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.

Posted by & filed under 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's.

Aerial black and white photograph of a large rectangular swimming pool with people scatter throughout.

Outdoor swimming pool, 1930-1960.

In the mid-1920’s President Marquis initiated a school improvement program. One item on the list was the construction of a swimming pool. Plans for the pool were prepared by a committee that included Hugo J. P. Vitz, an industrial arts faculty member, J. W. Smith, P. E. McDonald, and L. T Millican, a contractor. This group visited pools in Dallas and Fort Worth to decided on the type of pool they felt would best meet the needs of the campus. Professor Vitz drew up the plans.

Black and white photograph of an outdoor swimming pool with a lifeguard stand and a group of people in the nearest corner of the pool.

Outdoor swimming pool, 1930-1960.

The pool was under construction in 1926 and was opened and dedicated on July 2 of the same year. Men and women used the pool at different times and all students had access to swimming lessons (beginners, advanced, and lifesaver training).

Black and white photograph of two lines of people swimming in opposite directions in a swimming pool.

Dolphins club beginner’s class, The Yucca Yearbook, 1929, p. 195.

The college did not have formal swim teams, though the students organized swim clubs, the Dolphins for women and the Hobos for men. To become a member of the Dolphins club, students had to pass a try-out that included a 100-yard swim using two different strokes in good form, a fifty-yard swim on back, float, do a plane front dive, and retrieve an object in eight feet of water from a surface dive.

Black and white photograph of six men standing in front of a swimming pool. They wear black leotard like swimming suits.

Hobo swimming club, The Yucca Yearbook, 1932, p. 218.

The Hobo Swimming Club, a competitive swimming organization, was organized by Francis Stroup, Gene Wilkins, and Bob Hutcheson. Francis Stroup would go on to UNT fame as the composer of the Fight Song (“Fight, North Texas”). The Hobos participated in diving and swimming events and meets. The members were good enough to earn a place in multiple state meets.

The Dolphins held an annual water carnival, or water pageant, at the close of the summer in the 1920s and 1930s. This could include demonstrations of diving, life saving techniques, swim races, or skits that involved story telling combined with swimming exhibitions. In some years the Hobos volunteered participate in the show.

Black and white photo of men and women posing for photo in two rows. They are in front of an outdoor swimming pool, and they all wear black leotard like swimsuits with a white circle on the chest with a cross inside.

Life-saving squad, The Yucca Yearbook, 1928, p. 236.

In 1928, the show started with swimmers, each holding a lighted candle as they swam from one side of the pool to the other. The performance centered around a character called “Mr. Sinkeasy” taking his children swimming. The evenings entertainment included demonstrations of the crawl stroke, side stroke, log rolling, balloon races, and diving (as individuals and as a group). Mr. Sinkeasy spent the performance on a chair on one of the diving boards. He “finally became so engrossed in two flappers that he lost his balance and fell into the pool.”

The pool provided an important gathering and recreation spot for students.  More importantly, having a pool on campus provided generations of students with swimming and diving skills that they could use for the rest of their lives.

Posted by & filed under 1910's, 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's.

In 1951, the university invested in expanding and improving the facilities for the Departments of Biology and Chemistry with the opening of Masters Hall.

The three-story structure was designed by architect George L. Dahl and stood on the west side of Ave. B and Sycamore (now the site of the Life Sciences Building Complex). It was dedicated on March 4, 1952. The building was named after Wallace Newton Masters, the long-time chair of the Department of Chemistry.

Black and white photo of older balding man, with moustache, wearing a suit and tie.

Wallace Newton Masters, no date.

Wallace Newton Masters was born in Marshall County, Alabama on October 7, 1864. He received his B. S. and B. A. degrees from the National Normal University of Lebanon Ohio. The school was open only a short time, between 1855 and 1917. Masters came to Texas in 1873 and earned a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. He married Miss Lula Fleming at Ripley on October 26, 1890. Masters taught at the Oak Cliff High School for two years and was the superintendent of the Pilot Point School. Prior to joining North Texas Teachers College (now the University of North Texas), he served as the principal of the Denton High School (1908-1909). 

Masters joined the faculty of UNT in 1910 and remained until 1941. During his first year, he taught classes in chemistry, physiology, and geometry. Masters was also the head of the publications committee for 21 years. He was credited with the naming of the campus publications the Avesta (a literary magazine) and the campus newspaper, the Campus Chat.  His pride in the campus publications came through in his statement to the Campus Chat in 1925, “We who enjoy the excellent publications of today owe a debt of gratitude to those earlier workers. They did well honored task. They would feel a just pride in our publication office and in our printing plant all our own. They could say without boasting: ‘We made these things possible.’”

