UNT friends

Rice Tilley

Rice TilleyRice Tilley, 84, who served as a member of the Board of Regents for the UNT System from 2003 to 2009, died Oct. 28 in Fort Worth. He served in the U.S. Army for two years before beginning his 50-year career as an attorney. He was active in numerous Fort Worth organizations, serving as founder of Leadership Fort Worth and chairman of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He is remembered as a man of wit and passion.

James Wood

James Wood, 82, of Decatur, died April 22 in Denton. He was a member of the President’s Council and donated generously to UNT. He served in the military after high school, and then a friend convinced him to get into the car business. He and his wife, Shirley Wood, owned several car dealerships throughout North Texas.

Marilyn Brusilow

Marilyn Brusilow, 94, of Dallas, a longtime supporter of UNT, died March 13. She was a member of the President’s Council alongside her husband, the late Anshel Brusilow, a former orchestral professor and conductor.

Charles Mitchell Sr.

Charles Mitchell Sr. (’61), Denton. He was a member of the UNT System Board of Regents and a founding member of the Diamond Eagles Society and the President’s Council, often supporting UNT Athletics and the Alumni Association. He was an orthopedic surgery specialist who taught at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and served on its admission committee. He earned his degrees from Howard University College of Medicine and the UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Virginia West

Virginia West (’52), Vienna, West Virginia. A home economics major, she was a full-time mother, cook and seamstress. She and her husband, Norman West (’53), established the Virginia H. West and Norman E. West Chemistry Scholarship at UNT in 2013. They were members of the Chilton Society.

Paul R. Harris

PAUL R. HARRIS (’54, ’56 M.A.), Dallas. He had a long career in the arts, serving as a teacher in Dallas ISD; coordinator of educational services at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; head of the department of art education at Southern Methodist University; director of the Art Center in Waco and Craft Guild of Dallas; and an independent curator of more than 100 exhibitions. He also was a strong supporter of UNT Libraries and the College of Visual Arts and Design. He was a member of the President’s Council and the 1890 Society, and he established the Paul Rogers Harris Exhibition Endowment Fund to support the UNT Art Galleries. In 2003, he received the Legend award from the Dallas Center for Contemporary Arts.


Anna Ricco

Anna Ricco, of Carrollton, a longtime supporter of UNT, died June 1. She served on UNT advisory boards for the College of Music, the Mayborn School of Journalism and the G. Brint Ryan College of Business alongside her husband, Nicholas Ricco Sr. ('61), whom she married in 1971. Anna and her husband provided scholarships and mentored hundreds of students through the years. They endowed the Ricco Ethics Scholarship competition to encourage and promote ethics among students and were members of the McConnell Society. In 2018, the Cmdr. Nicholas and Anna Ricco Music Dean’s Suite in the Music Building was named in their honor. In 2003, Anna and her husband were recognized by the Texas Legislature and in 2008 they were appointed admirals in the Texas Navy by Gov. Rick Perry for their civic and charitable contributions.

Francis ‘Frank’ T. Kostohryz

Francis ‘Frank’ T. Kostohryz, 88, a longtime supporter of the College of Music, died Oct. 2 in Memphis. He established the CEFT Frank J. & Hermine Hurta Kostohryz Residency in Czech Music and Culture at UNT and was a member of the McConnell Society. He studied medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and served in the U.S. Navy as a submarine medical officer, general practitioner, radiologist and chief of radiology from 1956 to 1980.

James Avery

James Avery, 96, the jewelry maker and member of the Chilton Society, died April 30. A lifelong jazz enthusiast, Avery arranged for the One O’Clock Lab Band to perform at the Kerrville hospital fundraiser in 2009. That same year he established The Jazz Leadership Fund in honor of lab band directors Neil Slater and Jim Riggs. The fund provides scholarships for instrumental jazz majors as well as support for students’ recording and touring. He earned a bachelor of fine arts in industrial design from the University of Illinois. During World War II, he commanded 44 missions in a B-26 bomber as a member of the Army Air Forces. After the war, Avery began making jewelry while teaching. He sold his products on consignment, which led to the founding of James Avery Artisan Jewelry, which has more than 80 stores in five states.

Carolyn Dunnigan

Carolyn Dunnigan, 75, of Dallas, died Feb. 12 in Dallas. She was a member of The President’s Council and a longtime supporter of UNT with her husband David Dunnigan (’64). She began her career as a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News in 1965. She was active in her community, serving as president of the Rosemont Elementary School PTA, executive vice president of the Greater Dallas Planning Council, administrative director of the Dallas Assembly and the Dallas Friday Group, a board member of Kessler-Stevens Book Club, The Well Community, Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts, and a member of Kessler Park United Methodist Church. She received one of the first early Headliner awards from the Press Club of Dallas and was the first female member and first female president of the Oak Cliff Lions Club.