Printable Timeline

1960 - 1970 - 1980 - 1990 - 2000 - 2010


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

Visionaries in Their Own Time


UT Dallas owes its existence to three visionaries, Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green. They deeply valued education and entrepreneurial activity. These men, who also founded Texas Instruments, found themselves importing talent from outside the state while the region's brightest young people pursued education elsewhere. Having identified the need, the founders took action to serve both their enterprise and Texas by establishing the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest in 1961. It was renamed the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS) in 1967, and, in 1969, the founders transferred the assets of SCAS to the State of Texas, and then-Governor Preston Smith signed the bill establishing UT Dallas.

Growing the Region Academically

February 1961

The Graduate Research Center of the Southwest was chartered by Texas Instruments co-founders Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson and Eugene McDermott. Lloyd V. Berkner served as the first president, and the center was originally housed on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

A Campus is Born

January 1964

The first facility on campus, the Founders Building, opened on the grounds of the present-day campus in early 1964.

A University for Dallas


The Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System — now known as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board — recommends the establishment of an upper-level, public university in Dallas.

New Leadership

March 1965

Gifford K. Johnson assumed the presidency of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest in early 1965. Read Complete Article Here

A New Name

January 1967

In an effort to better express its teaching and basic research functions, the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest changed its name to the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies in 1967.

Founding Concepts


UT Dallas founder J. Erik Jonsson spoke to Richardson High School students about the Goals for Dallas program, which he conceived in 1964 and which included concepts that supported the founding of the University. David Cordell, who attended the presentation as the high school's Student Council president, became a finance professor at UT Dallas.

Making a Case for UT Dallas

Spring 1969

Morris Hite, a prominent business, economic and civic leader in Dallas, spent much of spring 1969 working with Gov. Preston Smith, legislators, committees and educators to convince the state to transform what had been a small research center — the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies — into a major university. Hite, who also headed Tracy Locke advertising agency, was appointed adjunct professor of marketing in the School of Management in 1982. After his death in 1983, the University established the Morris Hite Center for Marketing Science, which sponsors research and educational programs dealing with the creation of new products and the management of established products.

A Member of UT System

June 1969

House Bill 303, establishing UT Dallas as a member of the University of Texas System, was signed into law on campus by then-Texas Governor Preston Smith, with an effective date of September 1969.

Johnson Takes the Helm

July 1969

Francis S. Johnson became president of the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies in July 1969 and continued through July 1971 as acting president of UT Dallas. He served as executive dean of graduate studies, was assistant director of the National Science Foundation, and is a recipient of the John Adams Fleming Award of the American Geophysical Union.

Space Science Takes Off

Fall 1969

William B. Hanson, a professor of physics, was the director of the Division of Atmospheric and Space Sciences, which later became the Center for Space Sciences. He held the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Chair in Natural Sciences and Mathematics and remained director until his death in 1994, when the center was renamed the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences in recognition of his contributions.

Texas Gov. Preston Smith (seated) signed legislation creating UT Dallas.

Making it Official: UT Dallas Joins UT System

September 1969

The Southwest Center for Advanced Studies became The University of Texas at Dallas, an upper-level component of the UT System, in September 1969. During ceremonies to sign legislation creating the University, then Texas Gov. Preston Smith toured the molecular biology facilities with Royston Clowes, who was head of the molecular and cell biology program at UT Dallas.

First PhD Degrees

September 1969

Physics, biology and geological sciences — later changed to geosciences — were the first PhD degrees offered at UT Dallas.



Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture


The Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture began in 1970. The oldest endowed lecture series on campus honors the memory of a remarkable individual who amassed a sizable fortune throughout an unusual and successful career — first as an engineer, then as a physician at the Mayo Clinic and finally as a businessman in the oil and banking industries. Clark's philanthropic activities have for many decades supported scholarly endeavors at a number of Texas colleges and universities, including the Clark Summer Research Program and the Clark Presidential Scholarship at UT Dallas.

Ahead of Their Time


A 1971 campus development plan projecting the future look and feel of UT Dallas called for a monorail reminiscent of Disneyland's, large balconies for congregating, and skywalks.

Geology, Petroleum Library Added

February 1971

In February 1971, the Geological Information Library of Dallas (GILD) became The University of Texas at Dallas Geological Information Library. Read Complete Article Here

First President

July 1971

Bryce Jordan became president of UT Dallas in July 1971. At the time, he was acting president of UT Austin and went on to serve as UT Dallas president for 10 years before being appointed UT System Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He later became president of The Pennsylvania State University, commonly known as Penn State.

School Colors and a Logo

Summer 1971

Sitting in his office one afternoon with assistant Donna Beth McCormick, UT Dallas President Bryce Jordan hand drew the University's logo, which consisted of the letters "UTD" with a box around them. Jordan suggested the school colors be orange and white to coordinate with UT Austin, but McCormick liked green, so it was incorporated too. UT System policy later required the inclusion of orange in any System institution's official color palette.

First Nobel Laureate

September 1972

Polykarp Kusch was the first Nobel laureate on the University faculty. In 1955, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for physics with Willis Eugene Lamb for his accurate determination that the magnetic moment of the electron was greater than its theoretical value, thus leading to reconsideration of — and innovations in — quantum electrodynamics. Prior to his arrival at UT Dallas, he spent much of his career at Columbia University. He died in 1993. Read a personal account about Dr. Kusch.

