Posted by & filed under 1970's, Uncategorized.

“I think it’s important to get involved in things on campus to promote school spirit. It’s not just a dance group. You’re a representative of the school.”

-Sherry Nowell, Mean Green Dollies member, 1976

In 1974, the university launched a new spirit organization, a dance team named the Mean Green Dollies. The idea for this group originated with Dr. Bill Miller, chair of the Faculty Athletic Committee, and Ruthie Hejl, the University Spirit Coordinator. Linda Lewis was the team’s first choreographer.

The name, Mean Green Dollies, was deliberately chosen to prevent the newly formed group from being called the Eaglettes. The group’s advisor did not want the dance team to be mistaken for a drill team.

The team was made up of twenty members. Ten were freshmen and sophomores, ten were juniors and seniors. To qualify to be a member of the team, women needed a 2.0 grade point average, a physical activity clearance, and had to be enrolled with a course load of 12 semester hours. The membership of the team was chosen by a committee after a tryout.  Members had to schedule two-hour rehearsals for five days each week.

The Mean Green Dollies performed at football games, basketball games, and special events on campus, but their debut performance was at the 1974 Homecoming. The Dollies took part in the Homecoming parade and performed at half time, a show which included a performance to “Hello Dolly,” which was arranged by Mark Taylor. 

Shary Deweese served two years as the Dollies president. She stated that “the charter members of the Dollies feel that it has been a privilege to be a first-year member.”

 By 1976, Linda Ann Davis had become the Spirit Coordinator for the athletic department. In this position Davis became the director and choreographer of the Mean Green Dollies. She also coordinated the activities of all spirit organizations for athletic events.

In 1976, the Dollies, along with the Marching Band and the Talons, won the Spirit Award, “for the finest example of loyalty and dedication to North Texas State University that could ever exist.”

In 1978, Linda Davis submitted her resignation, leaving for a career with Southwest Airlines. The Dollies went into “a state of hold” according to Assistant Athletic Director Andy Everest. It would take ten years before the university launched the Dance Team and this new organization started its work to uplift the spirits of UNT students.

While we know a bit about the history of the Mean Green Dollies, the University Archive does not hold any photos of the team. Special Collections encourages any donations to fill gaps like this in the collection. Please see our website for more information on contributing materials.

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

The University of North Texas is known for the beauty of its campus. In part this is due to the long pedestrian malls on campus that allow students to walk from one building to another without having to cross busy streets. This was not always so. Talk to alumni who were on campus before the mid to late 1970s and they will discuss parking next to buildings, how traffic came to a stop when classes were changing, and close encounters with moving vehicles.

Black and white photo of aerial view of various buildings with large areas of lawn and walkways between them.

Aerial view of NTSTC campus, c. 1930.

The first road to be partially closed, around campus, was Prairie Street between Avenue A and Avenue C. This area was filled in during 1923. The school requested the City of Denton allow the street closing to help with the creation of an athletic and recreation complex. The land allowed for the expansion of the football field (now the site of Willis Library and the Library mall) to a standard size and the creation of a cinder track around the football field.

It would be forty-six years before the next road would be closed and filled in. Maple Street between Avenue D and E was closed in 1969. The closure was made possible by the strong endorsement of Denton’s mayor Zeke Martin, a former Eagle quarterback. The closure provided land for the planned construction of the Coliseum, which would open in 1974.

Black and white aerial photograph of buildings and streets. A highway and open land are visible at top left, with a football field just below.

Aerial view of NTSU campus, c. 1973.

The following year the Denton City Council voted to allow the closure of Sycamore. The street would become UNT property from Welch to Avenue A. The council also asked for a traffic study to explore the proposal for closing Avenue A.

Three years later (1972), Avenue A was closed from Mulberry to Highland. By the following year the pedestrian mall was built and opened. This area took away parking in front of the buildings that lined Avenue A. The finished mall provided a safe walkway between the Physics Building, the Historical Collection (now Curry Hall), Business Building (now Sage Hall) and the Speech and Drama Building (now the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building) on the northern end. The southern end provided a tree shaded walk way between Wooten Hall, Matthews Hall and the Union. A portion of Avenue A was preserved for use as part of the Union Circle drive.  Several of the buildings affected by the street closure were new to campus, such as Speech and Drama (1968), Wooten Hall (1970), and the soon to be completed Art Building (1973).

