Alumni

Sidney Sue Smith Graham

Submitted by jlk0041 on Tue, 22/05/2018 - 5:05pm

Sidney Sue Smith Graham (’57), Denton :: She and her husband, the late Fred Graham (’57), met as journalism majors on campus. He credited her with creating UNT’s Mean Green nickname at a home football game in the 1960s, when he was working as sports information director. He adopted the words for a press release, and the nickname soon caught on. The Grahams worked at the San Angelo Standard-Times and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Sidney was the lifestyle editor at the Denton Record-Chronicle. She also worked as public information director for Denton’s Flow Hospital. A memorial service is schedule at 3 p.m. May 26 at First Christian Church in Denton.

Jim Sybert

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 2:25pm

Jim Sybert (’55, ’56 M.A.), Professor Emeritus of physics, died Dec. 15 in Naples, Fla. He taught at UNT from 1956 to 1958 and 1961 until his retirement in 2004. He served as physics department chair from 1969 to 1980 and helped establish the physics Ph.D. program. His research interests, in addition to solid-state physics, included media techniques in the teaching of science, and his work was funded by the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation. He was also a visiting professor at the Institute Politechino Nacional in Mexico, Institute Teknologi MARA in Malaysia and several other colleges. Julia Sybert ('92, '94 M.B.A.) and son-in-law, mathmatics professor Michael Monticino. Donations may be made to the Jim Sybert Memorial Fund.

Jim Sybert

Joel Brown

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 2:18pm

Joel Brown (’03, ’09 M.B.A.), 36, of Roanoke, communications supervisor for the UNT Police Department, died Jan. 14. He was a 911 dispatcher for 16 years and recieved the Silent Hero award from the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications and the UNT Police Department Civilian Employee of the Year for his work. Survivors include his wife Melinda “Mindy” Wolf Brown (’02) and three children ages 12, 10, and 7.

Jerry Jack Roberts

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 2:10pm

Jerry Jack Roberts (’76, ’77 M.Ed., ‘80 Ph.D.), Campbell :: He taught industrial arts education at North Texas while working on his doctorate and spent much of his career at what is now Texas A&M University-Commerce. He served as a missile mechanic in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1965. An accomplished woodworker, he built his own home in Campbell, employing many of his students.

William Wallace Ritchie

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 2:06pm

William Wallace Ritchie (’75, ’76 M.A.), Austin :: He attended Southern Methodist University at age 16 on a baseball scholarship before serving in the U.S. Air Force, where he was trained in computer technology. He then came to North Texas and later did graduate work at Duke University. He worked in information systems in the public and private sector.

Mamie McKnight

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 2:03pm

Mamie McKnight (’70 Ph.D.), Dallas :: She worked as a teacher and educator throughout Texas, teaching mathematics, science and black history, and dedicated her life to preserving and educating others about the past. She was known as the “historian of black Dallas” and, in 1983, she founded Black Dallas Remembered, a local heritage and historic preservation nonprofit. She also preserved Freedman’s Cemetery, a Dallas cemetery named for former slaves, and her efforts to archive and relocate lost graves in one of the nation’s largest cemetery excavation projects led her to be known as the “Cemetery Lady.” She was one of the first black faculty members at Southern Methodist University, and she was an assistant professor and chair of the communications, mathematics and developmental studies department at El Centro College. She later became community development consultant at Dallas County Community College District. She was an adjunct professor at several colleges, including UNT. She served in numerous positions in organizations, including as basileus of the Dallas Alpha Xi Omega chapter; member of the Texas Historical Commission Review Board; chairwoman of the Dallas Landmark Commission; member of the Texas Historical Commission; charter member of the Trinity chapter of The Links, Inc.; and member of the Phi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was named to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. She received the UNT President’s Citation in 2001.

Bill Ledbetter

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 2:02pm

Bill Ledbetter (’69 M.S., ’72 Ph.D.), Gainesville :: He taught at Cooke County College beginning in 1970 and then practiced law before returning to the college in 2001. At UNT, he was a member of the President’s Council and the 1890 Society for his commitments to the Ledbetter Family Endowment, a scholarship for history students. The fund was established by Bill and his wife Pat (’70 M.A., ’75 Ph.D.) in memory of their daughter, Shay, who was killed by a drunk driver. Bill was a life member of the Alumni Association, and served on the advisory board of the history department, which named him Alumni of the Year in 1997.

Alan Hayden Bush

Submitted by jmp0380 on Wed, 28/03/2018 - 1:59pm

Alan Hayden Bush (‘69), Aledo :: He began his career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse in Fort Worth. He then became CEO of ICo, Inc., an oilfield service company in Odessa he turned into a publicly traded company. In 2003, he and his friends purchased a struggling taco stand called Fuzzy’s and turned it into a chain with 100 stores across the nation.

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