The North Texan Online UNT North Texan contents UNT North Texan feature stories UNT North Texan eagle tale UNT  North Texan alumni news UNT North Texan feedback
MoreUNT North Texan time tracksUNT newsUNT North Texan contact usUNT North Texan past issues




The North Texan welcomes letters from alumni and friends. Send letters, with writer's full name and address, to

The North Texan, University of North Texas,
Office of University Communications and Marketing,
P.O. Box 311070,
Denton, Texas 76203-1070.

Letters may also be sent via Internet to or submitted on this page. Letters may be edited for length and publication style.

UNT's current fountain  

More bubbles?

Regarding "A Bubbling Fountain" (Time Tracks, summer '01), let me get this straight. A beautiful fountain in a wonderfully acoustic surrounding area was built, was sadly misused, and is still intact under rocks and planters. Thirty years later a new fountain will be built at considerable expense.

Apparently today's students are thought to be more mature and will never put soap in the new fountain. Wake up! What happens if they do make it a bubble fountain again? Will it be another planter in a few years?

Why not restore the old fountain if one is wanted?

Jo Watkins Parker ('65)

Editor's note: We're told that restoring the old fountain would be too costly, considering that a new lighting system for that part of campus would have to be installed (a tall light pole is now mounted in the fountain) and the old fountain parts dug up and replaced. The design and location of the new water feature and improved filtering systems should help cut down on pranks and their effects.


Dr. Davidson

At North Texas in the '60s, James Davidson (Feedback, spring '01) was one of those professors whose influence and friendship guided our lives with an ease most of us missed at the time. His wit, his wisdom, his teaching methods and his love of writing made him an extraordinary professor.

Because of Dr. Davidson, I became a professor of English, largely because he believed in me ("When you're good, you're damn good") at a time when I found that hard to do. After 30 years of teaching and scores of pedagogical techniques designed to encourage thinking, the best method is still one of Dr. Davidson's. He would ask each of us to write 10 questions about a poem or story in a "Blue Book."

At first we resisted — thinking that we had all the answers and should be allowed to give those. Then, slowly, we began to understand: Until you learn to ask the questions, you really won't be able to find the answers.

I cannot end this without mentioning Emily Dickinson — she may have been Dr. Davidson's favorite poet and I never think of her without remembering him. He seemed to delight in one poem especially. The gentle, insightful beauty of Dickinson's lines about the hummingbird reflects, for me, the life of this great man.


A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving wheel -
A resonance of Emerald -
A Rush of Cochineal -
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled head -
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy Morning's Ride -

Clay Randolph ('68 M.A.)
via e-mail


Amazing legacy

My heart stopped when I read the name Mark Gash ('79) in "Friends We'll Miss" (winter 2000). Mark had a rare disease that left him in a wheelchair and with very little mobility or control in his hands. Nevertheless, he managed to become a well-known artist, not only in Denton but in Los Angeles as well.

I first arrived in Denton in the fall of 1979. I was privileged soon after to attend a birthday party for Mark at a local club. He was immensely popular. A great wit and self-confident charm characterized his brilliance. He was one of the humble leaders of an avant-garde art movement that was in full swing by the time I arrived in Denton.

Mark was a card-carrying minister in the Church of the Sub-genius, a world traveler and a spokesman for the many uses of Velcro. When he left North Texas, he moved to Los Angeles and began a popular comic strip in a local magazine there. He was later featured in a book titled 24 L.A., published in the late '80s.

Mark left an amazing legacy. Those of us fortunate enough to be a part of Denton's golden age of art and music in the late '70s and early '80s will miss him. I have traveled the world and lived in artistic communities and have never found a movement as profound or creative as that time in Denton, nor have I met an artist to compare to Mark Gash. He was a rare man with a rare gift.

Karine Graham ('84)




With last issue's "Great Debate" story, we managed to launch a little debate of our own. We identified the coach in one of the photos as William DeMougeot, who directed the program from 1954 to 1971 and from 1979 to 1981. The man pictured was actually Bullock Hyder, who served as debate coach from 1938 to 1942. Hyder left the university to serve in the war and returned in 1947 as a special assistant to the president and part-time instructor. He taught economics and government full-time from 1948 until his retirement in 1977. DeMougeot was serving as a professor of communication and public address when he died in 1985.

Mark Gash  

Along with news of the coach's mistaken identity, we found out the names of some of the students in the photo. Bernie W. Ellis ('85 M.M.) of Greenville, S.C., recognized his father, Carroll B. Ellis ('41), as the young man standing third from the left. Carroll went on to direct a nationally prominent debate program himself at David Lipscomb College in Nashville. Jim Townsend ('42) of Dallas also identified his school friends Ellis and, second from left, Henry Amlin.


UNT home UNT calendarCampaign North TexasNorth Texas Exesathletics