James Louis Poirot

Jim PoirotDr. James ‘Jim’ Louis Poirot, 79, of Fort Worth, Professor Emeritus of learning technologies who worked at UNT from 1976 to 2014, died Oct. 17.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Texas Tech University and taught at what was then Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos before accepting a position on the computer science faculty at North Texas. He chaired that department and later served as chair of the computer education and cognitive systems department in the College of Education (now the Department of Learning Technologies in the College of Information). He also was an associate dean of the College of Education and was named a Regents Professor in 2001.

Well-known as a computer education expert, he was the author and co-author of numerous textbooks and founded the Texas Computing Education Association, serving as its first president, and the Texas Center for Educational Technology, which he served as executive director. During his 50-year career in education, he worked with many Texas school districts, and he educated teachers from around the world to find better ways to use technology in their classrooms. He also brought in millions of dollars of grants while at UNT.

He was an avid traveler and founded the Caribbean Educational Computing Conference. He was involved in his church and the Denton community, winning a presidential award along with his wife, Peggy, for their volunteerism, and was a rancher and a Texas Rangers fan.

Memorials may be made to the James L. and Peggy A. Poirot Endowed Scholarship, UNT Division of Advancement, 1155 Union Circle, Box 311250, Denton, Texas 76203.

Mary Denny

Mary Denny (’73), a member of the UNT System Board of Regents and a former state representative, died Sept. 14. She majored in education and mathematics and minored in chemistry at UNT, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She had served on the UNT Foundation Board and was appointed to the UNT System Board of Regents by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018.

During a career focused on public service, she was precinct chair for Denton County for a decade and chairwoman of the Denton County Republican Party from 1983 to 1991. Gov. William P. Clements appointed her to the Texas Committee for the Humanities in 1990. In 1993, she was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and served seven consecutive terms.

A recipient of the Outstanding Texas Legislator Award and Common Cause's 1995 Star of Service Award, she volunteered with numerous community organizations. She was a member of the Denton Benefit League, United Way, Arts Council, City Federation of Women's Clubs and the Current Century Department of Ariel Club. She was a lifetime member of the UNT President's Council, and she also was a board member of the YMCA and numerous other civic associations. 

Memorial donations may be made to The Honorable Mary Craver Denny Scholarship Fund, which supports UNT students in need.


Brent Jones

Headshot of Brent JonesBrent Jones, 71, of Benbrook, who worked at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science from 1995 to 2020, died in November 2022.

He was serving as TAMS’ assistant dean of admissions when he retired and previously worked as the academy’s director of admissions and director of scholarships and external affairs. He was known for his brilliant mind, hard work and kindness.

He joined UNT from the UNT Health Science Center, where he served from 1988 to 1995 in positions including minority retention coordinator and assistant director for special opportunities, associate admissions director and director of the Health Careers Opportunities Program.

He always had a curious mind, starting from childhood when he learned that one of John Wilkes Booth’s accomplices in the Lincoln assassination was a woman, Mary Surratt, who became the first woman executed by the U.S. government. This began his hobby of studying 19th century female conspirators and he talked about the subject at TAMS’ 2017 Great Conversations event, selling out his table.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and worked as a medical technologist for Rohm & Haas Chemical Co. before attending medical school. When he decided on academia as a career, he earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Christian University.

Kenneth Tyrone Ballom

Headshot of Kenneth Tyrone BallomKenneth Tyrone Ballom, 56, dean of students at UNT from 1998 to 2008, died Jan. 11.

He came to UNT in 1995, first working as assistant dean of students for three years before being promoted. While at UNT, he also spearheaded the establishment of the volunteer center and served on boards supervising the construction of Sorority Row, the Waranch Tennis Complex and the Pohl Recreation Center.

He had previously worked as an assistant hall director at Western Illinois University and as a counselor and director of Student Support Services at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Illinois.

After his time at UNT, he served as associate vice chancellor and dean of students for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was known for his tireless work and advocacy for students and gave many presentations on finding solutions for them.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce and his master’s degree from Western Illinois University, and he had completed all but his dissertation for a doctorate in higher education from UNT.

