Founding President Joshua C. Chilton envisioned the UNT we are today -- a great university leading the way in educating the men and women of Texas.
It was an honor to bring our past and present full circle to kick off our 125th anniversary celebrations as part of my State of the University address Sept. 16, the exact day of our first classes in 1890 when Chilton ushered UNT into existence as a teacher training school with 70 students.
As part of my address, I unveiled UNT's top priorities for what we'll tackle in the year ahead and shared our accomplishments from the past year. See a recap of the event and how others vow to move us forward.
We've come a long way with the help of alumni, friends and community partners like you, and I'm thankful to each of you who came out to support UNT at our State of the University event. You've played a major role in transforming a little teacher's school on the Denton square into a university ranked the 25th largest in the nation and focused on academic and creative excellence. Read the Denton Record-Chronicle's special issue celebrating UNT's 125th anniversary.
While our mission and impact are much bigger in scope today, our leadership and excellence in the North Texas region and state have withstood time. See how far we've come in our 2014-15 Accomplishments Summary highlighting university-wide achievements.
We've made incredible progress. We opened the academic year on a high note with a record enrollment of 37,231 students and our biggest freshman class to date. I'm also proud to share that we have 15 new National Merit Scholars on campus this year. All together, these are signs that more students are making us their first-choice university.
We'll build on this momentum to move us forward, give students the best educational experience and to become one of the nation's top public research institutions, known around the world for our excellence, creativity and innovation. It's not too late to help support our students and their dreams by participating in UNT Giving Week, a Founder's Week event celebrating 125 years of impact and excellence. I hope that you'll join supporters like Jim and Linda McNatt, Bruzzy Westheimer Jr., Ernie Kuehne, Kristin Farmer, Don Lovelace and C. Dan Smith (see me thanking them for their generous gifts, right). Read more about their gifts. You can make a gift to the Inspire UNT Fund and help us reach our goal of attracting 1,250 new donors by Sept. 19.
As we continue to make great strides on our journey to national prominence, I look forward to working together to make great things happen for our students and UNT. Here's to another 125 years!