Debbie and Neal Smatresk with UNT's National Merit Scholars at the stairs in the Hurley Administration building
Debbie and I recently visited with many of UNT's 55 National Merit Scholars who continue to inspire me with their professional goals and dreams for the future.
Straight from Smatresk

Dear Alum,

We're nearing the spring semester's midpoint and remain busy hiring key leaders, improving our programs and making strategic decisions to move our university forward. Spring enrollment in online classes and at UNT's New College at Frisco are up significantly over last spring — 16.6 percent for online classes and 72 percent at the New College. Plus, I'm happy to report UNT's online graduate education program recently was named fourth best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report — and is just one of UNT's many impressive rankings.

I had the opportunity this month to visit with many students, alumni and UNT supporters. Debbie and I visited with some of UNT's 55 National Merit Scholars to discuss their current UNT experience. Thanks to an incredible programming opportunity facilitated by OLLI at UNT, I also met Texas gardening guru Neil Sperry and enjoyed an afternoon with fellow green-thumbed OLLI members. At the annual Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio, I was able to see the impact our College of Music faculty, students and alumni make on thousands of public school students throughout the state! These interactions always reenergize me and reinforce how lucky I am to work at such a caring and creative university.

I look forward to the upcoming opportunities this spring to meet with alumni, friends and supporters like you. Coming up soon, UNT will co-host the Conference USA Basketball Championships March 7-10 at The Star in Frisco. We look forward to watching our men's and women's teams compete and are so proud of the women's team for achieving a winning season for the first time in 12 years. You also are welcome to join us March 17 for the annual Wingspan Gala where UNT alumna Carmen Cusack, a Tony Award-nominated singer and actress, will perform. Tickets are on sale now.

Thank you for your continued support of UNT and for your constant cheering for the Mean Green Nation.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk

The Inside Scoop
Students support athletics
UNT Battle Flag at Apogee Stadium
UNT Athletics will receive an additional $3.5 million in annual funding due to the student body's support of a fee increase for intercollegiate athletics. Students approved an increase of $4.25 per semester credit hour beginning in fall 2018 to be used to improve facilities, travel and recruiting budgets, in addition to increasing marketing and promotions aimed at students. The athletic department also has set aside a portion of the funds for the Green Brigade, spirit squads and club/recreational sports. I'm thrilled for what this means for UNT Athletics and, along with Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker, thank the student body for their support.
Learn more about
the future of UNT Athletics »
New deans named
Diane Bruxvoort and Neale R. Chumbler
I'm excited to add two new leaders to the UNT family in the coming months, as deans of UNT Libraries and the College of Health and Public Service. Diane Bruxvoort will join UNT Libraries on April 1. She most recently worked as the director of Libraries, Special Collections and Museums at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, but is well-acquainted with Texas, having worked at the University of Houston, Houston Public Library and Harris County Library. On July 1, Neale R. Chumbler will begin as dean of UNT's College of Health and Public Service to help shape the next generation of scholars and continue the college's history of providing students with application-based education.
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Baylock defines DFW
Alan Baylock
UNT's Alan Baylock ('94 M.M.) joined Mark Cuban, Roger Staubach, Ron Kirk and Krys Boyd on Visit DFW's list of 10 People Who Define Dallas-Fort Worth. Alan earned his master's degree in jazz studies from UNT before a 20-year career as chief arranger for the Airmen of Note, the U.S. Air Force's premier jazz ensemble. He returned to UNT in 2016 as director of the Grammy Award-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band and continues the group's history of excellence.
Read about the 10 people who
define the Dallas-Fort Worth area »
Spring alumni mixers
Night photo of McConnell Tower illuminated in green
In 2017, UNT achieved its highest-ever annual fundraising total, and the UNT Alumni Association hit an all-time high of 14,035 members. Join the UNT Alumni Association for 2018 Spring Mixers in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton counties. To celebrate more than $30 million in fundraising for UNT, the Talons will light McConnell Tower green Feb. 28 in honor of every donor who contributed. When you give to UNT, your gift is transformative for our students, campus and programs. To learn more about the ways to give, visit Giving to UNT.
Read about the Impact of Giving
in The North Texan»
Spotlight on Excellence
Aditya Ayyagari, a recent doctoral graduate with the UNT College of Engineering’s Materials Science and Engineering Department.
College of Engineering research discoveries
Scientists in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering are some of the most innovative on our campus, constantly discovering new uses for materials and designing others. In addition to designing next-generation alloys that could be used in bio-implants, College of Engineering researchers have developed an alternative to the lithium-ion battery that is environmentally friendly and has a longer life and higher power. Professor Wonbong Choi has worked with doctoral students Juhong Park and Eunho Cha to create a uniform, thin, two-dimensional material that is thinner than previous materials and could revolutionize materials science.
Three UNT football players suited up
UNT football signs 19 to 2018 roster

Mean Green spring football is underway and I'm hearing great things about the 2018 team. Coming off a winning 9-5 season, head coach Seth Littrell and his staff added 19 players from six states, including 14 from high school and five from junior colleges, on National Signing Day. I was able to catch some of the early action last week during the team's open practice and look forward to the annual Green and White Game on March 24 at Apogee Stadium. Season tickets are on sale now and the Mean Green Scholarship Fund is always accepting new members.

D CEO cover, Dallas 500, the most powerful business leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth. Front row from left: Melissa Reiff, Emmitt Smith Back: Mike Rawlings, Andrew Beal, G. Brint Ryan. Portrait by Elizabeth Lavin
Alumni named among the most powerful business leaders in DFW
American Airlines' chief information security officer, the president and CEO of Fort Worth's JPS Health Network and the Dallas city manager are among the 12 UNT alumni included in D CEO magazine's annual Dallas 500 list. The magazine's cover features UNT System Board of Regents Chairman Brint Ryan ('88, '88 M.S.), CEO and founder of global tax firm Ryan LLC. Also included on the list of the North Texas region's top business executives is UNT College of Business Dean Marilyn Wiley and UNT System Chancellor Lesa Roe. Congratulations to all UNT family members represented!
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