Posted by & filed under 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1980's.

Francis Edwin Stroup attended North Texas State Teachers College from 1925 to 1929, when he earned a degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. During those 4 years, Stroup lettered in basketball, ran track, and played football. He was also an accomplished swimmer and diver. Besides his athletic talents, Stroup came from a family known for their music, and he began writing music for fun as a student at NTSC.

After graduating in 1929, Stroup landed his first teaching job in Golden, Texas. In 1939, Stroup had moved on to other teaching jobs in the Denton area, including working on campus as a swim coach.

One Saturday night, Stroup attended the movie and Stage Show on campus. During the stage show, Floyd Graham, known as ‘Fessor Graham, announced a contest for a marching song. The contest was for the lyrics to match a melody Graham had composed a few years earlier. It was normal for a small college to adopt a well-known tune and provide the words in order to enhance spirit and school identification. For example, North Texas, along with Harvard, Rice and others adapted FE Bigelow’s “Our Director March” as a spirit song, with each college providing unique identifying words. However, Graham envisioned NTSTC with its very own song and hoped the 1939 contest would provide one.

At the time Stroup had been out of school for a decade and during that time he had been writing songs. Stroup entered his song after a couple of weeks of other entries being sung. One night his song was played with a band arrangement by Gene Hall. After the band finished, Graham stated, “Can’t you just imagine the band marching down the field playing that.” Stroup thought: “Oh, boy, I think he likes it.”

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Posted by & filed under 1970's, 2010's.

“Art is one of the things that might save us, save humanity.” -Jesús Moroles

Born on September 22, 1950 to poor Corpus Christi cotton farmers, renowned sculptor Jesús Bautista Moroles created a name for himself through expert manipulation of granite and a unique perspective on humanistic and natural harmonies within the world. He passed away in June 2015.

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Posted by & filed under 1890's, 1900's, 1910's, 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, 2010's.

On September 16,1890, as the doors opened to the Texas Normal College and Teacher training Institute, President Joshua C. Chilton stated that it was the school’s aim “[…] to become leaders in the education of the young men and women of Texas […].” With the president’s words, a seed of loyalty and spirit was planted in the ethos of North Texas. Through every name change, the mean green spirit evolved into deep-seated traditions that are known and loved by the university community.

“North Texas” has been in every one of our institution’s names since 1894, signaling a tradition of faithfulness to our regional heritage. This devotion is evident in the college yell from 1911 which proclaimed “Who are we? We are the students of T.N.C.” Today’s UNT students inherited this fierceness and pride for the university. Many traditions we see today in celebration of athletic events and university-wide festivities were begun decades earlier, providing continuity between generations of green and white clad students. Read more

Posted by & filed under 1970's, 1980's, 1990's.

In this story, hailing from Lake Dallas, Texas, the University of North Texas’ heavyweight champions, the immortal Von Erich Family!

One of the storied names in professional wrestling, the members of the Von Erich dynasty have been in the ring since 1953, when patriarch Fritz Von Erich (real name Jack Adkisson) made his debut in Dallas. Eight members, three generations, of Adkissons have wrestled under the Von Erich name. Though Fritz himself had attended Southern Methodist University, two of his sons—Kevin and David—attended North Texas State University during the 1970s.

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Posted by & filed under 1900's, 1910's, 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, 2010's.

Over the 125 year history of North Texas many buildings have served the needs of the faculty and students. A few, such as Curry Hall and the Power Plant, have stood on campus since the 1900s. Others are remembered by alumni and faculty, but they ceased to grace the campus as new and larger structures took their place. Below is a list of buildings that exist only in photographs and the memories of those that passed through them.

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Posted by & filed under 1950's.

The Administration Building (now known as the Hurley Administration Building) was constructed at the north end of the original football field in 1955-1956. The structure was placed on Chestnut Street and Avenue B, just west of the Union Building. President Emeritus McConnell took great pleasure in the construction of the new Administration Building. President Matthews stated that McConnell “watched this longtime dream of the college come true-and looked upon it as an accomplishment which he, faculty members, students, and ex-students had long anticipated.”   

Dr. McConnell started as a faculty member at the North Texas State Normal College in 1916. McConnell rose to become a dean in 1923 before becoming the school’s president in 1934. He would serve until 1951. President McConnell died on November 24, 1955. His administration was noted for the expansion of the campus with the construction of 22 new buildings. Some of the structures that were built during McConnell’s time in office were: Marquis Hall, the Library (now known as Sycamore Hall), Chilton Hall, Terrill Hall, Bruce Hall, the Journalism Building (also known as Scoular Hall), and the Chemistry Building (also known as Masters Hall). McConnell was the President Emeritus from 1951 until his death.

In January, 1956, while the Administration Building was under construction, an announcement was released that the administration and the Board of Regents would name the building’s tower the President W. Joseph McConnell Memorial Tower. Matthews went on to say that “it is fitting that one who has had so much to do with developing the physical plant of the college should be memorialized in this symbol of the college’s growing stature. The administration and Board of Regents felt it uniquely fitting that the tower should be named the W. Joseph McConnell Memorial Tower.”

