I am honored to become UNT's 15th president. I expected only to serve my one-year appointment. But I fell in love with UNT and its people — just as I thought I would — and I consider it a great privilege to serve our university for the foreseeable future. I believe my experience and commitment are a good fit for UNT at this time.
And I'm excited about carrying on the work I have started and helping the university achieve its goals with a deeper, sharper focus.
As I hope you know, UNT is aiming to be a major research university that maintains a strong connection between education and research.
And we're making measurable progress toward this goal. We've enrolled and graduated a record number of students this year. We're undergoing one of our more significant campus expansions, building three facilities at once that will transform academic and student life. We've attracted more leading researchers, and our faculty members are landing significant research grants. We've also been named a top military friendly school and Texas' No. 1 university that's Best for Vets.
But the impact we have on our students can be harder to quantify. The proof comes when we hear about alumni who are using what they learn to make a real difference in communities around the world. And I hope you'll enjoy reading how Bill Lively used his UNT music education to help change the cultural face of our region.
More of our impact on North Texas is evident through the nearly 93,000 UNT graduates working and contributing to the region's well-being. So far, we have helped 1,900 Emerald Eagle Scholars pursue their college degrees and have had 13 scholars graduate early. You can help us make a difference by joining us Feb. 19 at the Belo Mansion when the Emerald Ball Goes Gatsby.
Each milestone we hit shows that we are making progress. But there is no greater reward than knowing that we've changed our students for the better.
V. Lane Rawlins