Masters was also involved in the local community. He served on the board and then as president of the First State Bank in Denton, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Denton.  Masters also ran a farm with a herd of Jersey cattle in Green Valley.

Masters authored “Qualitative Analysis” and co-authored, with L. P. Floyd, “High School Chemistry,” which was adopted as a text book by Texas in 1927 and again in 1933. The campus chemistry society was named for him in appreciation for his teaching. Today there is a W. N. Masters Scholarship available to junior and senior students in the Department of Chemistry who major in the natural sciences. The first scholarship was presented in 1980.

Black and white photo of people exiting a building with cars parked in front. Above the door, text reads Masters Hall.

Masters Hall, 1963.

W. N. Masters died, at age 70, in 1943. Eight years later the university opened the Masters Hall science building honoring his work. The building had laboratories with outlets for compressed air, natural gas, tap water, steam, distilled water, and vacuum outlets for removing air from containers. There was a power plant in the basement with two gas-fired boilers. One was for heating and the other for supplying hot water and steam. Professors had laboratory space adjoining their offices. There was also a chemistry library and two dark rooms. The main lecture room had three blackboards and a projection booth. The bacteriology laboratory had cold storage and incubators.

The structures’ name changed to the Chemistry Building in 1967 due to the construction of the Biology Building next to it. The Chemistry Building was torn down in 2008 to make way for the Life Sciences Building. The cartouche from the Chemistry Building was saved and now decorates the space in front of the Life Sciences Building.

Black and white photograph of a three story brick building with many window. A relief sculpture of intertwined snakes is at the top of one end of the building.

Masters Hall, c. 1960.

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

The University of North Texas was founded in 1890 as a private teacher training institution. In 1899 the Texas legislature passed a bill to make North Texas a state institution. The money to fund the college was appropriated in 1901. The last president of the private normal school was President Menter Bradley Terrill (1868-1931), who held the office of president from 1894 to 1901.

Black and white portrait of a white man in a dark suit and tie.

Menter B. Terrill, c. 1900.

Menter Terrill came from a family that valued education and worked to bring educational opportunities to their communities. His father taught at Winchester Normal College and went on to found a college in Decherd, Tennessee in 1890. When he took up the office of the president, he was joined in teaching by his wife (who taught English and science) and his sister (who taught primary and intermediate grades).  Other family members who were added to the faculty were Hattie Terrill (1897, a teacher of ancient and modern languages) and Lutie Terrill (1900, who taught shorthand and typewriting).

 Ada Terrill, Meter’s wife, started teaching at the age of 15 in a private school in McMinnville, Tennessee. The money she earned helped her to enroll in the Winchester Normal College. Menter and Ada met at Winchester Normal and were married in 1891. They worked to reorganize the public schools in Winchester before learning about the opportunity of working at the North Texas Normal College in Denton.

Black and white photograph of a group of people from the late 1800s. They are in three rows, with men only in the front and back rows, while mostly women and one man are in the middle row. A list of their names is at the top of the board the photo is attached to.

NTSC Class of 1899, Ada Terrill sits at center of middle row, with Menter Terrill siting next to her.

Menter and Ada left when the Normal became a state institution.  He attended Yale, earning A.B. and A.M. degrees. She enrolled at Wellesley, and received special permission to attend Yale to pursue graduate work, becoming one of the first women allowed to attend Yale. They returned to Texas and founded the Terrill School for Boys in Dallas in 1906. The college preparatory school is now known as St. Mark’s School.

Other members of the Terrill family continued the family tradition of contributing to the field of education at all levels. The following family members represent just a few of the teachers this family produced.

Black and white photograph of a large group of children posing for a class photo. The girls towards the front wear mostly white dresses, while boys towards the back wear suits.

NTNC students, Ruby Terrill (front left) has a small ‘R’ drawn on her skirt, Menter B. Terrill stands at the far left. 1895.

Ruby Terrill Lomax, an alumna of North Texas Normal College, became a faculty member of the University of Texas in Austin. She taught classical languages before becoming that school’s Dean of Woman. She was also one of the founders of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International in 1929. She was married to the folklorist John Lomax.

Ada Terrill Wray, the sister of Ruby Terrill Lomax, was also an alumna of North Texas Normal College. She also followed in the footsteps of her parents (Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Terrill) and became a teacher. She married an educator, Edward Holloway Wray, who served as the Dean of Men and head of the Department of English at East Texas College. She is noted for earning a bachelor’s degree at the same time as her daughter, Anna Wray, at East Texas State Teachers College in 1924.

Harriett Terrill Thurman, and alumna of Vanderbilt and Chicago Universities, worked as an instructor at the John B. Denton College (1901-1904) in Denton. She was married to the president of that college, Oliver M. Thurman. 