Black and white aerial photograph of three full buildings, and edges of surrounding buildings. Pathways run between buildings creating geometric lawns. and a parking lot is seen in the background.

Aerial photograph of Art, Historical, and Physics buildings, 1980.

The wait for the next campus transformation was only four years. Chestnut Street closed between Avenue A and C and Avenue B closed between Mulberry and Avenue C during 1976.

President Nolen asked for the closing of Avenue D, between Chestnut and Highland, on July 29, 1975. The request was turned down by the Denton City Council. This resulted in the university filing a lawsuit. The resulting legal battle was not ended until Mayor Elinor Hughes and the City Council accepted a proposal from UNT on August 28, 1976.  The university would pay $400,500 to the city for Avenue D and two blocks of Prairie Street. The university’s Board of Regents also agreed not to seek the closure of Avenue C other than by requesting the approval of the City Council.

Black and white aerial photograph with a large open lawn in the foreground, tennis courts to its right, and two large buildings just behind. Other buildings, walkways and streets are visible further back.

Aerial photograph of Physical Education building, 1980.

The closure of part of Avenue D allowed the construction of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center (now the Physical Education Building).

The closure of streets has allowed the university to grow and provide a more peaceful environment for students to enjoy during their student years. The university continues to eye roads that run through campus, so more changes may come to UNT in the future.

Black and white photo of brick building with large clock tower at center, and cars parked in front.

Administration Building, c. 1965.

Aerial photograph of a tree lined walkway leading to a building with a large clocktower.

Administration Building and mall, 2006.

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

Black and white photograph of  an eagle statue with wing perpendicular to the ground, flying. It's lower wing is attached to a base off camera.

In High Places statue, The Aerie Yearbook, title page, 1991.

Larry Jobe, chairman of the President’s Council and 1961 alumnus, wanted the UNT campus to have monuments. He wanted to have a symbol of university pride, something the students could gather around. He found a partner for this quest in Tony Alterman, a 1965 alumnus and gallery owner in Dallas and Houston.

A proposal was made to commission sculptor Gerald Balciar to make a scaled down version of the proposed eagle sculpture.  This model would be used to help raise money to pay for a full-size version for the campus. The fundraising plan was to have patrons (alumni and friends of the university) contribute $2,500 each, and in exchange, each patron would receive a fifteen inch, limited-edition bronze replica of the sculpture.

Group of students standing on the ground and on the raised base of a statue outdoors. The statue above them is of a flying eagle.

TAMS students with eagle statue, 1997.

The statue, In High Places, was installed as part of the centennial celebration of the university, in 1990. The sculptor designed five prototypes before choosing one of an eagle in flight. The eagle has an eighteen-foot wingspan, stands fifteen feet tall, and weighs 1,9000 pounds. It sits on a four-foot cement base on a knoll on the northeast side of the Hurley Administration Building.

Set of four color photos with small text captions above the left two. Three show the unveiling of a large state of an eagle, first covered in green fabric, and then pulled off by a group men and women pulling a rope.

Dedication photos, The Aerie Yearbook, p. 28, 1991.

Gerald Balciar, a native of Wisconsin, is noted for his knowledgeable representation of wild animals. An award-winning artist, he works in both bronze and stone.  At the dedication of the statue, Gerald Balciar stated, “An eagle does not rise above its surrounding just for the heck of it. The eagle has a purpose in mind before it starts its upward journey. The eagle doesn’t spend a lot of time in the clouds. It goes high enough to get a clear view of the world around it and then goes to work. With this bronze, I salute the high-flying spirit of achievement I find embodied in the eagle and in the University of North Texas.”

