Celebrating a bright future

President Neal Smatresk welcomes speaker Steven Davidson ('15) at University-wide Commencement. (Photo by Gary Payne)As our anniversary celebrations came to a close in May, I marveled not only at how far we have come in 125 years, but at how much we have achieved in one year.

This academic year, we had record enrollment, rose to the top ranks of research universities and launched initiatives that will create the UNT of tomorrow. These milestones build on a foundation established in 1890, built around a vision for UNT to create leaders and to be a leader.

Today, we hold our heads high as a top-tier research university -- one of 115 research universities in the nation ranked in the Carnegie Classification's highest tier. Many of our programs are nationally recognized, including 14 programs currently ranked in the nation's Top 100 by U.S. News & World Report.

We're also one of the nation's largest universities, with more than 37,000 students and 380,000 alumni around the world and growing. In May, we honored the graduates of 2015-16 at our University-wide Commencement. Celebrating our 8,500 newest graduates was the perfect ending to our anniversary year, and the ceremony at Apogee Stadium was a wonderful celebration of achievement, family and pride. Our keynote speaker, alumnus Steven Davidson ('15), the 2012 Army Times Soldier of the Year, inspired our graduates to be the generation of change.

There are symbols of our growth and progress across campus and throughout the North Texas region -- from our new University Union to our University of North Texas New College at Frisco, both of which opened this academic year.

This momentum will continue as we enter our annual planning cycle and create our priority list and action items for the coming year. As we work to achieve our goals and fulfill our dreams, the future couldn't be brighter.

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