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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 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.


An amazing mentor

As I sat at my desk this morning reading the spring North Texan, I lost my breath when I read of Rob Erdle's passing. He was my painting professor in the spring of 1993 and an amazing mentor and sounding board for ideas and themes in my work for years to follow.

He taught me and so many others so much and was so generous in imparting his knowledge and love for his medium. It is with great pride that I display a painting I did in his class in my home now.

Laura Sandoval Tosto ('96)
Corpus Christi

Music memories

I went to North Texas to get my master's degree because of its musical recognition and because I had always wanted to study with John Haynie (Bookshelf, spring 2007). I attended in the summers from 1960 to 1962. Mr. Haynie was not only a great trumpet teacher but one of the nicest men I ever met.

I was also lucky to meet Leon Breeden. I played in the summer lab bands and really enjoyed it. Stan Kenton had sent him his library and that's what we rehearsed.

Gerald Risinger ('62 M.M.Ed.)
El Paso

Portal benefits

  1633 map by Matthaeus Merian

America noviter delineate, a 1633 map by Matthaeus Merian from UNT's Rare Book and Texana collections, is one of the digital images accessible on the Portal to Texas History (

Thank you for the fine article on the Portal to Texas History (spring 2007). I personally have benefited from using the portal in my Texas history research. I have visited UNT for a demonstration of the processes of digitization for one of the few times that I have returned since graduation.

This service to the research community and teachers of Texas history is invaluable, and I applaud your coverage of it.

Donna Beth Shaw ('65)


Samuel P. Ingram was a very successful artist who attended North Texas in 1938. He dedicated his book, America's Call to Freedom, to four women in his life. One was Dr. Cora Stafford, his professor at North Texas, who molded his appreciation for classical and modern art and sought exhibitions for him nationally. He was married to my sister and I can say that he was truly a wonderfully talented man.

Melba Cates Kelley ('55)
Fort Worth

Remembering second grade

I have just read your winter 2006 issue, and to my surprise I saw a story on Howard Smith, Professor Emeritus of education. Indeed, he did teach at a one-room country school. I believe the year would have been 1950, because I was in his class as a second-grader at West Union school (in Newton County, Missouri).

I remember him as a big suspender-wearing man who took no guff but was a good teacher and a very fair person. This man came from a good line of educators. His father was also a great teacher of math. I will never forget either one of them.

Just wanted to say thanks to the person who wrote the article. It brought back a lot of memories.

Gary Judd
Frederick, Md.


I want to put a great picture of UNT on my computer for wallpaper but nowhere do I see a photo gallery of UNT. Do you know of one? I would love to see pictures of McConnell Tower lit up in green, the library mall or some of the great buildings.

Kelly Reyna
via e-mail

Editor's note: Thanks for the good idea. Here are some photos to choose from.


Todd DodgeShirt News

Readers who admired the North Texas shirt worn by new football coach Todd Dodge in our spring issue asked where they could buy one. The Under Armour green polo is now available online at along with other official Mean Green merchandise.




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