Overhead night photo of the UNT 2018 Block Party with fireworks in the distance
Members of the Class of 2018 were the guests of honor at the Graduation Block Party, which quickly became my favorite event of the year. We had more than 8,000 graduates, students, faculty, staff, alumni and families join us for an evening of games, dancing, music, giveaways, food and fireworks.
Straight from Smatresk

Dear Alum,

2018 CommencementWe've wrapped up another incredible year full of student success, research discoveries and athletic achievements, while simultaneously earning many awards and honors. The best part of my job is interacting with our 38,000 students and watching how UNT transforms their lives and prepares them for successful careers in the evolving workforce.

During our nine spring commencement ceremonies, UNT awarded more than 4,600 degrees, and we are on track to award more degrees in the 2017-18 academic year than ever before! This year's ceremonies included a graduating grandma, a marriage proposal, and high fives for each of the Diaz quintuplets.  The youngest member of the Class of 2018 was 19 years old and the eldest, Betty Sue Davis Wright, was 77 — proving it's never too late to earn a UNT degree! You can learn more about members of #UNT18 by viewing our Great Graduates series on the UNT Facebook page and Twitter.

The annual Graduation Block Party drew a crowd of more than 8,000 graduates, students, faculty, staff, alumni and families for an evening of games, dancing, music, giveaways, food and fireworks. This has become my favorite event of the year, and I hope you'll join us next year.

NetDragon eventImmediately following graduation, we hosted our partners from NetDragon, a Chinese leader in internet and mobile internet educational content and delivery, to celebrate the launch of UNT's NetDragon Digital Research Centre. I met NetDragon founder Dejian Liu at the 2017 US-China Smart Learning Conference, and we bonded over our shared desire to improve student learning experiences and success. We're working together on a number of projects and through the centre, our faculty and students will develop next generation technologies to improve our students' success. The centre, led by UNT researcher Thomas D. Parsons, will provide access to new internships, technology development support and research funding.

UNT is focused on developing new learning opportunities for our students to ensure that when they enter the workforce, their skills make them a first-choice hire for employers. Our incredible alumni network gets stronger each year, and we're grateful for your continued support.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
President
@UNTPrez

The Inside Scoop
UNT is a top Texas employer
UNT class in session
Forbes magazine recently released its list of America's Best Employers, and I was thrilled to see UNT near the top of the list at No. 40 nationwide. Our rank is even higher in Texas, where we are the No. 4 best employer, trailing industry leaders USAA, Southwest Airlines and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Talk about good company! In the education industry, UNT is ranked No. 7 nationwide. I attribute these superior rankings to our faculty and staff who are innovative, collaborative and caring. I've worked at many universities, but none have the spirit and can-do attitude of UNT.
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Joe Greene Hall
UNT alum Joe Green at Apogee Stadium
UNT's newest residence hall, set to open in fall 2019, will be named Joe Greene Hall in honor of the greatest football player in UNT history. Following his wildly successful NFL football career, which included four Super Bowl wins, Joe has continued to champion and support our university. He served on the UNT Board of Regents in the 1980s, sent two children to school here, and has established the UNT Agnes Lucille Craft Greene Scholarship in memory of his late wife, who was his college sweetheart. To raise funds for the scholarship, the Greene Family Foundation will host its second annual Nibble & Mingle Fundraiser on June 29 at The Highland Dallas. The event features delicious eats from Dallas chefs, time to meet with NFL Hall of Famers including Terry Bradshaw, Earl Campbell and Randy White, and a live auction. Artist Jared Emerson will create a live portrait of the event, which will be available for purchase.
 
 
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Purple Heart University
UNT veterans at a Staff Sack Lunch event
UNT takes great pride in providing our 3,000 student veterans with a seamless transition from military life to college civilian life, and we recently were honored for our efforts. This month, the Military Order of the Purple Heart named UNT a Purple Heart University and the City of Frisco designated May 8 as "UNT Day" because of our reputation for excellence in serving veterans and their families. UNT is proud to be named a Top 10 Tier One Research Institution by MilitaryFriendly.com and to be included on Military Times' list of Best Colleges.
 
 
 
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CMHT's new dean
Jana Hawley
We just concluded a nationwide search for dean of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, and we are excited to begin working with Jana Hawley on Aug. 1. She replaces Judith Forney, who served as dean since 2001 and is stepping down to pursue teaching and academic interests. Dr. Hawley previously worked at UNT from 1998 to 2000 as an assistant professor in the then-named School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management. We're excited to have her rejoin the Mean Green family and look forward to watching the college continue to evolve as one of the preeminent schools in the nation.
 
 
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Spotlight on Excellence
Rachel Shafer
Student achievements
Graphic depicting the Apogee Stadium football field
Advancements at Apogee

Improvements to the player and fan experience are underway at Apogee Stadium. Mean Green Athletics is installing a new FieldTurf Cool Play surface, which will keep the surface 35 degrees cooler than traditional turf fields. The field, which will feature UNT brand marks and the diving eagle logo, is expected to be complete in early June. Also under construction near the stadium is an addition to the Alumni Pavilion. The Diamond Eagles Family Patio almost doubles the pavilion's size and includes a permanent stage. This project was funded by members of the Diamond Eagles Society, UNT's newest giving initiative, and I can't wait to see how it enhances the game day experience for our Mean Green alumni, family and friends. Don't wait to order your Mean Green Football season tickets and make plans to join us Sept. 1 for the first home game against SMU!

Jehanne Dubrow, Bruce Bond, Alicia Eggert and David Stout
Faculty honors
  • Fellowships from the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts will enable four faculty members to focus on creative research for 2018-19. These faculty are, from left, Jehanne Dubrow, associate professor of English; Bruce Bond, Regents Professor of English; Alicia Eggert, assistant professor of studio art; and David Stout, professor of composition and new media, and coordinator for the Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts.
  • Biologist Richard Dixon, a Distinguished Research Professor, was elected into the United Kingdom's Royal Society, which is similar to the United States' National Academy of Sciences, of which he also is a member.
  • CVAD's Annette Lawrence, a professor of studio art, is one of 84 artists worldwide to receive the MacDowell Colony Fellowship for Summer Residencies.
  • College of Business professor Dan Kim earned a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to research how the creation of new online technologies are affected by cultural norms.
  • UNT presented its first Presidential Early Career Professor designation to Angie (Wilson) Cartwright, an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education.
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