 The statue has become a place for students to meet, share experiences, and is treasured as an emblem of the university. Organizations, individuals, and graduates are often seen meeting below it or having their pictures taken beside it. Students often decorate the statue for different occasions, including with flags after the September 11 attacks, and with Mardi Gras beads after a New Orleans Bowl invitation.

Man in green graduation robe holds a toy lightsaber in the air outdoors. Part of a large flying eagle statue is next to him. Both look upwards.

Blake Roark posing with eagle statue, 2018.

Posted by & filed under 1940's, 1950's, 1970's, Uncategorized.

In 1947 a Student Government Committee was formed at North Texas. Its mission was to create a formal way for students to participate in college affairs. They needed to write a constitution for the type of system they agreed on, and the chair of the committee was Malcolm Richard Barnebey, who was known as Dick Barnebey. It took a year of study to learn how other student governments were formed and functioned, to write a draft of the constitution, and to get feedback from other organizations and the administration on campus.

Black and white portrait photo of a white man wearing a suit jacket, collared shirt, and bow tie. He wears large wire frame glasses, and has a slight smile. Below is text, Dick Barnebey.

Dick Barnebey, The Yucca Yearbook, 1950.

On March 19, 1948 it was announced that the constitution was ready for students to read and vote on. Major points in the constitutions were that the student government would have equal representation in the student senate; the student senate would be composed of six members representing each of the four undergraduate classes and the graduate students; and four officers would be elected by the entire student body. The constitution was approved and the United Students of North Texas (USNT) was formed.

The first election for officers was held in April 1948, with three student running for president, Dick Barnebey, Wayne Rogers, and Jack Hood Jr.

Dick Barnebey won the election becoming the first president of United Students of North Texas. Joyce Gray was elected vice president, George W. Hilz was the secretary, and Marcus Hickerson was the treasurer. Their inauguration ceremony was held during an all-college dance where they were sworn in by President W. Joseph McConnell.

White page with two black and white photos at top of people sitting with notepads. At center is text reading "The Student Senate in Action" and a cutout black and white photo of a man pointing. At bottom are three black and white photos of people talking in different settings.

Student Senate page, The Yucca Yearbook, 1949.

In 1971, student government changed at the university with the acceptance of a new constitution and a new organizational name, the Student Government Association.

Dick Barnebey went on to earn a master’s degree in Government (1951) at North Texas alongside his wife, June Mandeville Barnebey. She was one of the first senators elected to the United Students of North Texas. She would go on to earn her master’s in economics in 1952.

Black and white portrait photo of a white woman with short curled hair. She wears a black shirt and has a slight smile. Below is the text, June Barnebey.

June Barnebey, The Yucca Yearbook, 1950.

Dick Barnebey’s work to form the United Students of North Texas and serve as its first president would benefit him in later life as a foreign service officer. Barnebey joined the US State Department as a Foreign Service officer in 1952. The Barnebeys worked as a team and served in Austria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Belize. Barnebey served as Deputy Director and then Director of the Office of Ecuadorean-Peruvian Affairs (1964-1967), and was also the Deputy Director of the National Security Council Interdepartmental Groups, and Director of Policy and Plans (1976-1977).  In 1981, Barnebey was appointed as the first US ambassador to Belize by President Reagan.

Barnebey retired in 1985, and moved to Plano, Texas with his wife.

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

From the 1920s to the 1960s the Stage Band provided a reliable source of entertainment on Saturday nights on the North Texas campus. They were also known across Texas and in surrounding states. The Stage Band was formed in 1927-1928 and led by band director Floyd Graham. Graham, who grew up in Denton, was the Denton High School band director when President Robert L. Marquis hired him to work in the music department and take charge of the school’s bands in 1927. The band both provided employment for the student band members and filled an entertainment need by supplying music for the silent films shown on campus on weekends. They quickly added performances for dances held in Harriss Gym, dances and movies shown at the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman’s University), and other functions around Denton. The original eleven members were J. B. Woodrum, drums; John Broun, bass; Lois Dickson, piano, Wendell Keith, banjo, Alonzo Davis, trumpet; Wilmer Sandifer, trumpet; Bob Marquis, reeds and French horn; Floyd Brooks, trombone; Tom Rose, reeds; Oliver Lawhon, reeds; and Amos Barksdale, reeds.

