When UNT founder Joshua C. Chilton envisioned his dream for UNT, he remarked, "It will be our aim to become leaders in the education of the young men and women of Texas, fitting them to creditably take the most important positions in business and professional circles."
Members of the university's Founder's Circle are working to help UNT stay that course by giving generously to help fund everything from student scholarships to faculty research projects to state-of-the-art facilities. The UNT Founder's Circle comprises the university's top three donor recognition societies, including individuals who have made cumulative lifetime gifts to UNT of $250,000 or more.
"The gifts that come from Founder's Circle donors are game-changing gifts," President V. Lane Rawlins says. "These are the kind of gifts that make a good university great. They not only support today's needs, but also tomorrow's potential. They help us achieve our bold goals of offering the best education, research and service possible."
Many of the circle's members came together in October for a dinner at the Murchison Performing Arts Center to learn about the university's strides in teaching, research and facilities.
Michael Monticino, vice president for advancement and director of development for the UNT Foundation, also thanked them for their support.
"Your profound generosity has lifted our students above the noise of an ordinary life, giving them the courage to reach for the greatness within themselves," he said.
Collectively, members of the Founder's Circle have generously supported nearly every initiative at the university.
The group has endowed scholarships and fellowships, supported faculty excellence through gifts to research and creative activity, established centers, funded new facilities and key renovations, and advanced some of UNT's most innovative endeavors.
Some members have been supporting the university for decades. Others are more recently engaged. Their generosity is a testament to their belief that UNT is on the right track, headed toward a visionary future, Monticino says.
He emphasizes that the impact of gifts made by Founder's Circle members cannot be understated, especially when
it comes to students.
"Student scholarship recipients offer the best evidence of private giving at work," he says. "These gifts help the university focus on providing students with the best education possible that in turn has lasting impacts in their lives and for their greater communities and beyond."
Junior Spanish major Leidy Silva recently drafted a thank-you note to UNT's donors as part of UNT's first Tuition Stop Day event, designed to call attention to the role private giving plays in supporting students.
"Thank you all so much for helping me fulfill my dreams of going to college," she wrote. "You have no idea what a difference you make."
The Founder's Circle consists of three recognition societies — the McConnell Society, the Matthews Society and the Kendall Society. Each is named for a former president who left a deep and lasting impact on UNT, just as members of the Founder's Circle have with their support.
The McConnell Society
The McConnell Society recognizes those with contributions of $1 million or more.
The Matthews Society
The Matthews Society recognizes those with contributions between $500,000 and $999,999.
The Kendall Society
The Kendall Society recognizes those with contributions between $250,000 and $499,999.
Visit Give to UNT to learn more about how private support helps students reach their potential and helps UNT achieve its goals of being a top research institution offering the best undergraduate education.