title IX, which banned gender discrimination. Title IX opened doors for women to participate fully in sports and other academic possibilities, and it also brought men opportunities to participate in and be honored with Mortar Board membership.