Black and white photo of four young girls dressed in long skirts and heels, singing into a single microphone on a stand. Members of a band can be seen behind them, with a man standing to the far left in a suit on stage.

Local talent performing with The Stage Band, 1951.

In the fateful year of 1929, the first full length “talkie,” Lucky Boy, was shown on campus. Now that auditoriums were wired for sound, a band was no longer needed to accompany films, and the Stage Band had to adapt. Floyd Graham moved his crew from the orchestra pit up onto the stage. The first stage show was given in the Auditorium Building in the spring of 1929 where Graham was also the master of ceremonies. The band played popular tunes, backed student and area talent presented during the show, and ended with the showing of a movie. News reels and one-reel comedies were also a part of the early line-up.

The Stage Band also traveled to help earn money to pay the students and to publicize the school. They were the official band for the West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention, and also served as the official band for the Gainesville Little Theater Circus for three years. Under the sponsorship of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, the Stage Band played at the 1930 ceremony held for the installation of the first dredge in the Trinity River navigation project in Dallas. They also performed weekly concerts in the Denton City Park. By the late 1930s, the band had also adopted a new name: the Aces of Collegeland.

Floyd “’Fessor” Graham was quite accomplished during this time as well. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago Musical College in 1931, and in 1936, he was awarded his master’s from the American Conservatory of Music. ‘Fessor Graham was also the director of the Teachers College Orchestra, Eagle Band, Stage Band, Radio Ensemble, and the Salon Orchestra.

Black and white bust length portrait of a white man wearing a light colored suit jacket over a collared shirt and tie. He wears a light colored military style hat with brim in front, and across the top it reads 'Director.'

Floyd Graham, c. 1930.

During World War II the Stage Band traveled over five thousand miles in order to give performances at army camps, veterans’ hospitals, civic organizations in addition to making their weekly performance on campus each Saturday.

Black and white photo of a white man and woman standing in front of a microphone. She wears a floor length white dress and he wears a tuxedo. Members of a big band can be seen behind them.

Nancy Gates and Floyd Graham with The Stage Band, c. 1940.

Among the talent appearing on the Stage Show were Rosebud Blondell and Clara Lou Sheridan (better known by their stage names Joan Blondell and Ann Sheridan), Nancy Jane Gates (who first appeared in the program at the age of seven), Mary Louise Tobin (who went on to perform with Benny Goodman and several other big bands); Alpha Louise Martin (who performed with Herbie Kay and his orchestra), the Moonmaids (who performed with Vaughn Monroe), and Pat Boone.  President Marquis’s two sons were also members of the band. Gene Hall (founder of jazz studies at UNT), Tome Rose, and Amos Barksdale, Rudolph Fuchs, Judson Custer and Sidney Hamilton played with the band before becoming UNT faculty members. Joe Mosely, Harry Babasin went on to work as professional musicians. Some band members went on to play with bands such as Wood Herman, Benny Goodman, Fred Waring, Harry James, and Tommy Dorsey.

Black and white photograph of a white man in a suit singing into a microphone with a big band behind him.

Pat Boone with The Stage Band, c. 1950.

The Stage Show remained popular through the 1950s, but by 1961 the Stage Show ceased to be a weekly show. This was due to the decline in show’s attendance that was affected by students having access to cars, other entertainment venues that were available and the changes in the culture at the time. The show transformed into a once a year performance from 1962 to 1970.

Floyd Graham was a beloved member of campus throughout his career, and in 1958 the United Students of North Texas, the student government organization, honored him with ‘Fessor Graham Day and the creation of the ‘Fessor Graham Award. The resolution was passed in appreciation of Graham’s thirty years of service to North Texas. Floyd Graham was the first person to receive the ‘Fessor Graham Award.

Floyd Graham retired in 1973 after 47 years of dedication supporting the College of Music, students, and promotion of talent at UNT. The Board of Regents awarded him the status of professor emeritus. He was the first professor to be so honored by the university. ‘Fessor Graham died on August 18, 1974.

