Site Takes an In-Depth Look at University’s Past
Timeline, Images, Memories Tell the Story of UT Dallas’ First 40 Years
Oct. 26, 2009
UT Dallas’ colorful past and intriguing future now meet in a virtual space online.
A special Web site for the UT Dallas 40-year observance takes readers through the University’s first four decades of growth and invites the University community to celebrate the milestone at events throughout the school year.
40th Year Events
Dec. 12 33rd Annual Holiday Sing
Dec. 18-19 Commencement
Jan. 29 Music Faculty Concert
March 25 The 2010 Alumni Gala
May 13-15 Spring Graduation Celebration
40@40 Lecture Series
All lectures @ 4 - 5 p.m. in McDermott Suite (MC4.404) except where noted
Nov. 16 Dr. John Hoffman and Dr. James Carter “UTD and the Apollo Missions” (2 – 4 p.m.)
Nov. 18 Panel of UT Dallas Presidents (Conference Center)
The Office of Communications designed the site as an electronic scrapbook, featuring an Interactive Timeline that tells the UT Dallas story in words and pictures pulled from the University’s archives, from personal collections of individual faculty and alumni, and from research carried out by a small working group over the past year.
Many of the images will seem both familiar and peculiar. From 1964, a picture of the Founders Building shows the massive concrete structure against the backdrop of empty farmland. From 1971, an architect’s vision for the campus mall resembles the current setting—except for a Disneyland-like monorail system included in the rendering.
Web developer and UT Dallas Arts and Technology graduate Kason Escobedo (’07) designed the Web page, using graphic headers originated by University Creative Director Lee Don Moore. Much of the content was selected and prepared by Deputy Managing Editor Jenni Huffenberger and Communication Manager Brandon Webb. Others who contributed significantly to the effort to find content for and build the site include Tom Koch, McDermott Library communications manager; Paul Oelkrug, coordinator of special collections; Judi Hensley, director of University events; Lauraine O’Neil, assistant vice president for marketing communications; Rich Williams, Web specialist; John Hanan, managing editor; Cary Delmark, director of Web services; Meredith Dickenson, assistant vice president for media relations and communications; and Abby Kratz, associate provost. UT Dallas students Taylor Buttler, Ben Farnia, and Teala Miller also helped assemble the content of the site.
The team had private donors to thank for many of the photos and news clippings. In addition, alumni and longtime employees have added written Reminiscences from four decades of studying, teaching or working on campus.
“We are grateful to many people who offered us their time and their memories, and who have shared their keepsakes,” said Susan Rogers, vice president for communications. “We hope we’ll be hearing from and seeing submissions from many more. This site will morph into an ongoing timeline and history Web page at the end of this milestone year, so we’ll be expecting more contributions.“
The Add Your Chapter page invites others to contribute. An Oral History page shares audio recordings of people who were pivotal in building the school. One of the voices belongs to Dr. John Hoffman, who joined UT Dallas in 1966 when it was still the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. Hoffman was recently celebrated for his work on the NASA mission that discovered water on Mars.
The Events page posts the “40@40” events, referring to 40 faculty lectures and other observances scheduled for the milestone year. One notable event , scheduled at 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at the UT Dallas Conference Center Auditorium, is the “Panel of the Presidents,” featuring a rare meeting of UT Dallas President David E. Daniel and former Presidents Franklyn Jenifer and Robert Rutford for a free-wheeling discussion about the University’s past and future. Free and open to faculty, staff, students and friends of the University, the event will be followed by a reception.
Many other 40@40 events explore the evolution of research and academic inquiry by zeroing in on happenings in specific fields over the last four decades. On Oct. 26, School of Management faculty member Yexiao Xu will discuss the latest ideas on investment risk. On Nov. 5, Dr. Rachel Croson of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences will explore “The Behavioral Revolution in Economics.”
The McDermott Library staff is also assembling exhibits of various mementos and historic items in the display cases of the library, with particular emphasis on those just outside the McDermott Suite on the fourth floor, where most of the 40@40 events will be scheduled.