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



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


Archivists hard at work in Special Collections have unearthed a fascinating video of “ArtWear ’83,” the 4th annual juried fashion exhibition put on by fashion design students at North Texas State University. Those of us who grew up in the 1980s will enjoy flashbacks to the hot fashions of our youth (can you say …shoulder pads?). Project Runway fans should appreciate the time and effort involved in conceptualizing and designing an entire clothing line within a short time frame and then seeing those months of hard work walk down the runway on professional models.

ArtWear is the annual juried exhibition for exhibiting graduating senior student work in the Fashion Design program at UNT. The first ArtWear show was held at Papagayo, a disco club in Dallas on May 3rd, 1980, with help from art faculty members Betty Marzan and Henry Swartzand, and the annual event is still being held today. Artwear ‘80 was a significant show because it was the first time the senior fashion design show was held off campus, increasing its notoriety and stressing it as a professionalization exercise for the students involved.  Fine line graphics, a studio operated by UNT Art students, came up with the Artwear name and logo for the 1980 show, and designed the tickets, promotional materials, and event advertising.

For over 30 years, this event has introduced students to many aspects of Dallas’s bustling fashion industry. In many years, students’ designs were displayed by professional models who donated their time in support of the event. The garments were then juried by industry professionals. Judges were often established fashion designers, retailers, and manufacturers. Noted American fashion designer Todd Oldham was one of the judges for the 5th annual show, Artwear ‘84, along with Eric Kimmel, notorious fashion bad boy and past-editor of the avant-garde fashion magazine Haute. For many of the exhibitions, submitted designs were required to be completely original, and students couldn’t use commercial patterns. Some students went so far as to print their own fabrics. Each student prepared between 8 and 15 fashions for the show.

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Posted by & filed under 1960's.



An aerial shot of our beloved US Interstate 35. As we hover over, we notice that it’s rush hour and there are at least 5 vehicles on the interstate. The bustle bursts through the screen. PAT BOONE’S signature smooth voice addresses the audience.


This is Pat Boone and you’re about to get a glimpse of my alma mater, North Texas State University.


PAT BOONE introduces the film and later JOHN SWANEY will narrate through the duration of the film. JOHN SWANEY is a national debating champion and fellow NTSU alumnus. Together, their voices will accompany images of NTSU. The campus is bright and inviting. The students look studious, eager to learn, and they move from building to building with purpose.



During the 1960s two movies were filmed in Denton, but only one was meant to highlight, “…student life in classes, social activities, athletic events and dormitories.” This film would eventually become, The Story of North Texas State University. The idea for this film came about during a United Students of North Texas Senate meeting when the suggestion for something other than a typical photo-based promotional project. The idea quickly gained backing from various organizations with an estimated production cost of $300. Once the USNT senators began asking around, they found their initial estimate needed to be reevaluated. After talking to both freelance and professional companies, the financial burden came into better focus with costs ranging from $3,500 to $10,000.

Things looked grim and hopes for a promotional film being made began to wane. That is until two alumni and current employees of the WBAP-TV television news station came into the fold. Cameraman Robert Welch and Editor Doyle Vinson offered to shoot a 28-minute promotional movie on 16mm film for $800. The USNT senate quickly met to vote on the acceptance of the offer and once accepted, the pieces began to swiftly fall in place. The advisory board for the film comprised of Dr. James L Rogers (Director of the News Service), Dr. A. Witt Blair (School of Education), and Dr. Stanley K. Hamilton (Speech & Drama) and shooting began during the 1962 University Day celebrations which included the burial of the now unearthed time capsule. Filming progressed throughout the beginning of the fall semester and moments like freshman registration, orientation and counseling and a Slab Dance were captured. Production kicked into full gear by October after securing Pat Boone and John Swaney to lend their vocal prowess to the film and Welch continued to roll film at events like the Angel Flight, the USNT Senate, and intramural football games.

In May 1963, the film finally began post-production with Vinson and Welch ready to cut the film with plans to include the film in a promotional panel to be presented at high school career days in the area. The final product can be seen here and the result is a little slice of NTSU/UNT life that depicts exactly what it set out to capture. In between established shots of buildings and events there are shots of students looking anxious during registration day. The crowd of students fanning themselves during orientation. One student is shown waking up from what appears to be an impromptu nap in a study space. It’s an interesting yet familiar look into what life was like on campus in 1962.

