By Randena Hulstrand
When UNT began as a normal college in 1890, President Joshua C. Chilton declared the institution's aim to become a leader in "the education of the young men and women of Texas, fitting them to creditably fill the most important positions in business and professional circles."
The city of Denton, destined to be the educational center of the North Texas region, had a population of 2,558.
Now, 121 years later, Denton is closer to 120,000 and UNT is the nation's 33rd-largest public university, preparing about 36,000 students to fill society's important positions. The university continues to grow with new facilities that enhance the student experience, such as the state-of-the-art Business Leadership Building and Apogee Stadium.
Today, UNT has ties around the world, and its influence begins at home as the largest, most comprehensive university in Dallas-Fort Worth — the nation's fourth-largest metropolitan area and the location of many of America's fastest-growing cities.
UNT connects hundreds of thousands of people within the region and state — students and their families, alumni, faculty and staff, researchers, business people and visitors to campus. The university fuels knowledge to help create jobs and attract start ups. Its investments in new research initiatives and forward-looking degree programs contribute significantly to a thriving region.
"UNT's 121-year legacy of providing students with the highest-quality education has furnished Texas with generations of innovative thinkers to lead and carry out the work of the state's industries," says President V. Lane Rawlins.
"Today, we continue to give our students a strong academic foundation and hands-on opportunities, making our region and state more and more competitive. The investments we are making to continue our growth as a major public research university with the best undergraduate education in Texas will only deepen our impact."