Chancellor Lee Jackson announced Dec. 6 that the UNT System intends to seek approval from the Texas Legislature and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish a new public law school in downtown Dallas.
A number of Dallas area legislators — including Texas State Sen. Royce West and State Rep. Tony Goolsby — and Dallas Mayor Laura Miller joined Jackson at the UNT System's announcement ceremony on the steps of the Old Municipal Building, located at 106 S. Harwood, to demonstrate their support for the project.
West, who has worked with the UNT System since 1998 on the plans to build and open UNT at Dallas, will introduce a bill in the 2005 legislative session that will authorize the UNT System to begin the process of establishing the law school. Goolsby, a UNT alumnus, will sponsor the bill in the Texas House.
Although plans may change as the project evolves, Jackson acknowledges that a first step will be to look at the feasibility of locating the new UNT College of Law in the Old Municipal Building, the five-story landmark that served as City Hall until 1978 — and where for many years the fifth floor was used as the city jail. The building was constructed in 1914 at a cost of $700,000.
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Homecoming 2004 marked the official dedication of the three newest buildings on campus — the Chemistry Building, Victory Hall and Sorority Row. The three buildings were introduced to the public with ribbon-cutting ceremonies Oct. 22 and 23.
The opening of the Chemistry Building marks the achievement of a longtime goal for state-of-the-art chemistry laboratories for teaching and research. The total project cost for the 105,000-square-foot building, located at the corner of Mulberry and Avenue C, is $30 million. Set into the sidewalk outside the building is the Donor Periodic Table, a granite periodic table with each element represented by a 10-inch square including its symbol and atomic number and space for a donor's name or chosen text. For more information, go to www.chem.unt.edu or call the chemistry department at (940) 565-2713.
Victory Hall, the university's newest residence hall, is located on the Eagle Point Campus just across I-35 from the main campus. Built on the site of the former Eagle Point Golf Course, this 600-bed facility cost $25.3 million and also features a $3.9 million dining hall, Champs Cafeteria. A central lobby separating two large courtyards serves as a student center with a cyber café, computer lab, kitchenette, media room, classroom, and game and seating areas.
Sorority Row, a 38,000-square-foot facility, is located on the eastern edge of the Denton campus at Bernard and Prairie streets, and consists of five attached sorority houses (each approximately 7,600 square feet). The total cost for the five houses was $4.5 million.
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UNT and NanoHoldings LLC announced the joint formation of NanoStar Inc. — a newly formed commercial company that will sign an exclusive license to nanotechnology developed at the university — in a special ceremony at the UNT Research Park campus Nov. 17. The signing ceremony came at the dedication of new College of Engineering facilities.
As a result of the agreement, UNT invited NanoStar to become the first commercial company to be located at the Research Park.
"By establishing this kind of incubator partnership, the university aims to provide vital economic stimulus to the region and state — as well as unique educational opportunities for students and faculty — by allowing UNT-generated intellectual property to be commercialized through licensing agreements," says UNT President Norval Pohl.
Under the terms of the agreement, NanoStar will examine the possibilities of commercializing patent-pending UNT discoveries resulting from new research in nanotechnology. The rapidly emerging field explores matter at the atomic and molecular levels where the nanometer (one billionth of a meter) is the standard unit of measurement.
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UNT concluded the yearlong observance of its 50th anniversary of desegregation by awarding honorary doctor of humane letters degrees to two barrier-breaking alumni — A. Tennyson Miller (posthumously) and Joe L. Atkins — during the 2004 fall university commencement ceremony Dec. 18.
The two were recognized for initiating the university's nonviolent desegregation, making it possible for thousands of African Americans to pursue their college education at North Texas.
In the summer of 1954, doctoral student Miller became the first African American to attend North Texas, and a lawsuit filed by Atkins ('66 M.Ed.) a year later paved the way for all African American students to enroll. Miller worked as a principal in Port Arthur until 1967, when he accepted a position as integration specialist with the U.S. Office of Education. He died in 1993.
Atkins served as a public school teacher and went on to be a field representative for the Texas State Teachers Association from 1974 to 1997. Today he is a real estate broker in Dallas. For his civic and professional accomplishments, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus presented him with the Outstanding Texan Award in March 2001.
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