Life at UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas is a vibrant, expanding, relatively young University, having just celebrated the 40th Anniversary of our charter. However, the foundations for the University are a decade older, dating to 1961 and the Southwest Center of Advanced Studies, which became the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. Eric Jonsson, co-founder of Texas Instruments and later Mayor of Dallas and co-founder of UT Dallas was instrumental in the securing the charter.

In the early 1960s, Dallas was the center of an explosion in technology and science. In addition to the ground breaking work being done at Texas Instruments and other companies, The Division of Atmospheric and Space Sciences, which became the Center for Space Studies, was located here. A legacy of this era is our publication of Issues in Science and Technology, the quarterly policy journal of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and UT Dallas.

UT Dallas grew backwards with the first “students” being post-docs. Doctoral students came in 1969, when the first PhD degrees were awarded in physics, biology and geosciences. In 1971, we became part of the UT system, in 1972 we were accredited and in 1973, we graduated our first students. In the early days most of our students were in graduate programs; we only had upper-division undergraduate students.

Our faculty was distinguished from the beginning, including the first Nobel Laureate to live and teach in the Southwest, Polycarp Kusch. The History of UT Dallas as expanded by the Timeline brings insight not simply to the University, but to an era and a city.

From the beginning, UT Dallas was committed to diversity. The goals of the University and of the city of Dallas as articulated by co-founder Eric Jonsson in a 1965 video, emphasize equality and diversity. In our second graduating class, we awarded a Ph.D. to Dr. Maureen Steiner. One year later, we appointed our first woman Dean, Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein, whose memory is honored by the Galerstein Women’s Center.

That same year, 1975, our commitment to serving the handicapped was accelerated when the internationally renowned Callier Center for Communication Disorders became part of UT Dallas. Beginning as the Pilot School for the deaf, Callier has a rich history and unsurpassed record of research and service to the speech, language and hearing handicapped.

To Learn More about the University of Texas at Dallas:

The History of the UT Dallas is reviewed through an interactive timeline with an oral history which includes President Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. John Hoffman, Dr. Francis S. Johnson, President Emeritus Robert Rutford, and Former President Bryce Jordan. You can explore the pioneering past and promising future of UT Dallas as summarized in narrative, or you can view a video of our past presidents as they review the story of this University.

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