Letter from the Editors

Cliff Caster designing at home
"North Texan" designer Cliff Caster at home creating a page layout with his four little ones looking on.

When we first started compiling the summer issue of the North Texan, we were well into the planning stages for a different cover story topic and were working from our offices on campus. But, like most of you, our plans changed. We had to adapt. As the coronavirus spread, we began working from home to practice social distancing measures.

As we learned how our alumni were helping in their own communities -- from saving patients' lives as doctors to adjusting their business models to making PPE -- we were inspired by their empathy and can-do attitudes, along with our own UNT campus community, to get through these challenging times. They became the new focus of this issue. Learning about these champions has inspired us and given us hope that we're all stronger together. And that we will get through this.

We chose to feature the iconic statue of J.K.G. "Doc" Silvey at the Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, which is often sweater bombed, on the cover. The esteemed 1930s biology professor and pioneering water quality researcher -- donning a UNT-branded face mask -- represents our history as an innovative and persevering group of people, who care about the world around them, a fitting reminder of who we are.

While we weren't able to capture some of our spring event photography for this issue, such as commencement and the Grad Block Party highlights, we did some thinking outside of the box. For many stories, we've asked for submitted photos, and in a few cases, our photographers ventured out for well-planned social distanced photo shoots -- as they were sprayed down with Lysol.

Erin Cristales ('11 M.S.)
Editor Erin Cristales ('11 M.S.) wordsmithing story copy among her fur babies.

Our writers conducted interviews through Zoom and via cell phone. And our entire staff experienced many of the same trials and tribulations that other employees have endured working from home -- meeting deadlines while homeschooling children, putting up with technology that not always behaves, and having pets invite themselves into meetings without contributing anything (other than cuteness).

Curious about how our campus has weathered other health crises in the past, we dug deep into the archives. In our Retrospective department, you'll see a glimpse of how the university reacted to the 1918 flu pandemic. It's our hope that 100 years from now, our readers will remember how the UNT community valiantly coped with COVID-19 using the same type of resilience, humor and care. We hope you enjoy this issue.

The North Texan staff

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