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  The North Texan welcomes letters from readers. Send letters, with writer’s full name and address, by e-mail to, fax to (940) 369-8763, submit on the web at (follow the “Contact us” link) or mail to The North Texan; University of North Texas; University Relations, Communications and Marketing; P.O. Box 311070; Denton, Texas 76203-1070. Letters may be edited for length and publication style.  

Cat managers

I saw the wonderful Eagle Tale by Meg Moring titled “Cat Management” (summer 2006). As director of the UNT Feral Cat Rescue Group, I’m happy to report that the black cat population at Fouts Field is now under control and these little guys are living out their lives on campus in a healthy way — and not reproducing!

Thanks so much for a great publication. My great aunt was here in 1903 and subsequently my grandmother and her other sister and brother from 1904 to 1907, I believe. (My mother, Helen Peden Kelly (’49), is also an alum.) They would be proud of The North Texan.

Nancy A. Kelly (’82, ’83, ’91 M.S.)
Academic counselor, School of Visual Arts

The title “Cat Management” immediately brought to mind the UNT feral cat rescue group on campus. I am on their e-mail list and follow their activities with interest.

Their group consists of many dedicated individuals throughout the campus who look after the campus cats, getting them spayed and neutered to alleviate the overpopulation problem. They also feed them and seek medical care for them, and kittens and any adult cats who are susceptible are tamed and found homes.

I do animal rescue myself and know firsthand how difficult these tasks of love are. Bravo to all of the volunteer campus cat caretakers!

The best way we all can help is to have all our own companion animals spayed and neutered, the first step in overcoming the tragedy of unwanted and homeless pets.

Norma Stevlingson (’74 D.M.A.)
via e-mail

Rosebud and Pearl

Rosebud Blondell had a 100th birthday (“Timetracks,” summer 2006) and Pearl West (“Friends We’ll Miss”) lived past 100. Was this the centennial issue? Perhaps the North Texas Exes should consider a Century Club. I would aspire to join it in a few years.

I knew Pearl and her husband — I watched her play basketball many times.

I also remember the faculty director hyping Rosebud’s play at assembly and mentioning she was from a professional theatre family. I don’t remember seeing the play in the auditorium but I do remember seeing a Shaw play in an improvised playhouse in the gymnasium. I also remember being outside the replaced auditorium at the time Rosebud was there. The one in the gym must have been another play the year before.

I was a life guard at the swimming pool and had to stay late twice a week to be sure nobody jumped in. Of course, it was no imposition because I got to watch the shows from the diving-board platform.

Francis Stroup (’29)
DeKalb, Ill.

I remember when Joan Blondell’s Oscar award nomination was announced on the Dallas evening news after an episode of I Love Lucy. The next day in music class, Mr. Graham said she had been a theater education student at North Texas “before most of you were born.” We thought it was a joke.

Later, my friends heard others talking about it. We all went to the library to check the old yearbooks. Imagine our surprise when we saw on the pages before our eyes a real-live Oscar nominee from our college! We sat in there talking about it until the librarian asked us to leave.

Thanks for the article and thanks for the memories. Long live North Texas.

William “Bud” Jones, attended 1947-1950

Team effort

I’d like to supplement the splendid coverage of UNT national scholarship competition and faculty mentorship (summer 2006). Truman Scholar Constance Lacy (mentored in 1998 by Dr. Linda Threats) and Javits Fellow Tanya Vazquez were both members of the UNT Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. That research-based undergraduate program ably prepares first-generation college students for placement in Ph.D. programs.

Also, our success in Goldwater competition owes much to students from the UNT Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. Added thanks go to the many faculty members who serve on nominating and mentoring committees. Then there are undergraduate and graduate applicants from our several colleges, including our new Honors College.

This cross-campus, team effort accounts for our success and leaves us well poised for ongoing distinction.

James Duban
Director, Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships

More about Bruce

At least one more recall of dear old Bruce: It was still “the new dorm” when I started at North Texas in September 1950. I lived on A-1, and the advantage of that was that the office opened into our hall, so we could see into the lobby.

My sophomore year the winter dorm dance came around. The RA on our floor offered to get me and another girl blind dates for that dance. I surely took her up on that offer, and then when the guys came to meet us, a couple of days prior, I was standing at the office half-door to scope them out.

I told the other girl, “I want that blond one.” That was fine with her — she had no “druthers.” And that nice young man, Joe Mitchell (’53), has been my husband now for 52 years. And the RA and her late husband remained our friends. North Texas was good to us all.

Emily Bennett Mitchell (’53)

Here are a few more memories of Bruce Hall. I attended North Texas from 1954 to 1957 and lived in A wing. In order to keep my job in the library, I attended summer school. Those students who stayed in Bruce during the summer had to move over to C wing, then back to A in the fall.

The southeast corner rooms were supposed to have the best cross-ventilation so we put our names in early to reserve one of those rooms. Since few classrooms had air conditioning, we scheduled 7 a.m. classes.

In 1957 window units were installed in some of the rooms in C wing. These rooms cost a little more, but it was worth every penny. I spent my final summer session in cool comfort.

Peggy Jones Naumann (’57)

I don’t know when Bruce Hall became co-ed, but I spent two nights there in 1962 after being escorted in by some young ladies past the desk. The windows were wide and open and the breeze great, but it was still hot in Bruce because of the lack of AC.

Jim Albritton (’63)
Jackson, Miss.

In reference to the summer 2006 letters concerning air conditioning at Bruce Hall, I can tell you there were a few units on Bruce South in the summer of 1957. After living in Bruce North for the previous school year, I paid additionally for air-conditioning that hot summer. Carolyn Sewell Minter of Iowa Park was my roomie.

Karis Robinson Alderson (’59)
Hot Springs Village, Ark.

Photo story

What a super photo and story about Virginia Ball McNeill’s leaving UNT in 1952, for lack of funds, and returning to finish in December 2005 (spring 2006 issue). I’m an amateur photographer and your photo said it all: appliance store on Denton square and lovely woman living out her dream, with her graduation gown on and cap in hand. A beautiful story!

Teresa Dudley (’74, ’80 M.Ed., ’93 M.S.)

A unique person

A postscript to your obit on Jerry McCain (spring 2006): In the early ’80s I took a continuing ed mini-course in basic welding from Jerry, which was a lot of fun. When I moved back to Lake Kiowa two-plus years ago, I was surprised to find he was my next-door neighbor.

Unique individual. In addition to being an outstanding educator, he was an avid gardener and professional gunsmith. For the past few years he had equilibrium problems and needed a cane to get around — first one, then two. But today I look over and see a large, lush garden that he planted shortly before his death.

He took in a stray cat, named him Gato, and always spoke to him in Spanish. When he acquired his Lake Kiowa property many years ago, he purchased several wooded lots, with all sorts of wildlife on the land. He told me about a catch-and-release program he had, for rattlesnakes, of all things.

When I saw Jerry out working in his yard or garden and went over for a short visit, his invitation was always the same when I departed: “Come see me when you can; Happy Hour begins at noon.”

Roy Moses, journalism faculty, 1972-1997
Lake Kiowa


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