Faculty

Jerry Yeric

Photo of Jerry YericJerry Yeric, 81, Professor Emeritus of political science who taught at UNT from 1970 to 2002, died June 2. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science at Western Michigan University and his master’s degree and doctorate in political science at Ohio State University. At UNT he was named an Honors Professor and in 1983 received the ’Fessor Graham Award — the highest honor bestowed by the student body — for his outstanding and unselfish service to students.

With research interests including the effects of the media on American politics and the impact of public opinion on the government, he was the author of Mass Media and the Politics of Change and co-wrote Public Opinion: The Visible Politics with fellow UNT political science professor John Todd. After retiring, Jerry relocated to Hot Springs Village and served on numerous boards and committees in the city and as president of its tennis association. He also enjoyed fishing, kayaking, swimming and local politics.

Kenneth Koelln

Photo of Kenneth KoellnKenneth Koelln, 78, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, an economics professor from 1992 to 2007, died May 17. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years and received a Purple Heart from his two tours in the Vietnam War. His research interests included healthcare spending by the elderly, healthcare access and alternative financing options for healthcare. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Clarkson College of Technology, a master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an M.B.A. from San Diego State University and his doctorate from the University of Florida. He loved the Texas Rangers, Florida Gators and chocolate.

Reg Westmoreland

Photo of Reg WestmorelandReg Westmoreland (’47, ’56 M.A.), 94, of Denton, Professor Emeritus of journalism and former head of the journalism department who steered national accreditation for the department, died May 15.

He earned his doctorate from the University of Missouri. He was a reporter and editor for the Dallas Times-Herald and taught at Abilene Christian University. He worked at UNT from 1964 to 1994, with a two-year break in which he served as associate dean at Pepperdine University from 1983 to 1985.

Reg served as director of news and publications at UNT for two years, then taught full-time. He helped establish the journalism graduate program and served as chair of the journalism department from 1974 to 1988. The department became the only school in the state with a nationally accredited professional master’s program. He was active in many journalism organizations, serving as a Southern Fund Fellow and president of several groups, including the Texas Journalism Education Council, the American Society of Journalism School Administrators, and the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.

In his free time, he enjoyed gardening and reading, and he was known for his generosity and fun personality.

A Celebration of Life service is scheduled at 10 a.m. July 6 at Denton Bible Church.

Sandra J. Combest

Sandra J. 'Sandi' Combest, 84, of Denton, Professor Emerita of dance who shaped the dance program within the Department of Dance and Theatre in her work at UNT from 1966 to 2001, died May 3. She brought dance from the physical education department to an accredited academic program in what is now the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She directed the creation and implementation of the B.A. and B.F.A. in dance and the M.A. in interdisciplinary studies in dance. As department chair from 1993 to 2001, she oversaw several renovations to the program’s spaces.

She also brought recognition to UNT through student state and national performances; publications in numerous journals; as editor of Dance Impulse: The International Journal of Dance, Science, Medicine and Education from 1994 to 1997; as a member of the National Executive Board for the American College Dance Festival Association; and as board president for the Texas Council on the Arts in Education. She coordinated regional festivals and one national American College Dance Festival hosted at UNT.

She also choreographed dances throughout the U.S., Europe and India. Her collaboration with international sculptor Jesús Bautista Moroles (’78) was presented in art galleries throughout the world. She founded and directed her own professional modern dance company, Dance Theatre of the Southwest, raising $130,000 in grants.

In 1998, she received the Mary McLarry Bywater’s Lifetime Contribution to Dance Award from the Dance Council of North Texas, acknowledging her influence on dance in this region.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Sul Ross State University, earned her master’s degree from Texas Tech University and pursued postgraduate work at Texas Woman’s University. She also taught at schools in Odessa and Lubbock and danced professionally in New York City before coming to UNT.

Ted Donald Colson

Photo of Ted Donald ColsonTed Donald Colson, 92, Oklahoma City, Professor Emeritus of communication studies who helped develop the KNTU radio station during his time at North Texas, died March 11. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Drury College and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He worked at UNT from 1956 to 1993, also serving as head of radio and TV studies in what was then the speech and drama department. He received the Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 1995 was named an Honorary Alumnus by the UNT Alumni Association.