A Celebration of Life will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, in the Jade Ballroom of UNT’s University Union.

Joe Glenn Stewart

Joe Glenn Stewart (’71 Ed.D.), 85, of Denton, who held various high-ranking positions at UNT – including associate director of housing, dean of students and vice president of student affairs – died Dec. 28.

During his years of service at UNT from 1971 to 1998, one of his biggest initiatives came in 1995, when he helped spearhead a one-stop service for students, soon known as the Eagle Student Services Center, that consolidated several enrollment-related support offices into one building.

Dr. Stewart and his late wife, Judy (’84), received UNT’s Continuing Academic and Professional Service Council Award for exemplary service to the university and to the Denton community in 2003 and UNT’s Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2004. Dr. Stewart also received the College of Education Outstanding Alumnus Award. He was a life member of the UNT Alumni Association, served on the association’s board and was a member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund.

The Stewarts established The Dr. Joe and Judy Stewart Scholarship in 2001 to provide opportunities for undergraduate students at the university. Dr. Stewart became a member of the Chilton Society in 2018. He received his bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University and his master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. He was a sports fan and avid traveler.

Martha Fuller Turner Bauguss

Photo of Martha Fuller Turner Bauguss on cover of North TexanMartha Fuller Turner Bauguss (’62), 81, a businesswoman who served on UNT’s Board of Regents from 1997 to 2000, died April 8 in Houston. She earned her UNT degree in music and elementary education and met her first husband on a blind date while in school. She worked as a teacher for 15 years – then went into real estate. Known for her endless energy, she opened Turner-Owens Real Estate in 1981 and grew the firm, later renamed Martha Turner Properties, into the largest independent brokerage in Houston with more than $2.3 billion in annual sales. She sold it in 2014 and today it’s known as Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty. Martha, who appeared on the first cover of the North Texan when it began its magazine format in 1997, was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2009. She also was active in civic and arts organizations and supported health care, education and women’s causes. She received UNT’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.

Frederick R. Pole

Frederick R. Pole, 89, of Denton, who served as a vice president and vice chancellor for UNT for 22 years, died April 19. He was drafted into the U.S. Army as a teenager and rose through the ranks in his 27-year military career, commanding operations around the world and retiring as colonel.

He arrived at North Texas in 1980 as executive assistant to the president and was named vice president for external affairs in 1981 before moving to vice president for administrative affairs in 1982. He took on additional responsibilities in 1999 when he also was appointed vice chancellor for administration for the UNT System, before retiring in 2002. 

Fred oversaw countless construction and renovation projects in his time on campus and supervised areas such as the police department as well as facilities. He also was involved in master planning for the university, with a focus on how UNT would meet the needs of higher education in the future. He and his wife, Barbara, who died in 2020, were members of the Chilton Society, and Fred received an Honorary Alumnus award in 2004.

He was active in his church and community, serving as past chairman of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, Denton County United Way, the Board of Trustees of Denton Community Hospital and the advisory board of Denton YMCA. He also was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 920.

Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 16, at Mulkey-Bowles-Montgomery Funeral Home, 705 N. Locust St., Denton. A memorial service for Fred and Barbara is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, at Southmont Baptist Church, 2801 Pennsylvania Dr., Denton. 

Peter ‘Pete’ Lane

Photo of Peter ‘Pete’ LanePeter ‘Pete’ Lane, 82, Air Force veteran and Vietnam War pilot who was a history professor and administrator at UNT from 1984 to 2009, died Nov. 25 in Denton.

With a passion for education and a deep care for students, he served in numerous roles at UNT, including executive assistant to the chancellor, special assistant for athletics and vice president of development as well as on the history faculty. He co-edited the book Warriors and Scholars: A Modern War Reader.

He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served in the Air Force for 23 years. As an F-105 Republic Thunderchief "Thud" pilot, he flew over 100 combat missions during the Vietnam War. He received many awards for his service, including the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.

