Reading through UNT's 130 years story in the Fall issue reminded me of my deep family educational connections to UNT. My grandfather, W.A. Larimer, was head of the business department from the 1920s to the 1940s. My mother, Tina ('45, '54 M.Ed.), and father, Harold ('48), earned degrees in physical education and physics, respectively.
I have attended UNT athletic events from the time I was a young teenager and as a physical education major. I participated in the spring football game in 1987, when the varsity played against the alumni, and my wife, Angie, and I have attended athletic events since 1988.
Gregg Larimer ('78, '86 M.S.)
I read the article "What class had the most impact on you?" in the Fall issue. For me, now a retired CPA, that's a very easy question -- Dr. George Christy and his investments class. In class one day, he asked, "What investment has historically kept up with inflation?" (Inflation was super high in the '70s.) Common stocks was his answer.
"What!" I thought to myself. My family had always told me the stock market was gambling, a surefire guarantee to lose money." (My elders lived through the Great Depression.)
In 1971, I was two years out of Vietnam, and two years was how long it took the Veterans Administration to finally catch up my monthly disability checks. For the first time in my life, I had close to a thousand dollars.
I never missed one of Dr. George Christy's classes. And I paid close attention. Later in the semester, I opened a brokerage account and bought some common stocks. Years later, the North Texan did a two-page article on Dr. Christy. I replied with a letter, stating how Dr. Christy had educated me. My letter was printed and Dr. Christy reached out to me. After that, we got together two to three times each year and talked about a lot of things, but always investments and the economy. We became good friends and remained so until his passing in 2005. I never really knew my father. But I knew Dr. George Christy, and I am blessed for that in more ways than one.
Philip Watson ('74)
My wife, Lori Kindler, and I met late one night in 1993 in the old choir room of the Music Building. I'd reserved the room for a jazz small group rehearsal, and she was using the piano in the room to practice singing. I barged in, scaring the bejeezus out of her. She promptly left, but I was very interested to find out who she was. I asked around and a friend in common helped make introductions. We started dating soon thereafter.
I've spent my career as a computer programmer, mostly working in bioinformatics and research computing. In 2019, I completed my M.S. in biosystems engineering at the University of Arizona, and I have now published two books called Tiny Python Projects (Manning Publications) and Mastering Python for Bio-informatics (O'Reilly).
Lori graduated with a bachelor's degree in vocal performance in 1996. We wed soon after, and then she completed her Master of Music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Lori has become a successful independent grant writer and sang in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's chorus, but the TSO has entirely canceled its season due to COVID.
We both miss having the opportunity to continue performing music, but we'll have to wait for times to change. This year we celebrate 25 years of marriage and have three children ages 13, 15 and 17. I wanted to share that two people who found each other as undergrads at UNT have managed to stick together and make a good life.
Ken Youens-Clark ('95)
As a graduate from the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, it was good to read about the latest at UNT in the last issue. I have many fond memories of my years beginning in the fall of 1956. I recall the low tuition, living in the dorm my first year and working part-time at the Hopkins (Hop) house, which was across the street from Terrill Hall, waiting on tables for 50 cents an hour. No car, I walked to class as many others did.
Several professors were a big help to me, such as Dr. Clete Littlefield, who was my faculty advisor and head of the management department, and Dr. Horace Brock, who was head of the accounting department at the time. Wonderful mentors.
I recall that special day in the spring of 1960 -- graduation day. My parents, who made so many sacrifices for me, were proud of me for hanging in there and earning my degree. What a wonderful moment that will always be.
James F. (Jim) McDonald