History of the University of North Texas


The University of North Texas or UNT is a public research university located in Denton, Texas. The University comprises an early admissions math and science academy, 14 schools and colleges, the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, and a library system that consists of the university’s core. Since its founding in 1890, the University of North Texas remained to be nonsectarian and coeducational. In this article, we are going to learn more about the history of the University of North Texas.


Ten Denton businessmen decided to establish a normal school in 1890. This is a college that would eventually train teachers in Denton. The businessmen bought 240 acres of land, which was later annexed by the city, and they developed it into lots, blocks, and streets. Not only that, but the businessmen also donated ten acres of that land to the town so that they could also build a campus for a new college. That ten acres of land eventually became the now growing and sprawling University of North Texas campus.

In order to build the university, the citizens of Denton had to approve $15,000 in bonds for the school to be made. A year after the bonds’ approval, the cornerstone of the first college building was laid with a grand ceremony that was led by the city officials and Masons. However, in 1907, a fire destroyed the building.

University of North Texas Eagle Statue

In 1983, the university experienced financial problems along with declining enrollment. At that time, its president, Mr. Chilton, decided to resign in September that year because of health problems. That is why Minter B. Terrell replaced Mr. Chilton as president and began his term with three faculty members. However, despite the leadership changes, the problems about money and low enrollment rates still haunt the university. That is why the city of Denton decided to change the school into a free state college.

In 1989, after several unsuccessful attempts, the state school was finally authorized by the Twenty-Sixth Texas legislature. This move approved an act for the school to create a state normal school to offer special training for teachers. Along with this, the institution was renamed as the North Texas Normal College, and the City of Denton agreed to give all the Normal School property to the state, which includes the buildings, land, and an abundant supply of water.

When the institution opened its registration in 1901, it had a total of 14 faculty members and 200 students. During that time, the college offered seven courses that aspiring teachers could take, such as agriculture, physical and biological sciences, language, Science, and manual training. The school also provided home economics courses but for women only, and they even offered courses that were specially designed to train principals of rural high schools and consolidated schools.

A student could have a Normal School diploma if they complete their fourth year of studies. They could also earn a bachelor’s degree after they completed two more years of advanced training.

Aside from the school’s different programs, it also has musical, literary, debate, and other organizations that the students could join. Aside from this, the school also has a publication, a band, and a chorus. They also push students to participate in extracurricular athletics that are supervised by an Athletic Council, which is made up of a student’s association and a faculty committee. In 1923, the school changed its name to North Texas State Teachers College. And in 1961, it became known as the North Texas State University.

Today, the school offers several programs such as engineering, visual arts and design, hospitality and tourism, health and public service, and music.

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