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  • Zina

Denton-ing, Part 2

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

In Part 1, I shared Denton's local heroes and myths. I also shared my bonafides as a Denton-ite. I omitted all the stuff about Denton as a College Town. I did that on purpose. The topic deserves its own space!

Denton is the home of 2 important schools. The University of North Texas on the Southwest and Texas Woman's University on the Northeast. I have personal links to both of these great schools!

I am a 4th generation UNT attendee. Although I graduated, I can't call myself a 4th generation grad because my grandmother got married rather than finish a degree - as women were wont to do in those days. But 3 of her brothers got degrees at North Texas! My father graduated from UNT and my mother took a class or two there, but more about her when we get to TWU!

The school had a different name in each generation! It started as "Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute." It was called "North Texas Normal College" when my great-grandfather got his teaching certificate there. It was called "North Texas State Teachers College" when my grandmother's brothers graduated. It was called "North Texas State College" when my father graduated and "North Texas State University" when I graduated. The name was changed to "University of North Texas" the year after I graduated.

A couple facts:

  • UNT's Jazz Studies degree was the first of its kind.

  • UNT's Computer Science degree was one of 3 to be first in Texas. (And the other 2 were NOT celebrated in burnt orange, nor in maroon. I know one was Rice. I don't recall the other.)

Those are just a couple. If you browse through UNT's various rankings, you'll find it's often #3 in Texas behind those other 2. And, it breaks the top 2 every now and again!

We've had our share of famous grads and attendees to come through UNT: Don Henley, Norah Jones, Pat Boone, Dr. Phil, Eli Young Band and of course Mean Joe Greene. Our current QB is even being mentioned in the same articles as the words "Heisman material" this year!


Texas Woman's University is smaller, but has the most impressive campus (in my opinion.) It is TWU that gives Denton its skyline!

Known for Nursing, Education, Health Care and Nutrition, the TWU Pioneers are a source of pride. A source of pride for Denton and a source of personal pride as well.

My mother worked for TWU. Her career spanned 5 decades! During that time, she raised 2 daughters, helped her husband get 2 degrees and finished 2 degrees herself - all while working full-time. She is a chemist and published scientist. She contributed to the NASA research completed by Dr. Pauline Beery Mack in the 60's.



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