He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in history from the University of Washington and continued his career in the military by teaching at the Air Force Academy and National War College in Washington, D.C., and serving in various positions at Bergstrom, Holloman and Howard Air Force Bases. He also established and commanded the emergency rescue team for the Space Shuttle Columbia. He retired from military service in 1984 at the Pentagon as the chief of the Western Hemisphere Division air staff.

He was active in numerous military organizations, as well as civic groups in Denton. He especially loved greeting soldiers at DFW International Airport and, in 2014, received the Congressional Veteran Commendation.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 at St. Mark Catholic Church in Argyle. Burial is scheduled at noon Dec. 20 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Donations may be made to The Marjorie Murray Lane Audiology Endowment at UNT.

Calvin Cleave ‘Jitter’ Nolen

Photo of Calvin Cleve 'Jitter' NolenCalvin Cleave ‘Jitter’ Nolen, of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, who saw enrollment increase and new campus buildings built during his tenure as university president from 1971 to 1979, died Aug. 13 at age 96.

Enrollment rose 11% during his eight years in office, with the number of graduate students also increasing. The budget increased 66%.

Major construction projects were completed, including Wooten Hall, the Art Building, the Coliseum, the General Academic Building and the Sullivant Visitor Center, now the Sullivant Public Safety Center. Additionally, the University Union was expanded, construction began on the Physical Education Building and a south wing was added to the Music Building.

The School of Community Service, the Intensive English Language Institute and the computer science department were among the programs created during this time, and Hayden Fry was hired as football coach and athletic director -- turning the Mean Green football team into a force in the 1970s. Research funding increased during Nolen’s tenure, with outside funding increasing 580%. There also was a new emphasis on alumni activities.

In 1975, legislation was signed placing the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth under the university’s Board of Regents and designating Nolen as president of TCOM.

Before coming to North Texas, he served as vice chancellor for development at Texas Christian University. His selection as president of North Texas was considered controversial since he didn’t have a graduate degree.

But A.M. Willis, chairman of the Board of Regents, said of Nolen: “He possesses keen intelligence, boundless energy and broad vision. He understands the true meaning of academic excellence because he has been exposed to the academic community all his working life -- and he is an acute observer.”

Even after Nolen left the university, he remained a popular figure, with the Council of Deans signing a letter that said he had “worked energetically and unceasingly for the transformation of the institution from a good one to a great one.” Faculty and friends hosted a farewell rally, complete with speeches and a new car paid with private donations, when the Nolen family left Denton.

After leaving office, he served as vice president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation from 1979 to 1994 before moving to Colorado.

Nolen, who received the nickname “Jitter” as a high school Boy Scout, was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1947. He retired from the Naval Reserve as a commander in 1989. He graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in educational psychology in 1948 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D.) by Texas Christian University in 1971. He served as director of UT’s Student Center and on the UT System’s development board before moving to TCU in 1968.

Nolen was an accomplished skier and hiker and an active member of the Colorado 100 Club. He received his 3,000-mile pin at the age of 95. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to one of the institutions he served or a place of your choice. In keeping with CDC guidelines, a family service will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 20 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, followed by a reception at noon under a tent at Sayre Park, also in Glenwood Springs.

Glen L. Taylor

Glen L. Taylor (’50, ’53 M.B.A.), 91, of Denton, Professor Emeritus in business and former associate vice president of academic affairs, died Jan. 19 in Denton. He earned his doctorate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before working at North Texas for 45 years, from 1953 to 1998. At North Texas, he was a noted scholar and specialized in preparing students for the insurance industry. He also was instrumental in the planning for the Business Administration Building (now Sage Hall) and helped develop hospitalization and benefits plans for employees. He earned the professional credentials of CPCU (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and ChFC (Chartered Financial Counselor). The Glen L. Taylor Professorship/Chair in Insurance was established and named in his honor. He also was a member of the UNT Alumni Association.

A private memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Friday, March 19, and will be livestreamed at:

Glen L. Taylor