Black and white photograph of a group of people standing on steps. The men wear suits and women wear dresses.

West Texas State Normal College Faculty, Reuben Aubrey Terrill stands towards the center of the fourth row (labeled 25), c. 1920. (This photograph is owned by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.)

Reuben Aubrey Terrill received a Commercial Certificate in 1892 from North Texas State Normal College. He also attended John B. Denton College, 1903-4. He was born in Missouri before his family moved to Denton.  They moved to Canyon, Texas in 1907, and worked as an editor at the Canyon News. He retired from the newspaper in 1909 to devote his time to the creation of a college, West Texas State Teachers College (now known as West Texas A&M University). He served as a member of the first Board of Trustees, and was briefly the Business Manager for school. He also taught and was the head of the Department of Industrial Arts.

The family were part of the movement in the United States to advance the nation through education.  They worked as teachers, professors, and founded institutions to prepare students for the challenges of the twentieth century.

Posted by & filed under 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's.

Valentine’s Day has been part of the college experience for decades. Both faculty and staff were part of the celebrations over the years at UNT. In 1920, the Woman’s Faculty Club met for a club meeting, conducted the club’s business, and then made cards for students in the Normal Hospital. In 1926, the Women’s Faculty Club voted on contributing five dollars to the fund for buying china for the campus. They then continued with their Valentine’s day party with a poetry reading by Lolo Cox, tap dancing by Carolee Blackburn and Virginia Craig, and a skit by Eva Stapleton and Phoebe Goode Mizzell. Miss Leonora Hann provided fortune telling for those in attendance.

Black and white photograph of a woman, hair in an up-do, wearing a patterned dress.

Phoebe Mizell, The Yucca Yearbook, 1946, p. 37.

Women did not need a date to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 1926. Dean of Women Edith Clark gave a party focused on women which was held at the Mary Arden Lodge (a house that stood roughly where the Art Building stands today). In the same year, seniors, juniors, and the Young Women’s Forum Council held a tea in the Women’s Reception room of the Administration Building (now the Auditorium Building).

Black and white photo of an elderly woman seated between two men in suits. She wears and dress and hat.

Edith Clark between Matthews and McConnell, 1952.

Some groups, such as the House President’s Cabinet (the leadership and counselors of student housing), held celebrations annually. In 1932, one such party had love songs sung by Thelma Fant, which was followed by Edith Clark leading a discussion of “Health Responsibility.” They also had games and refreshments. Another annual event was the Saturday Night Stage Show, led by ‘Fessor Graham. The Aces of Collegeland provided music, and performers entertained with dance, song, and skits. This venue provided fun without the burden of having to show up with a date.

Black and white photograph of a woman with hair pulled back.

Thelma Fant, The Yucca Yearbook, 1932, p. 98.

Cards and gifts were a large part of the holiday in 1929. A report from the post office said that more were being mailed out than were coming in. They put this imbalance down to students having their mail delivered to their boarding houses rather than the post office.

In 1942, the Service Sweethearts Corps was organized to have co-eds write letters to soldiers. The women who helped found this organization were Jo Frances Worley, Billie Newton, Mary Lee Kemp, Betty Jane Timblin, Babette Cockerell, Anne Calhoun, and Shirley Frost. The Corps was given temporary office space in the school’s publicity office in the Manual Arts Building (now the location of the General Academic Building). Women volunteering to write letters and soldiers wishing to receive letters were asked to fill out cards to describe themselves, list hobbies, and give their likes and dislikes, in order to find a good match. Unfortunately, this group was disbanded after several months, in accordance with government regulations.

Black and white photograph of 7 women in a V formation, the woman at center seated. Three women wear military style hats. A blurb is written beneath the image titled Service Sweethearts Serve.

“Service Sweethearts Serve-And How,” The Campus Chat, February 5, 1942, p. 6.

The Freshman and Senior classes nominated and voted on Sweethearts each year. In 1944, Varina Powell and Bill Teague were the winners. The following year saw the award go to twins, Joyce and Jean Weatherby, for the first time. The Sweethearts were presented at all-college dances. By 1950, a fee of a dollar was charged for nominating a sweetheart. Voting took place at the dance and the winners were mentioned in that year’s yearbook. The 1950 winners were Josephine Devise (freshman) and Pat Pearce (senior).

Two women, identical twins, sit on the ground outside holding hands. They wear identical dresses.

Jean and Joyce Weatherby, The Yucca Yearbook, 1945, p. 76.

Today, few student groups hold formal teas or organize dances. Students are more likely to celebrate the day with friends or with the exchange of cards or chocolates. School, rent, bills, and the ongoing pandemic limit expectations for large or expensive celebrations in 2021.