The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards showcases the personal, professional and philanthropic accomplishments of UNT alumni.

UNT alumni will be honored Oct. 25 during Homecoming Week at this year's Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards for their professional and philanthropic accomplishments, as well as service to their communities and the university.

This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the alumni awards program, which showcases the caliber of the university's alumni and celebrates the depth and breadth of their professional accomplishments and service to the community. Among the honors presented is the Distinguished Alumni Award, the most prestigious award given by the UNT Alumni Association.

"We are so proud of, and grateful for, our accomplished, generous alumni and everything they do to encourage and maintain excellence for the UNT community, as well as for their larger communities," says David Wolf, vice president for advancement. "It is an honor to celebrate them and the excellence they represent."

Distinguished Alumni Award

The most prestigious award given by the UNT Alumni Association, presented to alumni for distinguished professional achievement that has merited the honor and praise of peers and colleagues. These individuals have made significant contributions to society, supported the university and served others.

Jim McIngvale

Also known as "Mattress Mack," McIngvale owns and operates the Gallery Furniture retail chain in Houston. During Hurricane Harvey, he opened two of his Gallery Furniture locations to provide shelter to displaced Houstonians.

McIngvale, a prolific philanthropist who contributes to numerous causes in Houston and beyond, attended UNT from 1972 to 1974, is a former UNT football letterman and was instrumental in the construction of the UNT Athletic Center and adjacent football practice facility. He is a member of the McConnell Society.

Laura Wright ('82, '82 M.S.)

In 2012, Wright retired as chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for Southwest Airlines Co. after 25 years of service. She is now the owner and founder of GSB Advisory LLC, a strategic and financial consultancy. For her professional accomplishments, Wright was inducted into the UNT College of Business Hall of Fame.

Wright has served the university in many capacities. She is a standing vice chair of the UNT System Board of Regents. She served on the UNT 2013 Presidential Search Committee and was a member of the UNT Foundation board and the College of Business Accounting and Murphy center advisory boards. Wright and her husband Randy are members of the President's Council and Mean Green Scholarship Fund. They are lifetime members of the UNT Alumni Association.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Presented to young alumni under the age of 40 for distinguished professional achievement that has merited the honor and praise of peers and colleagues. These individuals have made significant contributions to society, supported the university and served others.

John Williams ('05)

Williams is the principal owner of two popular bars near the Denton Square: East Side Denton and Oak St. Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor. He also co-owns Dot's Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard in Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood. Williams is UNT's biggest football season ticket holder and partners with UNT Athletics to sponsor football ticket, tailgate and transportation packages for hundreds of UNT alumni each season. He is a member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund and serves on the UNT Alumni Association's Denton County Alumni Chapter Steering Committee.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award

Presented to honor individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT or the community.

Gregory Matthews ('95)

Matthews is president of Matthews Financial Services, a registered representative of TCM Securities and an investment advisor representative with Triumph Wealth Advisors. A starter for Mean Green football from 1990 to 1994, he now serves on the board of directors for the North Texas Lettermen's Association. He is a past president and treasurer of the UNT Alumni Association and was instrumental in formalizing a secure relationship between the association and the university.

Joseph O. and Betty A. Roy

Joe is president of Denton Consultants, specializing in Japanese business interactions. He is retired from Exxon Mobil Corp., where he served mostly in international operations.

The Roys became UNT honorary alumni in 2005. They created the Joseph and Betty Roy Music Scholarship at UNT and support the College of Music through service on the Advisory Board and the Community Advisory Council. Joe also is a guest lecturer for the UNT College of Business, where he created the College of Business Administration Department of Management Advisory Board Scholarship.

The Roys both volunteer as community liaison coordinators for UNT International Studies and Programs and are life members of the Dean's Camerata, the UNT President's Council and the UNT Alumni Association. Joe is a member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund, and Betty is a founding member of the Diamond Eagles Giving Society.

Ulys Knight Spirit Award

Presented to an individual or group that has made noteworthy efforts to sustain spirit among the UNT family.

Lou Ann Bradley

Bradley retired from UNT as assistant dean for facilities and head of access preservation in 2010. During her tenure at UNT, she was active in the areas of preservation and disaster preparedness. She was a member of the UNT League of Professional Women and the Amigos Bibliographic Council. Upon retirement, Bradley was honored with the title of Emeritus Librarian. She has served on the UNT Athletics Council, the Women's Basketball Advisory Committee and the NCAA Certification Steering Committee and is a long-time member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund.