New Home, New Peace Pole

From left, José Octavio Tripp, consul general of Mexico in Dallas and dean, Consular Corps of Dallas/Fort Worth; Jamie Wilson ('01, '03 M.S., '11 Ph.D.), superintendent, Denton ISD; and Bob Brown, vice president of finance and administration, unveil the Peace Pole. (Photo by Ahna Hubnik) Fitting for UNT's 125th anniversary year, UNT-International moved its offices and the Intensive English Language Institute into Marquis Hall this fall. Built in 1935 as the first dormitory, the building was named for UNT's sixth president, R.L. Marquis.

During the past year, it was renovated to make the space welcoming for UNT's 3,100 international students and scholars from around the world.

This fall, President Neal Smatresk, Marquis family members and several community leaders and Denton ISD students were on hand to mark the reopening, which also included the dedication of a peace pole at the building's east entrance. Unveiled Sept. 21, on United Nations International Day of Peace, the peace pole represents UNT-International's primary goal of furthering peace and understanding among nations and people.

The 10-foot pole is a seven-sided, hand-crafted limestone pillar displaying the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in seven of the top languages spoken by UNT students: English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Korean and Thai. Peace poles can be found in 180 countries around the world.

"UNT is a diverse campus community," says Amy Shenberger, interim vice provost for international affairs. "The building and peace pole represent so much of what UNT-International is about -- welcoming different cultures and people from across the globe to learn and grow together."

UNT's Intensive English Language Institute, celebrating its 38th anniversary this year, continues to help international students who want to develop their academic English and cultural skills. The institute serves about 400 international students from more than 30 countries. More than 75 percent of its graduates continue their studies at UNT.