The University of North Texas at Dallas is certainly gaining a reputation for being many things: affordable, accessible, diverse, growing and most of all, providing students in southern Dallas a world-class education in their own backyard that will lead to unlimited possibilities.
Our name is resonating. How do we know? Just look at the big names on campus on Thursday. Big names are taking notice.
In the span of six hours, we welcomed bestselling author Chris Gardner, whose gritty autobiography, "The Pursuit of Happyness" inspired a blockbuster film that starred Will Smith; next came CBS 11 reporter Robbie Owens, who interviewed President Bob Mong and student body president Unique Stewart for her report on UNT Dallas' community-and-partnership driven mission that has led to a spike in enrollment; and finally Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, long committed to the growth of the southern sector of the city, was on campus as a very special guest on Chancellor Lesa Roe's Bridging Gaps podcast.
What a day.
Gardner, whose book chronicles his battle with homelessness while raising his toddler son in San Francisco. Gardner shared the the decisions he made that shaped his life -- and his ability to dream.
Owens, who was on campus last month for the launch of UNT Dallas' collaboration with Toyota and DART on a Mobile Market initiative to deliver fresh produce to underserved communities, returned to report on the university's 51 percent growth over the last three years under Mong's leadership, and how UNT Dallas is making higher education accessible for all regardless of their economic background.
And, finally, the Rawlings, the Dallas mayor since 2011, made his first visit to campus. He spent several minutes speaking with members of the student government, asking each about their pathway to UNT Dallas.
Word is getting around.
Blaze Your Trail!