Sunday, May 17, 2009

News From My Alma Mater

It seems like there are a lot of UNT-related things to talk about today, so I might as well put them in the same post. Of the three, one is happy, one is sad, and the other is just plain bizarre:
  • The Denton Record-Chronicle has a nice article about Steve Wiest as the "interim" is removed from his title of director of the One O'Clock Lab Band.

  • I was shocked to read this morning of the passing of Norval Pohl, president of UNT from 2000-2006. I was already graduated by the time he came on board, but I was quite familiar with his accomplishments, including the construction of the wonderful recreation center that now bears his name. I also got to meet him for a moment before the 2003 New Orleans Bowl; he and his wife were among a group of alumni and supporters of which I'd become the de facto leader for a moment, because I knew how to get from the Hyatt--where a big pep rally was being held--to the Superdome for the game. He seemed like a cool guy during our brief conversation.

  • At UNT graduation yesterday, an old tradition was put on hold: There was no handshaking when diploma covers were passed out during the ceremony. The reason? The threat of swine flu. (No, seriously.) Evidently, the graduates were given carnations instead (but how did one assure oneself that the carnation-passer-outers weren't themselves carriers of the flu?). Also, one graduate near the end supposedly managed to hug President Gretchen Bataille near the end, which must have been about as awkward as when the First Lady hugged Queen Elizabeth early last month.
And the reason I heard about the last story? One of my former students, Betsy (who made a few appearances in the early days of this blog under the nickname of "Woody"), graduated from UNT yesterday. Congrats to you, Betsy, and here's hoping you can join the proverbial rat race soon (the job market for college graduates is still rough out there).

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