Posted by & filed under 1950's, 1960's.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, freshmen (known as frosh) started their college experience with a series of gatherings. These were “get acquainted” events aimed at making students aware of campus options and encouraging the frosh to make new friends. Students were entertained at the theatre party where movies, such as “Pal Joey” and “Love in the Afternoon,” were shown in the Auditorium Building. A football scrimmage between varsity and freshman teams was played in Fouts Field. There was also an open house at the College Clubhouse. The social activities reached their climax with the Big Wheel Dance.

Three black and white photographs on a white background. All images show young people gathered, wearing nice dresses and 1950s clothing. Left photo is people sitting on benches in a row, top right photo is people sitting on the grass in a circle, bottom right photo is many couples dancing.

Images of students at the Big Wheel Dance, The Yucca Yearbook, 1955.

The Big Wheel Dance was open to all students on campus, and it was held in the evening on the Union terrace, more commonly referred to as the slab. Students showed up to dance, but were also encouraged to meet the “big wheels” on campus. Presidents of organizations, editors of the campus publications, cheerleaders, and student government representatives were present to meet the new students on campus and answer questions about the college experience. ‘Fessor Graham and the Aces of Collegeland provided the main musical entertainment, and other local singers and entertainers were also called on to enhance the event. James Hampton (a UNT alumnus who went on to a career as a movie and TV actor) appeared in 1957, billed as a comedian.

Black and white photo of a wide three story building with a large empty concrete slab in front. Around the edges of the concrete slab are benches, and a telephone pole stands at the corner closest to the camera.

Union Building, c. 1950.

Black and white photo of a large crowd of people all talking or dancing in small groups or pairs.

Students at the Big Wheel Dance, The Yucca Yearbook, 1957.

The dance was sponsored by Meritum, an honorary organization for senior women, founded in 1950, on the principals of leadership, service, and scholarship for women. Meritum was active on the North Texas campus sponsoring the Big Wheel Dance, Honors Day, and assisting with registration and service projects outside of campus. In 1968, Meritum was installed as a chapter in Mortar Board, a national honor society for senior women. It was the fourth chapter to be accepted in the state of Texas.

Black and white photo of a group of ten women in two rows. The front row sits while the back row stands. Women are dressed in dark clothing with 1950s clothing and hair styles.

Meritum members, The Yucca Yearbook, 1956.

This year COVID-19 has moved orientation online, creating a different reality for our incoming students. Virtual orientation will give freshmen and transfer students an overview of what is expected of them and the options that will be open to them on campus. Students will have to wait until the school opens to “get acquainted” with their fellow students and the campus. Hopefully, they will have as much fun as the students who showed up to dance on the slab behind the Union Building so many years ago.

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

The Fourth of July has long been celebrated on UNT’s campus. In the 1910s and 20s, the faculty, staff and students frequently celebrated with the citizens of Denton. Here are some examples we found of how North Texas students celebrated Independence Day roughly a century ago.

In 1913, students and the community gathered to watch a parade which included floats, horseback riders, a drill team, “parade of automobiles,” a balloon ascension, and fireworks.

By 1922, Denton saw a gathering of 12,000 to celebrate the Fourth.They celebrated with a parade of floats decorated to show pioneer experiences, a large display of automobiles, addresses by political candidates, a rodeo, and a reenactment of doughboy experiences in World War I.

Three black and white photographs on a page. The top is of an old automobile with patriotic garlands, and women walking behind dressed in white nurse outfits. The middle is of four women dressed in pioneer style dresses. The bottom is of a covered wagon with seven people sitting in it with a horse at the front.

Examples of patriotic and pioneer parade floats in the Freshman Parade, Yucca Yearbook, 1925, p. 204.

In other years, groups on campus made their own celebrations, like in 1919 when the sophomore class went on a picnic, the seniors attended a sunrise breakfast, and the Van Zandt County Club had a “sunset supper” where the chief activities were picking burrs off clothing and eating.

