A new year of opportunity

President Neal Smatresk and Debbie Smatresk ride in the UNT Homecoming Parade with their granddaughter. (Photo by Gary Payne)UNT'S momentum is better than ever, fueled by a legacy of excellence and our focus on offering the best education in Texas and beyond.

We're committed to helping our students graduate and build successful careers like alumnus Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel. President Barack Obama appointed him chief of the National Guard Bureau and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Helping our students achieve their dreams is our ultimate mission and our best measure of success. As a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university, our future has never looked brighter. We're determined to keep it that way by having world-class academics, research and athletics.

We're strengthening our research enterprise by growing in areas like autism and materials science -- two fields in which we're conducting research at the leading edge. You can read about our impact in both in this issue. We've also renamed our research division the Office of Research and Innovation, which includes the new Office of Innovation and Commercialization and a renewed emphasis on patents and technology transfer.

And we're building a winning athletics program with investments that are paying off. Our football team is going to a bowl game in its first season with new coach Seth Littrell and our women's soccer team captured its third-straight Conference USA regular-season championship.

We're excited about a new year of opportunity in 2017. Have a happy, safe holiday season and a great new year. Be sure to check out our holiday video or on the University of North Texas YouTube channel. I hope the joy and wonder of the season stays with you throughout the new year.

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