Joe Kirven, 90, of Dallas, who served on the Board of Regents at UNT from 1989 to 2001, died July 5. After graduating from Wiley College, he worked in the office cleaning and maintenance business with a friend. He then bought the company and turned it into a business that grossed millions of dollars a year, and also began a second business in commercial real estate investment.
As an advocate for equity and diversity in Texas’ Black community, Joe helped establish the Blue Ribbon Committee at UNT in 1995 in order to help the Black Student Alliance in their requests for change on campus. This gave rise to the establishment of the Multicultural Center, as well as the Office of Equity and Diversity.
Joe was recognized as an outstanding businessman by Ebony Magazine in 1972, one of the Five Most Outstanding Young Texans by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1968, and was appointed to a council on minority businesses by President Richard Nixon and invited to partake in a presidential conference for small businesses by former President Jimmy Carter. He also served as president of the Black Chamber of Commerce along with several other organizations, and provided more than $200,000 to Black businesses in Dallas through his nonprofit.
Visitation is scheduled at 4 p.m. July 23 and the funeral at 2 p.m. July 24, both at the Laurel Land Funeral Home, 6300 South R.L. Thornton Freeway in Dallas.