A tower in the center of campus, with chimes, had been a long time dream of the North Texas community. The first proposal, in 1928, called for chimes to replace the curfew bell and the installation of an electric clock in a tower. Other proposals failed to find funding. Money raised for the tower and carillon were used instead for the building and decoration of the first union building. Plans for a new administration building would finally bring the dream to reality. Friends of President McConnell, students, and alumni were encouraged to donate toward the purchase of a carillon for the tower. The first contribution was made by the chairman of the Board of Regents, Ben Wooten. Mr. Wooten, president of the First National Bank of Dallas, had studied under Dr. McConnell as a student at the college.

The clock face was installed in October of 1956. Originally only one face, measuring 6 feet 2 ¾ inches in diameter, was installed on the north side facing the campus. The minute hand measured 36 inches with the hour hand at 24 inches long. The hands and letters are cast in bronze. Four floodlights were installed to illuminate the tower at night.

The carillon is a 32 note Deagan Celesta Chime. The source of the tone is a series of slender metal rods which sound by electronically activated strikers. Microphones enhance the sound and carry it across campus via loudspeakers. The carillon can be played manually or with record rolls. Plans originally called for the carillon to be played each evening and for special events. Westminster chimes provide notice of the time every hour on the hour.

The dedication of the tower, which rises 189 feet above ground level, and carillon was held on December 16, 1956. President J. C. Matthews presided at the ceremony. Ben Wooten dedicated the tower. Dr. A. M. Sampley, vice president of the college, delivered the invocation. June Albright, of the J. C. Deagan Company, performed as part of the dedication ceremony. Recognized as one of the top carillonneurs in the nation, she performed “Adeste Fideles,” “What Child is This?”, and “In Dulci Jubilo” among other songs. The performance ended with the college alma mater.

During his speech Wooten stated, “He [McConnell] was a great administrator, and the Board of Regents thought it was fitting that this tower, standing as it does at the center of the campus overlooking the 22 major buildings which were built during his administration representing the culmination of a dream of student, ex-students, faculty, and Board of Regents, should bear his name.”

— by Perri Hamilton, Assistant to the Archivist


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

The Texas Academy of Math and Science program, popularly known as “TAMS,” began in 1987 when a bill was signed by Governor William B. Clements, Jr. that established the program at North Texas State University. The early admission program offers students in high school the opportunity to get a head start in college during their last two years in high school. Students receive two years of college credit for participating in the tuition-free program. The last two years of high school and the first two years of college are completed simultaneously.

The program has been ongoing since its inception, with over 3,500 graduates who specialize in math, science or related courses. Only two hundred applicants are allowed into the program every year in accordance with their college entrance examination scores, grades, interviews, reference letters, as well as their level of commitment and motivation. A 1990 TAMS pamphlet stated that students were expected to score at least 1000 total on the SAT, with a minimum of 550 in math. Students are selected as sophomores to attend college beginning their junior year of high school and as one might imagine, getting into the academy is very competitive.

TAMS was created to address a shortfall in the math and science test scores of American students, who fell below international averages in the 1980s. The program has been an effective means of preparing students for the more accelerated college or university-based math and science courses.

Through the program, students are encouraged to seek out science and engineering-based studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The academy is structured this way to address a growing technological infrastructure across the state which requires knowledgeable individuals in these fields as the number of jobs increases. TAMS also addresses the need for more math and science teachers in the state of Texas. Students are also encouraged to take humanities courses in addition to other offerings during this time for a broader educational experience.

In 1992, TAMS received the Excellence in Higher Education Award from the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities. That same year, Elizabeth Morales, an El Paso graduate, was selected for the National Science Foundation Youth Scholars Program on an Antarctica research expedition during the summer.

Students from the program get accepted into advanced programs at other universities, like Harvard, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Boston University, New York University, as well as Texas A&M and others. Many students involved in the TAMS program have also received scholarships and other honors, which have enabled them to further their studies at UNT or elsewhere.

In 2013, TAMS celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first class. 79 students were part of the first program with 67 of these students graduating in the academy’s first class of 1990.  Today, TAMS graduates 170 students annually.

— by S. Ivie, Associate Processing Archivist

Posted by & filed under 1950's.

Before Roy Orbison was topping the charts, he was studying geology at North Texas State. His stay was brief; he is absent from the school’s yearbooks, but his time in Denton did a great deal to launch his career as a singer, particularly where a well-known rock ‘n’ roll classic is concerned: Unbeknownst to most listeners, numerous threads of Denton’s and UNT’s musical history are woven into the two minutes and fifteen seconds that are “Ooby Dooby.”

Orbison and two fellow musicians from the town of Wink, Texas enrolled at North Texas in the fall of 1954. A song from members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity caught his ear: “Ooby Dooby” was said to have been written in 15 minutes on the fraternity house roof by the songwriting duo Wade Lee Moore and Dick Penner. Moore and Penner recorded a handful of rockabilly selections for Sun records as “Wade & Dick – The College Kids,” together with Don Gililland, an early One O’Clock Lab Band guitarist.

