Alma Mater is doing amazing things

22 10 2009

  UNT’s famous “Claw” followed by loud roars of KAH!!

That used to be the way I answered the question “Gadi, what school did you graduate from?”.   Now I’ve changed my actions and when I’m asked that question I turn into Terry Tate the linebacker and own your arse.
  So why the change in salutation?  Simple – I’ve a new found love and respect for my alma mater.  I really enjoyed my time up north in Denton, America.  But seeing how a the relatively “new” president has changed the focus and view of that other “40,000 kids a year” University, is really impressive and up lifting. 

I was able to “hang” with some elite folks in the UNT family and the extended family for that matter.  This week UNT launched the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, welcomed its first artist-in-residence, and celebrated the Grand opening of UNT on the Square Home of the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. 

You should be familiar with the artist-in-residence:  Guillermo Arriaga.  

We’ll I’ve had the priviliage of listening, meeting and talking with Mr. Arriaga now four times in the past few years and can honestly say he’s pure gold.  He’s got a charm and sense of humor that really opens him up to all levels of people.  He’s also on the forefront of stream of conscience writing and has already had a huge impact on the film world (Babel, 21 grams, and now the Burning Plain).  

Being able to hob-nob it with the so-called “elite” of the Denton community I learned some key things.

1.) They have great tastes – the arts have taking a step-forward in the UNT community and no-longer will Denton be just that hippie stop over before you hit DFW. 
2.) There is actually money in the community and they are looking to make waves for UNT and Denton.
3.) The Liberal Arts are not dead in the South.  UNT was recently named one of the top 100 hundred up and coming schools (only public Texas Univirsity).

President Gretchen M. Bataille has made extensive strides in expansion of the good ol’ Alma Mater.  And listening to the numerous deans, professors, and directors at both the launch and celebration – I have to say the people working at UNT are mighty influencial and driven folks. 

Wendy K. Wilkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs at UNT, took us through both events with a great knowledge of where the Arts could and should be at UNT. 

The Institute for the Advancement of the Arts began operations thisfall under the oversight of a steering committee composed of the deanof the College of Music, the dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

I have to say keep and eye open for the Mean Green!!!

Also a shout out to one of the key board committee members to make this all possible was Hank Dickenson.  Wendy made a point to shout out Good Ol’ Hank.  And being that Hank is an awesome dude I thought I’d have a little fun and say KICK ASS JOB Sir Dickenson.

   Good Pic Hank – You look so Important.

Stay Tuned for some audio gold from the launch and celebration.  INCLUDING the full performance by UNT’s acclaimed College of Music  doing some of  noted contemporary composer Eduardo Gamboa work. 

Can’t Wait to update on more UNT news in the future.  Just a little shout out for the Mean Green.   KAH!!!! And now for some Ablino Squirrel Love!!  Long live those little guys!!

 

(Wonder why his eyes are so red?  It is Denton!!)

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