Ingenuity. It’s our legacy
and our future.

In 1962, our founders—Erik Jonsson, Cecil Green and Eugene McDermott—stood in the middle of a vast field and imagined a world-class university, a think tank that would be a catalyst for fueling new-age industries in the Southwest. They were entrepreneurs—remarkable visionaries with an audacious, ingenious dream. Bold, innovative thinking has always been ingrained in our culture and it drives our future.

A Pioneering Past and Promising Future


From left: Cecil Green, J. Erik Jonsson and Eugene McDermott

The University of Texas at Dallas has an ingenious heritage born of its pioneering spirit. The University owes its existence to a group of creative and energetic scientific entrepreneurs who deeply valued education and were dedicated to the future of Texas.

Prior to World War II, Cecil Green, J. Erik Jonsson and Eugene McDermott, the founders of Geophysical Services Inc., were in the business of searching for natural resources. The war shifted the company’s focus to creating instruments to help find enemy planes and submarines. GSI spawned Texas Instruments Inc., which launched a new era in technology with the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958.

During the expansion of Texas Instruments, the three men were forced to import engineering talent from outside the state while the region’s bright young people pursued education elsewhere. They saw that Texas needed highly educated minds if the state was to remain competitive.

Having identified the need, the visionaries took action to serve both their enterprise and the region and established the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, which in 1967 was renamed the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS). The center recruited some of the best scientific talent in the nation.

In 1969, the three founders transferred the assets of SCAS to the state of Texas. Gov. Preston Smith signed the bill creating The University of Texas at Dallas on June 13 of that year, fulfilling a mandate to create educational opportunities in science and technology in North Texas.

By law, UT Dallas offered only graduate degrees until 1975, when the addition of juniors and seniors helped boost enrollment from 408 to 3,333 students. By the fall of 1977, enrollment had reached more than 5,300 students.

During that pivotal period of growth in the 1970s, the University added the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, opened the School of Management and built Cecil H. Green Hall, J. Erik Jonsson Hall, Hoblitzelle Hall, the Eugene McDermott Library, the University Theatre, the Alexander Clark Center, the Campus Bookstore and the Visual Arts Building.

The Rise to National Prominence

In 1990, the University admitted its first freshman class of 100 students, setting the standard for future cohorts. Since then, freshman classes have grown while the University has maintained rigorous enrollment requirements. From 2000 to 2013, UT Dallas experienced a 93% increase in its total enrollment.

The transition from an upper-division school to a four-year university with an emphasis on engineering, mathematics, the sciences and management has been facilitated by the excellence of the UT Dallas faculty, which has provided quality instruction to the student population while sustaining the University’s research tradition.

A Bright Future

UT Dallas President David E. Daniel has advocated widely for the University to become one of the nation’s top research universities, focusing on hiring and retaining world-class faculty, attracting top students, delivering top-quality education and partnering with the community in research, education, outreach, the arts and technology commercialization.

Thanks to these efforts, UT Dallas is ranked in the top 100 by Kiplinger’s and in the top 75 by The Princeton Review as a best value among public universities. Times Higher Education ranks UT Dallas No. 1 in Texas, No. 4 in the nation and No. 15 in the world among the top 100 universities under 50 years of age.

UT Dallas has a unique and exciting past and an even more promising future. The University has always been and always will be, in one word, ingenious.