Robert McReynolds Golladay II

Picture of Robert McReynolds Golladay IIRobert McReynolds Golladay II (’66), 77, of Murphy, who served as an assistant professor of business computer information systems for 38 years, died in Richardson on April 18. He earned a bachelor’s degree in math from North Texas in 1966 and went on to receive his master’s degree in computer science from Texas A&M University. He joined UNT’s business faculty in the late ’60s, retiring from the Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences four decades later. In his free time, he enjoyed spending time with his family and working with computers and technology.

Eugene “Gene” Patrick Wright

Photo of Eugene “Gene” Patrick Wright Eugene “Gene” Patrick Wright (’60, ’61 M.A.), 85, Professor Emeritus of English, died April 30 in Frisco. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. As a student, he was a member of Phi Beta Delta and Phi Kappa Phi. He earned his doctorate in English Renaissance literature from the University of Texas and taught at Lamar University and UT before working at North Texas from 1966 to 2006. He was appointed the first faculty ombudsman in 2005, received the Mortar Board Senior Honor society’s “Top Prof” award and served as commencement speaker at two graduation ceremonies. He published scholarly books on Joanna Southcott, Thomas Deloney and William Shakespeare, as well as a series of Jerry Valdez novels, including Run, Run As Fast As You Can; Nobody Knows His Name; The Painful Warrior; The Accidental Warrior; Patriots and Statesmen; and Pirates, Preachers and Poteen Makers.

Bud Buschardt

Photo of Bud BuschardtBud Buschardt, 79, of Dallas, who served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Media Arts for 46 years, died March 15. He brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to students, drawing on his career as an on-air personality and producer. He got his start on Nov. 22, 1963, when, after graduating from the University of Houston, he covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for WFAA.

He hosted radio shows for WFAA and KVIL, including the The Sump'n Else Show, a 1960s bandstand show that he later wrote a book about, and he earned the title of “musicologist” of Dallas-Fort Worth.

From 1989 to 2007, he worked for ABC Radio Networks, hosting Night Train and the Saturday Oldies Show and serving as program director of the Stardust (later Timeless) format. In 2010, he was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

He was an avid music fan, boasting a collection of 200,000 records, tapes and CDs in his house as well as his own home studio. His research for the 1977 movie The Buddy Holly Story earned him a screen credit.

Watch Bud give a tour in and around the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building. Share memories of him in this Facebook group.

A Dallas memorial service is scheduled at 4 p.m. April 15 at the Granada Theater on Greenville Avenue.

Memorials may be made to the Bud Buschardt Endowed Scholarship fund (checks payable to UNT Foundation), University of North Texas, University Advancement, 1155 Union Circle #311250, Denton, Texas 76203-1250, or online at one.unt.edu/giving.

Donald L. Yates

Photo of Donald L. YatesDonald L. Yates, 69, who was assistant professor in the Institute of Criminal Justice at UNT from 1989 to 1993, died Feb. 14 in Roanoke, Virginia. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bishop College, a master’s degree in sociology from Indiana University, a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at Tyler and his doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at various universities across the country, beginning with Jarvis Christian College and including Georgia Southwestern, Oklahoma State University, Old Dominion, Alabama A&M and Virginia Tech. During his four decades of teaching, he wrote several books and more than 60 articles that were published in academic journals and presented his research around the country. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

John F. Miller III

John F. Miller III, 82, who served at UNT as a philosophy professor for 20 years, died in January in Tampa, Florida. John earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Gettysburg College, his master’s degree at the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. from New York University. He went on to teach at Queens College, Radford College and the University of South Florida, as well as the Chapman College World Campus Afloat, which was a campus entirely on a ship. He then taught at UNT for 20 years before returning to Florida to teach at various colleges until his retirement last summer. He was an expert in numerology, a teacher in meditation and a former president of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research. He also was a tenor singer who once studied opera and performed often at synagogues and churches.

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