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.

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.