Opportunity and Knowledge

UNT President Neal Smatresk
UNT President Neal Smatresk celebrates with graduates -- and a T-shirt cannon -- at UNT's Grad Block Party in May.

Our students' success is our top priority as an institution and nothing brings me greater joy than graduation day. This spring, we awarded degrees to more than 4,800 students -- a UNT single semester record -- and celebrated the 100th anniversary of awarding bachelor's degrees. In the past year, we set many records, including all of our athletics teams posting winning seasons, and our reputation is growing in measurable ways. We have 72 programs ranked in the Top 100. Students and faculty are earning more national awards than ever before. And recent approval from Texas' 86th legislative session to fund UNT's Center for Agile and Adaptive Additive Manufacturing will help us develop research and technologies, as well as the engineers of the future, and keep Texas competitive.

At UNT, we provide students with opportunities to transform their lives through knowledge that will enable them to make a positive impact on the world. This issue highlights alumni, students and faculty who use geographic information systems to solve real-world problems, who serve responsibly in the volunteer tourism industry, and who work to mitigate disasters and economic loss.

Our graduates are trendsetters and trailblazers, making a difference in emerging and transforming fields. Kathleen Wayton ('83) has helped Southwest Airlines soar ahead of competitors (page 16), much like UNT continues to do as the North Texas region's educational leader. We are in the process of developing our 2020-2025 strategic plan, which will focus on three areas identified by town halls with students, faculty, staff and alumni -- student empowerment and transformation, people and processes, and scholarly activity and innovation. Look for more details about our strategic plan and brand refresh early next year.

Thank you for making UNT strong and spreading Mean Green pride everywhere you go. If you travel this summer, hashtag your adventures #EaglesAroundTheWorld on social media so the rest of your UNT family can join along.