Setting the Scene

Record-setting enrollment, excitement for a new year
Neal Smatresk

Campus is abuzz this fall and the optimism is palpable, as a record-setting more than 42,000 students have chosen to study at UNT. It has been tremendously rewarding to welcome back those who studied remotely last year and to introduce thousands of first-time-in-college students to our Mean Green Family.

College is a transformational time for students, and our caring community helps them persist. When faculty and staff act as guiding lights and difference makers, we help students succeed and find their passion, purpose and path following graduation. This issue's cover story spotlights our wonderful staff and students and highlights seven "North Star" faculty who exhibit inspiring leadership in the classroom and put student success first. These instructors, nominated by alumni and students, represent hundreds of faculty worthy of such an honor for the difference they make in students' lives.

For Curtis Goodwin ('20), it was a faculty member's network that helped him land a dream job working for the Houston Texans as a performance data scientist. Seeking to combine his knowledge of mathematics and sports into an emerging field, Curtis found success with UNT's advanced data analytics master's degree, just one of the cutting-edge programs growing at UNT.

That caring UNT spirit extends beyond the classroom, as evidenced by the story about alumni who donated their organs to serve as literal lifesavers for their family members and strangers, and the growing biomedical engineering department that is creating medical devices to reshape people's lives.

As we navigate this fall, we are taking safety precautions while providing our students with a full university experience. I hope you will join us for Homecoming on Nov. 13, cheer on our student-athletes (page 24), and stop by for a meal at Eagle Landing, our first standalone dining hall, so we can tell you, "Welcome Home."