When the University of North Texas was founded on a dusty prairie in 1890, few could have guessed that it would grow to be the economic, academic and cultural engine of the North Texas region. Today, members of the university's Founder's Circle help ensure UNT's continued success story by generously supporting initiatives that enhance the student experience as well as the university's reputation for excellence — from scholarships to first-rate facilities to faculty research.
The Founder's Circle comprises the university's top three donor recognition societies — UNT's McConnell, Matthews and Kendall Societies — for individuals who have made cumulative lifetime gifts to the university of $250,000 or more.
"UNT's Founder's Circle donors have given the kinds of gifts that make the university's continued growth and success possible," says President V. Lane Rawlins. "These gifts help us reach new heights in student and faculty excellence and set a precedent for future generations. And they send a bold message that an investment in UNT is an investment in one of the most economically and culturally significant regions in the country."
Members of the Founder's Circle gathered for a dinner in November at The W Hotel in Dallas to learn about the university's progress in key initiatives such as student scholarship, alumni and regional engagement, and research
Michael Monticino, UNT vice president for advancement, thanked them for their continued commitment to UNT.
"Your profound generosity — not only in terms of dollars, but also in your engagement with us and your genuine desire to lift up this institution — allows us to provide transformational experiences for our students," he said.
The Founder's Circle supports the university, touching every college and school and numerous programs across campus. The group's members have endowed scholarships and fellowships, supported the arts and athletics, helped fund new facilities such as the Business Leadership Building and Apogee Stadium and advanced some of UNT's most innovative endeavors.
Founder's Circle member Charldean Newell ('60, '62 M.A.), UNT Professor Emerita of public administration, supports many university initiatives, from the UNT libraries to athletics to student scholarships. She says private philanthropy helps UNT grow in size, program breadth and excellence.
"As an alumna, former faculty member and administrator, I know what a great university UNT is, and my Mean Green blood leads me to be supportive," she says. "I want UNT to remain an institution where any student can become the first college graduate in his or her family, and where research and service programs will help solve problems."
Monticino says support from Founder's Circle members is a testament to their belief in UNT supporting its students.
"Private giving allows UNT to offer life-changing opportunities to our students," he says. "And it continues into those students' careers and communities once they graduate."
The Founder's Circle consists of three recognition societies — the McConnell Society, the Matthews Society and the Kendall Society. Each is named for a former president who left a deep and lasting impact on UNT, just as members of the Founder's Circle have with their support.
The McConnell Society
The McConnell Society recognizes those with contributions of $1 million or more.
- Horace and Euline ('74) Brock
- Don ('52) and Ruth Buchholz
- Kristin Farmer ('95)
- Anne Fields
- Alan and Shirley Goldfield
- Ernie Kuehne ('66)
- Sue Mayborn
- Jim McIngvale
- Bryan Milner ('00)
- Ken ('60) and Gayle* Murphy
- Ken ('66) and Ann Newman
- Robert A. Nickell ('68, '82 M.B.A.)
- G. Brint ('88, '88 M.S.) and Amanda Ryan
- John ('72) and Lindy ('72) Rydman
- C. Dan ('62) and Le'Nore Smith
- Ed ('60) and Nikki Smith
- Charn ('73 M.B.A.) and Uraratn Uswachoke
- Paul Voertman ('47) and Richard Ardoin*
- Leroy ('50, '52 M.S.) and Wanda Whitaker
- Bill* and Margot Winspear
The Matthews Society
The Matthews Society recognizes those with contributions between $500,000 and $999,999.
- Byron ('78 M.B.A.) and Marilyn Baird
- Nancy Dedman
- Nancy B. Hamon*
- Francis Kostohryz
- Charles* and Peggy ('61) Ladenberger
- Patty and Don Lovelace
- Charles Onstead*
- Fred ('47) and Patsy Patterson
- Jerry ('62) and Judy ('62) Pinkerton
- Bobby ('69) and Phyllis ('71) Ray
- Nicholas ('61) and Anna Ricco
- Robert and Virginia Toulouse
The Kendall Society
The Kendall Society recognizes those with contributions between $250,000 and $499,999.
- Christopher ('88) and Sue Bancroft
- Mercedes Bass
- Charlie Bond ('59)
- Janet and Frank ('63) Bracken
- Elinore and Benjamin Brown
- Dan Cathy
- Mack* and Linda Christian
- Col. Guy Cloud
- Glenn ('85) and Brenda Gomez
- Tony ('61) and Toppy Goolsby
- Bob ('61) and Fran Kimmel
- Janice and A. Frank ('56) Kubica
- Elaine Mathes
- Jean and Richard "Mac" ('54) McCrady
- George ('69, '73 M.B.A.) and Nesha ('73) Morey
- Ben ('67) and Margaret Morris
- Charldean Newell ('60, '62 M.A.)
- Charles Nobles ('54)
- Sara Sue and Don ('63) Potts
- Bob and Bette Sherman
- Marc Smugar
- Frank ('44) and Connie Spencer*
- Charlotte ('69) and Terry ('67, '68 M.B.A.) Strange
- Gayle ('67) and Virgil ('68) Strange
- John and Bonnie Strauss
- Ross Vick Jr.
- Fran Vick ('00)
Visit Give to UNT to learn more about how private support helps students reach their potential and helps UNT achieve its goals of being a top research institution offering the best undergraduate education.