We've had a busy and impressive start to 2019. Of greatest excitement, we learned that our status as a Tier One research university was reaffirmed by the Carnegie Classification. We're proud to be among only 131 top research institutions in the nation to earn the highest designation.
The UNT mission is to prepare students for success in the rapidly changing world, and I know that we're equipping them to excel in whatever career they choose -- whether in the Fourth Industrial Revolution or in art museums throughout the country.
In this issue, you'll also read about G. Brint Ryan ('88, '88 M.S.), founder of Dallas-based tax services firm Ryan and chairman of the UNT Board of Regents. Brint and his wife, Amanda, generously donated $30 million to UNT -- the largest-ever gift -- for at least six endowments and academic program initiatives over the next seven years for the College of Business, which will now be known as the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. Brint is a self-made man and an inspiration to our 38,000 students who are passionate contenders to secure better lives for themselves. He also is an exemplar to others who want to transform students' lives by giving back.
I spent time in Austin this month speaking before the Texas Legislature, and I was especially delighted when more than 150 alumni, students and friends of the university joined me Feb. 13 for the inaugural UNT Day at the Capitol. Our Mean Green family visited all 181 legislative offices to ask for continued support of higher education and to share highlights about UNT.
On campus, we recently opened UNT's new Welcome Center, a gorgeous, centrally located facility. I hope you'll have a chance to visit the next time you're in town. The Mean Green track -- literally, it's green -- is now fully installed, and the Track and Soccer Complex is ready for its April 6 debut for the North Texas Classic.
We have much to celebrate as we continue to help our students soar higher.