— by Steven Guerrero, Media Circulation Manager, UNT Media Library

Posted by & filed under 1920's, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's.

The Eagle Park and recreation grounds area on the North Texas campus occupied land on what was formerly Scoular Hall (originally the Journalism Building), Stovall Hall, the Willis Library, and a number of other structures. The recreation area extended beyond what was replaced with the Laboratory School (now known as the Music Annex) to the west and stretched out to the east even before the current Administration Building was constructed.

Eagle Park was a recreation area where croquet, volleyball, tennis, horseshoe and other activities could be enjoyed. It included a football field, a practice field for soccer and hockey, tennis courts, a men’s and women’s gymnasium, basketball courts, volleyball courts, an outdoor stadium, horseshoe courts, a shaded playground with trees, and, to the east, an archery area. It also included buildings such as the Men’s Gymnasium and the Women’s Gymnasium. A bowling alley was located behind the swimming pool to the west.

Originally, benches were part of the area where students could gather around the bandstand and watch theatrical performances, listen to music or, with the addition of a projection booth, watch films. The bandstand was an open air theater designed by architect O’Neil Ford. The stage of the bandstand was active throughout the 1920s and up until the late 1940s, when the Journalism Building took its place.

A swimming pool was part of the area behind the benches of the open air theater. When classes were not in session, the pool was open to the public, as were many of the areas on the grounds. The outdoor swimming pool was one of the last remaining structures of the recreation area, lasting even up through the 1980s and the early years of the Willis Library.

For many years, up until 1969, the current location of the Willis Library was occupied by the Willis Library. In photographs dating back to this year, early construction of the A.M. Willis, Jr. Library is visible in aerial views. Prior to this, this patch of land was the largest of the remaining pieces of Eagle Park.

Gradually, through time, every piece of the Eagle Park area has disappeared. Aerial photographs illustrate a progression of the land’s development up to the present day. None of the land or structures that were once an integral part of the North Texas community do not exist anymore except in memory. If it were not for photographs and aerials, clippings, yearbooks, old maps and documents, no one would even realize the space now occupied by the Administration Building, the Willis Library, Music buildings, University Union, and the recently demolished Scoular Hall and Stovall Hall had such a rich history of activity and recreation throughout the 1920s and up through the 1960s.

— by S. Ivie, Associate Processing Archivist

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

Fry Street, a home away from home for many North Texas alumni, has always been a place for students to pass time, share meals, or browse area shops for books, supplies, and gifts. Of all the businesses located in this lively collegiate hub, none is as quintessential as Voertman’s Book store. The Voertman family opened the store across the street from the North Texas Teacher’s Normal College in 1925. The original building, located on Hickory and Fry streets, was 2,300 square feet. Store patrons can still see the first store’s foundations; an old brick structure, remnants of a second story, juts out from the wall.

Roy Frederick Voertman began the store after his days as a traveling salesman for Blackwell-Wielandy, a general wholesale merchandise supplier from St. Louis, Missouri. After undergoing a major health setback, Voertman decided to set up shop in the thriving town of Denton. According to Roy’s son, Paul Voertman, the family’s store was a funny little sort of drugstore, soda fountain included, which became a college hangout for North Texas students. The store began to sell school supplies, from suppliers such as Blackwell-Wielandy, in addition to being a bustling gathering place for students.

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

Don and Dolores Vann began collecting Victorian books during the summer of 1962, when they acquired a first edition of Dickens Bleak House. While working on his Ph.D. from Texas Tech, Vann spent summers working with his father as a steamfitter. He was working with his father’s crew in Dayton, Ohio in 1962 and was sporting a goatee, which his mother detested. Vann found the two-volume set of Bleak House in a used book shop; however, at $40 it was beyond his means at the time. This lovely set was given to him as a bribe by his mother in exchange for shaving off his goatee.

Dr. and Mrs. Vann spent the summer of 1965 in London, conducting research in the British Library and buying first editions of Victorian works by such renowned authors as Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray. During their subsequent trips to London, the Vanns came to know many of the city’s booksellers and were offered first editions kept hidden from all but their most favorite customers. London was heaven for a bibliophile in the 1960s; the Vanns could buy first edition Dickens books for £1 or first edition Thackeray volumes for just 10 shillings.

Dr. J. Don Vann is a retired University of North Texas Regent’s Professor and Professor Emeritus in English. He received his B.A. and M.A. from TCU and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech before joining the faculty of UNT in 1964. He taught courses in Victorian literature, focusing particularly on Dickens, Tennyson, and Browning. His doctoral dissertation on the critical reception of David Copperfield in London newspapers led him to be a founding member of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals in which he held various offices. He is also a member of and regularly attends the annual meeting of the London Pickwick Club – an organization founded by Cedric Dickens, a great-grandson of the novelist – where he plays an obscure character, a medical student named Jack Hopkins. Dr. Vann is the author or editor of eight books and dozens of articles and is currently working on a ninth book, Tennyson’s Theory of Poetry.

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Posted by & filed under 1970's.

When Hayden Fry arrived at North Texas State University in December 1973, the Eagles were on a three season losing streak. In Coach Fry’s six years as head football coach (five of which he also served as Athletics Director) he would lead the Mean Green to a record of 40-23, including upset wins against the University of Houston and the University of Tennessee in 1974.

A native of Eastland, TX and a descendant of one of Sam Houston’s allies at the Battle of San Jacinto, Hayden Fry’s career in football began with playing quarterback at Odessa High School in the 1940s. He would later attend Baylor University, where he played quarterback for the Bears while earning a degree in psychology. After a stint in the Marine Corps from 1952-1955, Fry was hired for the head coaching position at Southern Methodist University in 1964, where he recruited, among others, Jerry LeVias, the first African American scholarship athlete and the second African American football player in the Southwest Conference. Despite leading SMU to three winning seasons from 1964-1968, Fry’s Mustangs went 12-20 from 1969-1971. After a 7-4 season in 1972, SMU fired Coach Fry. Fry would later state his belief that his firing had less to do with a losing streak and was instead motivated by his opposition to a plan developed by some athletics boosters to create a slush fund to pay SMU’s athletes. After Fry’s departure, SMU was sanctioned five times, including receiving the NCAA’s death penalty in 1987, for multiple violations, including this slush fund plan.

In his first year as head coach at NTSU, Fry led the Eagles to a 7-4 season. As Athletic Director, Fry shared NTSU President C.C. Nolen’s ambitions for increasing the university’s prestige. Some of these efforts were drastic. During the Fry’s tenure as Athletic Director, NTSU used a yellow-green in place of its traditional, darker green. Fry also lobbied, unsuccessfully, for the university to change its name from North Texas State University to Texas State University, believing that this would put them on the same prestige level as other land-grant universities. He also emphasized the nickname “Mean Green” over the traditional Eagle mascot. Fry scheduled the Eagles to compete against big name opponents such as Tennessee, Mississippi State, Auburn, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Florida State, and Texas. In 1974, at both his and Nolen’s urging, NTSU left the Missouri Valley Conference to compete as an independent school, hoping to attract an invitation from the Southwest Conference. During Coach Fry’s tenure, the Mean Green would enjoy a 10-1 season in 1977 and a 9-2 season in 1978. Coaching films from the Fry era are available in the Portal to Texas History.

However, despite their success on the field, the Southwest Conference was reluctant to extend NTSU an invitation, and the university’s independent status meant that it would receive no bowl game invitations. Coach Fry became increasingly frustrated with the SWC’s refusal to allow NTSU a hearing. He became an outspoken critic of the conference, which offended officials from the conference school to the point that some were of the opinion that NTSU would never be allowed to join the conference while Fry was still there.

After six years of on-field success and off-field frustration, Coach Fry accepted the head coaching position at the University of Iowa in 1978. The players, the Athletic Council, and President Nolen all endorsed Defensive Coordinator Bill Brashier to replace Fry, but the Board of Regents hesitated, stating their desire to fill the vacant Athletic Director position before hiring a new head coach. When Brashier heard this, he issued the following statement: “If the Board of Regents cannot concur with the unanimous endorsement of the Athletic Council, the president, and the vice president, then I am no longer a candidate for the position of head football coach at North Texas State University.” He then left to join Fry in Iowa as defensive coordinator. The Board of Regents was roundly criticized for their treatment of Brashier.

Fry left behind him a legacy of victory, a huge deficit in the athletics budget, and an athletics program that was not Title IX compliant due to his focus on growing football in lieu of expanding women’s athletics. In 1979, the university hired Jerry Moore, former offensive coordinator at the University of Nebraska, for the head coaching position. He would serve for only two years with an 11-11 record. Fry went on to a 143-89 career at Iowa, including three Big 10 conference titles and six bowl victories. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

— by Robert Lay, Special Collections Librarian