8 black and white photographs arranged at various angels on a grey page, some photos overlapping at corners. Each photo shows a group of men and women in early 1900s dress with hats and dark suits and dresses, outdoors.

Collage of photographs of people outdoors, Yucca Yearbook, 1912, p. 214.

In 1924, Edith L. Clark requested that boarding houses display the American flag. This was done to show patriotism and honor the soldiers that died during World War I. Unfortunately, the holiday was quiet, lacking the usual gatherings and entertainments, due to rain. 

In 1927, the celebration took place over several days. On Saturday, one group of students gathered for the Stage Show. On Monday, the Fourth, students held a picnic on Pilot Knob where they also explored the hill, had supper at sunset, sang songs, and told stories. Women staying at the Corona Boarding Houses had a picnic at Egan’s pasture. The T-Club and Green Jackets held their picnic at Hickory Creek that year.

Would today’s students feel at home with these celebrations of the 1910s and 20s? Yes and no. The food would look similar. Hot dogs, fried chicken, salad, tomatoes, sweet pickles, ice cream, cake, watermelons, and iced tea were the most frequently mentioned menu items for picnics. Student groups did plan and hold their own celebrations – with the inclusion of chaperons. Chaperons were a must have for any gathering in those days, but would be completely foreign to a modern celebration or party of any kind.

This year’s Independence Day in North Texas may look a lot different from typical celebrations due to campus closures and social distancing measures, but we hope our students and all our Mean Green community safely enjoy some summer traditions this Fourth of July.

Set of six black and white photographs on a grey page. The photos show individuals of groups outdoors, on row boats and front porch steps. People are dressed in clothing from the early 1920s.

Collage of photos of people enjoying time outside, Yucca Yearbook, 1922, p. 208.

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

oval with black and white photograph of bust of a woman with hair up and high collar ruffled top. below is text with her name and positions "Mrs. Pearl Carden McCracken, Librarian"

Mrs. Pearl McCracken, The Yucca Yearbook, 1913.

Mrs. Pearl McCracken was the first college librarian at UNT and was responsible for building the foundations of a growing and vibrant library system at the University of North Texas.

The library started as a room in the Normal Building, next to President Kendall’s office, which housed a small collection of books. In 1903, Pearl McCracken was hired to teach English and work as the librarian. At that time the library had 1,019 books. By 1904, the library had been moved to the Main Building. Mrs. McCracken became a full-time librarian in 1908, and quickly began reorganizing the library and acquiring materials that would be beneficial to the students and faculty.

Black and white photo of brick building with small staircase leading to arched front door on the right. building has many windows and a small tower above main doorway with pyramid shaped roof. many leafless trees stand in front of building partially obscuring it.

Normal Building, c. 1896.

In 1912, the campus would be graced with its first library building, now known as Curry Hall. The library occupied the first floor and continued to grow, with Mrs. McCracken hiring her first paid assistant by 1914.

black and white photograph of building obscured by large leafless trees. The building has a rectangular facade with many windows, and the entrance at center has a large arched doorway with two large columns on either side, and a staircase in front.

Historical Building (now Curry Hall), c. 1940.

While already a member of the faculty teaching North Texas’ first Library Science classes, Mrs. McCracken also studied at North Texas, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925 at the age of 62.      

By 1932-1933, the library housed 263,081 volumes and needed room to expand, so a second library building was built, which opened in 1937. This second library building is now Sycamore Hall.

Extremely active in the Denton community, Mrs. McCracken was a member of the Shakespeare Club, the Garden Club, and served as president of the Ariel Club in 1919.

Mrs. McCracken was also a founding member of the Iota Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma honor society, an organization for female educators. The chapter was organised in February, 1930, and she served that first year as the vice-president.

black and white photograph of older woman sitting in a chair. she wears a black dress with white lapels and two buttons on the front. she looks at the camera with his hands clasped in her lap.

Mrs. Pearl McCracken, no date.

Pearl McCracken retired in 1939 after more than 30 years of service in the North Texas libraries, and was honored with the title Librarian Emeritus. She died at the age of 85, in 1948. At the time of her death, there was a library service organization on campus called the McCracken Club.

