Moving Forward

UNT President Neal Smatresk
UNT President Neal Smatresk

Our faculty and staff adapted quickly and skillfully to a mostly virtual campus serving our nearly 40,000 students -- and their unique needs. For those students who had no other home, we sheltered them. Some staff in residence halls, dining services, facilities and UNT Police continued to take care of campus. Others worked around the clock to tackle accessibility concerns and answer numerous questions. Many of you generously donated to our UNT Cares campaign, and we received federal assistance to help our students struggling with financial insecurity keep their educations on track. Additionally, many of our alumni stepped up within their communities, and our dedicated UNT researchers pivoted to find solutions for the pandemic.

Even though May commencement ceremonies had to be placed on hold, I am so proud of our 4,800 recent graduates. Earning a UNT degree is a badge of honor, especially as they crossed the finish line during such difficult times, showing exceptional dedication along the way. You can see my virtual message to graduates and learn more about some of our Great Grads.

We have changed during these unprecedented few months, but we never stopped supporting, learning and teaching. As we ease into this new reality -- beginning our phased return to campus for limited in-person teaching for Summer II and resuming campus learning and residential life this fall -- the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors remains our top priority. In true UNT spirit, we are carefully embarking on our next steps with guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and with the people next to us, recognizing that every individual has unique challenges.

I hope we look back at this time and see not just the challenges, but also the care and commitment we afforded each other -- especially the support we provided our students so that they could achieve their dreams. Trust that we will keep moving forward with determination, creativity and caring.

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