UNT Dallas New Campus Opens In Style

Shield_2Color_Blue.jpgIn one of my initial posts on this blog (Is Education the Salvation) I talked about the impact that could be made in Southern Dallas by the presence of the University of North Texas at Dallas.  On Tuesday, leaders from across the area celebrated Dallas taking one step closer towarxs having a public insitution of higher learning as the first building of the UNT Dallas Campus officially opened at 7300 Houston School Road.

A series of grand opening events were held throughout the morning and there was a sense of excitement among those who were in attendance.  UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson and UNT Vice Provost for the Dallas Campus John Price hosted the historic ceremony.

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       Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, Lee Jackson and John Price     

Those who were on hand to help commemorate the occasion included Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, State Senator Royce West, State Representative Helen Giddings, and Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill.  There were also a number of elected officials present from DeSoto, Lancaster, Duncanville, and Cedar Hill.

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During her remarks, Mayor Miller acknowledged the support given to the university by Dallas City Councilman James Fantroy, who was unable to attend Tuesday's ceremony due to illness.  She also implored the audience to always refer to the new school as UNT Dallas, and predicted that the university will be the catalyst in making Dallas a whole city.

Other events included campus tours for middle school students from nearby school districts, $100 book voucher giveaways, and a drawing in which 5 UNT Dallas Students received free tuition for the spring semester.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held with the help of campus administrators, state and local officials, school district representatives and members of local chambers of commerce.  Senator West, Rep. Giddings, and Chancellor Jackson had the honor of performing the ceremonial cutting.

Vice Provost Price announced that the Spring 2007 headcount currently stood at 1659 students –  accounting for 641 full-time equivalent students.  Last semester those numbers were 1,533 and 615 respectively.

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One day I will tell my son's children about the cold January day in 2007 when I attended the grand opening of the University of North Texas at Dallas.  The Master Plan calls for the school to accommodate an enrollment of over 16,000 students by then.  The school may not seem like much now, but neither did Texas A&M or UTA in the early days.

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