Watch videos about the presidential awardees.
UNT celebrated its 125th anniversary April 16 with the Wingspan Gala at the new University Union. The green-tie formal event, emceed by alum Shirley Cothran Barret ('73, '74 M.Ed.), Miss America 1975, honored excellence in teaching, student success, notable alumni and generous donors. The UNT Concert Orchestra debuted the premiere performance of Suite for an Anniversary, a composition written for the anniversary by Grammy nominee Richard DeRosa, associate professor of jazz arranging and director of jazz composition and arranging. Other highlights included UNT jazz entertainment, featuring the One O'Clock Lab Band, and a fashion display and archival exhibit.
This year's special honorees included award-winning merchandising and digital retailing students Nichole Fallis, McKenzie Hibler, Ashley Nudge and Katelyn Patrick and Distinguished Research Professor of biology Richard Dixon. They were presented with Presidential Excellence Awards for accomplishments that have been recognized nationally. Generous alum and fundraiser Ernie Kuehne ('66) received the Wings of Eagles Presidential Award, presented to an alumnus or friend who has made a transformative impact on the university.