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

UNT first developed a health service center in response to the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. The campus had no health clinic or hospital for students when the influenza pandemic broke out. There was a hospital on campus, operated by the United States government, but it only served the student soldiers in the Student Army Training Corps.

black and white photo of large house with covered porch and balcony above, large tree next to stairs at center of house

Mulberry Street Hospital, The Yucca, 1923,.

That hospital operated out of a large house located on West Mulberry Street. When World War I ended in 1918 the government offered to sell the house and hospital equipment to the school. President Bruce approached the Board of Regents to request funding for this purchase. At that time, the Board oversaw all the normal colleges in Texas, not just one school. They refused to fund the hospital for North Texas on the grounds that they could not offer the same funds to other normal colleges in the state.

black and white photo of men sitting behind a table wearing suits to the left, with nurses in white dresses and hats to the right

“First Aid Treatment,” The Yucca, 1923.

Without the funding from the Board of Regents, President Bruce, seeing the need for such a facility, instituted the first health fee at the college. One dollar from each student in the college community helped purchase the facility and allowed the college to hire a nurse as well. That nurse was Mrs. Adolphine Grabbe who would spend the rest of her career caring for the students of North Texas. The Yucca Yearbook described Mrs. Grabbe saying, “she possesses those qualities that are essential to a person who is to administer first aid to unhappy victims who are away from home and are suffering. She thrives on emergencies and is the mistress of any situation from splinters to pneumonia.” She became the superintendent of the hospital in 1922.

black and white photo of woman from shoulders up, she wears a white collared top and a white nurses hat

Mrs. A. Grabbe, The Yucca, 1923.

In 1920 the Campus Chat, the school newspaper, published an acknowledgment of the work of hospital during the flu pandemic: “Only when the test comes does the sanitarium prove its real worth. Last year was its first, and it immediately became popular with the students, especially when there was a large amount of sickness. During the “flu” epidemic last year many students were taken care of and given the best of attention. This year during the first term there was little sickness, but with the advent of the present epidemic of colds and influenza, the hospital has been filled to overflowing for the past several weeks. Many students have objected to being removed to the sanitarium, but when their illness is over they have only praise for the treatment they received.”

The campus hospital treated hundreds of students each semester even after the 1918-1919 flu. After paying the health fee, all a student had to pay for were “doctor’s calls and castor oil” whereas in many cases treatment from a physician would have cost upwards of $800. This health service that offered so much care without demanding high costs is a prime example of North Texas innovating to provide for the needs of its students whether in response to a world-wide crisis or during a normal semester.

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

black and white photo of woman wearing a floral dress and a tiara, holding a scepter. it is signed on the bottom left in blue ink reading "Best of luck always, Phyllis George, Miss American 1971

Autographed photo of Phyllis George as Miss America, 1971

A native of Denton, Texas, Phyllis George attended North Texas State University, now known as the University of North Texas. She was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, and also became a Yucca Beauty and a Kapa Sigma Sweetheart during her time at UNT. While a student she participated in beauty pageants, eventually winning the Miss Denton title in 1969, Miss Texas in 1970, and ultimately became Miss America in 1971.

In 1975 Ms. George joined The NFL today as a host on the live pregame show, becoming one of the first women to work nationally in TV sports coverage. She also went on to be a co-host of CBS Morning News.

She founded two companies. The first was “Chicken by George,” which she sold to Hormel Foods in 1988 after two years of operation. The second was Phyllis George Beauty which opened in 2003.

Ms. George also co-authored five books, including The I Love America Diet, Never Say Never, Kentucky Crafts, and Craft in America.

She was married twice, first to Robert Evans (1977-1978) and then to John Y. Brown, Jr. (1979-1998). She had two children, Lincoln and Pamela, during her second marriage.

She would be honored by UNT as a distinguished alumna in 1977. She received an honorary Doctor of Media Arts degree from UNT in May 1988.

Phyllis George died May 14, 2020.

More materials about Phyllis George from our collections can be found on The Portal to Texas History, including photographs, videos, and a song about her.