According to the biography Dark Star: The Roy Orbison Story, Orbison later recounted first hearing Wade and Dick performing “Ooby Dooby”: “It knocked me flat … I was astounded because they made more music than the whole orchestra.”

Orbison’s hit recording of “Ooby Dooby” on Sun Records was the culmination of several prior versions which feature essentially the same presentation, but with variations in tempo and slight hitches in timing. Orbison’s group back home, the Wink Westerners, recorded it, and Orbison recorded it at the famed Jim Beck Studio in Dallas in 1955, and again in Clovis, New Mexico in 1956. He was not, however, the only Denton claimant to the tune: Sid King & the Five Strings, whose sound became a template for later rockabilly acts, also recorded the tune at the Beck Studio.

Ultimately, however, Orbison’s 1956 Sun Records version became the authoritative version of the tune, on which later versions were based. With that title, a little piece of Denton boldly went where no Dentonite had gone before when it was featured in a bar scene Star Trek: First Contact, in a moment of respite from fighting the Borg.

— by Maristella Feustle, Music Special Collections Librarian

A “demo,” possibly the Dallas recording:

Clovis, New Mexico recording of “Ooby Dooby”:

An alternate take from Sun, 1956: 

“Ooby Dooby” makes an appearance in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact:

Sid King & Five Strings’ version of “Ooby Dooby”:

“Hey Miss Fannie,” the “B” side to the Wink Westerners’ 1955 version of “Ooby Dooby”

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

The University of North Texas has had several name changes since it was established in 1890. However, when it was known as North Texas State University, it experienced a cry out for social change at a high level among the student body especially around the 1960s. The country was surrounded by images and discussions about the Vietnam War, the draft, inflation, The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights, the death of Martin Luther King and many other events that called out for a response and many did respond by going into the streets with picket signs.

The Vietnam War occurred from 1954-1975. It was discussed in every major and local newspapers and news stations around the United States. It was greatly opposed by the American citizens, especially the youth.

Many anti-war demonstrations occurred around the nation. One anti-war demonstration was known as Moratorium Day. The demonstrations designed for Moratorium Day were to put pressure on the Nixon administration to withdraw troops from Vietnam. The activities were planned for approximately 400 schools across the country. The day was set by the Vietnam Moratorium Committee, who were mainly young people who worked in the presidential campaigns of Senator Eugene J. McCarthy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Moratorium Day was held on October 15, 1969, across the United States. Students, faculty, and community members gathered on campuses and a few high schools to listen to speakers and attend demonstrations.

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

Armadillo Ale Works was founded by two North Texas alumni, Yianni Arestis (2008, 2011, M.B.A.) and Bobby Mullins (2007).

Arestis and Mullins met during college while on their way to see a performance by a band and remained friends throughout college. After graduating from UNT with an RTVF degree, Mullins decided he was ultimately more interested in brewing and eventually e-mailed a brewing company mentioning his interest in any available positions. After doing some filming which utilized his RTVF experience for Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Mullins got a job there and was promoted to brewer after a few years. At this time, Mullins contacted Arestis and they made plans to start their own business. Using Arestis’s business expertise, they soon had a model for their company.

The business partners have been brewing beer since 2009. Mullins says that brewing takes a lot of practice and experimentation to get the right recipes. He says Arestis actually has a better sense of what makes a well-flavored brew and he frequently consults with him when mixing ingredients for a specific taste.

Two of the beers that the company is known for are Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale and Quakertown Stout. Quakertown Stout is made with oats, maple syrup and malts, while Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale is made with grapefruit peel and coriander-spiced wheat.

The men say they want to brew a distinctive beer that is reflective of Denton. They feel that Denton is unique and it deserves a beer which represents its singularity.

Arestis and Mullins also created a non-alcoholic honey lemonade for an event – the lemonade was such a success that they are pursuing the production of these drinks as a secondary, less-regulated product line for their business.

In the 2010 New Venture Creation Contest sponsored by UNT’s Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship, the men were granted an award for $10,000 that went towards the financing of Armadillo Ale Works.

The men have found that working with brewing companies (some of which could be considered their competitors) has actually been beneficial to their own business and they were surprised to find out how helpful other people in the beer community are.

From 2012-2015, their recipes were distributed across the Dallas-Fort Worth region and throughout the state of Texas to Austin and Houston by Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas. With their contract expiring with Deep Ellum, Mullins and Arestis decided to move forward with plans to open up a brewery in Denton.

In 2011, the two generated $30,000 from 350 backers on Kickstarter, which went toward the funding and construction of the business that will be located at 215 S Bell Ave where the old Stanford Muffler and Automotive Space once was. The facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016 in Denton.

In 2014, Armadillo Ale claimed the gold medal in the Great American Beer Festival, which is the largest national beer competition held in the United States. Quakertown Stout, named after Quakertown Park in Denton, won the award for the Imperial Stout beer-style category.

— by S. Ivie, Associate Processing Archivist