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    Emerald Ball

Emerald Eagle Scholars meet with President Gretchen M. Bataille at a reception to kick off the 2008-09 academic year. (Photo by Jonathan Reynolds)

During the past two years, UNT has offered more than 700 academically talented students the opportunity to realize their dreams of a university education by providing free tuition and fees, as well as mentoring to highly qualified students with significant financial need. The Emerald Eagle Scholars program, which launched in 2007 with funds raised during President Gretchen M. Bataille's inauguration, continues to be supported by generous donations from an array of friends and partners.

Each year, UNT hosts the Emerald Ball to support the program, and this year, the ball will be a wild celebration of the scholars, UNT and its accomplishments. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Fort Worth Zoo, Chesapeake Pavilion

Bataille invites all UNT alumni and friends to participate in the celebration by joining her at the zoo or contributing to the Emerald Eagle Scholars endowment fund.

"As one of Texas' best public universities, UNT is committed to opening the doors to the future to bright, eager students," she says. "We provide our students with a top-quality education and offer an array of opportunities to experience different cultures, learn new things and explore the power of ideas. Our annual Emerald Ball is a celebration of what UNT is all about: Making dreams of college come true."

The Emerald Ball is a black tie event. For information about sponsoring a table or purchasing individual tickets, call Kim Wendt at (940) 565-3689 or e-mail her at

National Siemens winner

Wen Chyan
(Photo by Jonathan Reynolds)

Wen Chyan, a student at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, won the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology in December, an award that includes a $100,000 scholarship. 

He won for his work engineering a silver-releasing polymer coating that could help prevent common, sometimes deadly, bacterial infections acquired during hospital stays. He created a polymer with imbedded silver ions that prevents and kills bacteria that cause nosocomial infections, which affect more than 2 million hospital patients annually and kill about 100,000. The polymer is adhesive and can be used on catheters, breathing tubes and other medical devices that have contact with patients.

Chyan is the son of Jin-Jian and Oliver Chyan, who is a UNT chemistry professor. His mentor on the project is Richard Timmons, a chemistry professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Chyan and fellow TAMS student Sameer Deshpande were among the 13 Texas students of about 100 students across the country chosen as Siemens regional finalists.

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Lecture series

The Honors College Lecture Series will present Robert Edsel, award-winning author of Rescuing DaVinci and film producer for The Rape of Europa Jan. 28 in the University Union. Edsel's projects detail how many of Europe's great works of art survived the thefts and devastation of World War II because of heroes he calls Monuments Men.

Edsel will present a free lecture and discussion about his book and documentary at 4 p.m. followed by a book signing. A ticketed event featuring dinner and a lecture and multimedia presentation by Edsel will begin at 7 p.m. for $75 per person. All proceeds benefit Honors College scholarships and programs. For more information, call (940) 565-3305 or e-mail

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Jade eagles

The jade sculpture Pursuit was unveiled in the Hurley Administration Building lobby in November.

Longtime benefactors and arts patrons Margot Winspear and the late Bill Winspear donated a jade sculpture to the university in honor of Chancellor and President Emeritus Alfred F. Hurley and his wife, Johanna. Unveiled in November and on display in the refurbished Hurley Administration Building lobby, the 2-foot-tall sculpture Pursuit depicts two eagles suspended on a wave of silver. It is the work of Canadian sculptor Lyle Sopel.

The Winspears have supported scholarships and faculty endowments at UNT, and one of their donations helped create the Murchison Performing Arts Center — its performance hall is named in their honor. Bill Winspear was awarded an honorary doctor of performing arts degree and the couple received the Green Glory Award in 2000. They were named Honorary Alumni in 1994.

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White House honors


(Photos by James Kegley, top photo for the National Endowment for the Arts)

Two UNT alumni were honored by President George W. Bush during a ceremony in the White House in November.

Sculptor Jesús Moroles ('78) received the 2008 National Medal of Arts "for his enduring achievements as a sculptor of stone." Moroles' granite works are in collections in China, India, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.

Robert Martin ('79 M.L.S.), former director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, received the Presidential Citizens Medal for his career dedicated to managing libraries and promoting lifelong learning. He recently retired as professor and Lillian Bradshaw Endowed Chair in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University.

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. government. The medal is awarded to recognize outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.

The Presidential Citizens Medal recognizes U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation. It is one of the highest honors the president can confer upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Air Force award

Chancellor and President Emeritus Alfred F. Hurley received the Maj. Gen. I.B. Holley Award from the Air Force Historical Foundation in October for significant contributions to the research, interpretation and documentation of Air Force history.

Hurley, a retired brigadier general, was chair of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Department of History before coming to UNT. He founded the annual military history seminar at UNT's Department of History in 1983, modeling it after one he began at the academy.

After 18 years as UNT's president and chancellor and two years as the first full-time chancellor of the UNT System, he returned to teaching history, retiring in 2008. Currently, he is researching and writing a new book on Air Force history.

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