Accreditation Achieved

December 1972

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges granted accreditation to UT Dallas in 1972, conferring approval on the quality and integrity of the University's programs. The SACS Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of universities in 11 states and Latin America. Under a rigorous review process, the agency evaluated the University's programs against common standards for institutions of higher education.

Visionary Leader


One prominent Dallas civic leader who took an early interest in UT Dallas was Karl Hoblitzelle. In 1973, the Hoblitzelle Foundation and the Texas Research Foundation, Hoblitzelle's brainchild, gifted the University almost 300 acres of land.Today, the Hoblitzelle land gift is home to the Alexander Clark Center, residence halls, all of the Waterview Park and University Village Apartments and Hoblitzelle Hall. Though Karl Hoblitzelle died in 1967, his foundations consistently contributed to UT Dallas for decades.

First Graduates


The first UT Dallas diplomas were awarded. Among the recipients were Wang-Kong Lam in physics, Susan Seabury Mahlum in biology and Ronald Allan Hawkins in physics.

First Graduates


The first UT Dallas diplomas were awarded. Among the recipients were Wang-Kong Lam in physics, Susan Seabury Mahlum in biology and Ronald Allan Hawkins in physics.

Berkner Opens

January 1973

Berkner Hall opened in January 1973. The building was named in honor of Lloyd V. Berkner, who died in 1967 less than a year after NASA presented him with a Distinguished Public Service Medal. Berkner had been a central figure in the early days of U.S. scientific exploration. His work influenced U.S. space policy after the Soviet success with Sputnik in 1957. The same year, he played a key role in International Geophysical Year activities. As the former president of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, he helped lay the strong research foundation upon which UT Dallas was built. An island, a lunar crater and a high school bear his name.

Maureen Steiner

Fantastic First

December 1974

Maureen Steiner was the first woman to receive a PhD — in geosciences — from UT Dallas.

Leaders in Business


The School of Management, which offers programs at the undergraduate, graduate and executive levels and is the largest of UT Dallas' seven schools, was established in 1975. Financial Times magazine has ranked its executive MBA program No. 1 in Texas and tied for No. 10 in the nation.

First Female Dean


Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein served as the first Dean of the School of General Studies from 1975-1987. With this promotion from associate professor of comparative literature, she also became UT Dallas’ first female dean. The Galerstein Women’s Center (GWC), named in her honor, opened in 1996 and affirms the University's commitment to advancing the status and success of women on campus.

Callier Center Comes Aboard

August 1975

The Callier Center for Communication Disorders, located near Love Field in Dallas, was added in 1975 as part of the School of Human Development, now the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Founded in 1963, the center is a leader in providing in-depth, advanced evaluations and innovative treatments for children and adults with a wide variety of speech, language and hearing disorders. The center's programs are ranked among the best in the nation.

First Undergrads

September 1975

Juniors and seniors were admitted for the first time in 1975, resulting in an enrollment of 3,333. Read Complete Article Here

Lots of Love


The 10-foot-tall steel "Jack" — created by American modernist sculptor Jim Love — came to UT Dallas in 1976.

Undergraduate Achievement

May 1976

The University's first bachelor's degree was awarded at spring commencement in 1976, not long after UT Dallas began admitting juniors and seniors.

Building on Success

October 1976

The 1970s saw a flurry of building openings, including: Cecil H. Green Hall, J. Erik Jonsson Hall, Hoblitzelle Hall, the Eugene McDermott Library and the University Theatre. Hoblitzelle Hall was once home to the Southwest Legal Foundation, a center for legal education. The building currently houses the Office of Enrollment Services.

Flying High

November 1976

The History of Aviation Collection opened in UT Dallas' Eugene McDermott Library in November 1976. The collection eventually became the home of the Doolittle papers and memorabilia. General James "Jimmy" Doolittle was a pilot and hero best remembered for leading an air strike over Tokyo in retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

James Reilly earned three degrees from UT Dallas and went on to become a successful space explorer.

Homegrown Astronaut


James F. Reilly II earned a bachelor of science in geosciences in 1977. Reilly went on to become a veteran explorer, logging more than 853 hours and five walks in space. In addition to his undergraduate degree, he also holds a master’s (1987) and Ph.D. (1995) — both in geosciences — from the University.

A Place for Events and Activities

January 1978

The Alexander Clark Center opens on campus.

The Visual Arts Building

September 1978

The Visual Arts Building opened in 1978. The facility currently is home to the visual arts program in the School of Arts and Humanities and features a main exhibition gallery, mezzanine student gallery, black and white photography lab, color photography lab, a painting and drawing studio, a two-dimensional design studio, a three-dimensional design and sculpture studio, printmaking studio, lecture room and offices.



The Mercury Rises


The UTD Mercury becomes the official student newspaper of the University. The publication is a perennial award winner in regional collegiate press competitions. The all-student staff publishes the broadsheet newspaper biweekly and also posts an electronic version on the Web.

The Student Union atrium in the early 1980s

A Place of Their Own

January 1981

The Student Union, a destination for UT Dallas students seeking to relax, dine and study, opened in 1981.

Change at the Top

September 1981

Alexander L. Clark served as acting president from Sept. 1981 to May 1982, between the administrations of Bryce Jordan and Robert Rutford. He joined UT Dallas as vice president for academic affairs in 1974, a post he held for 17 years. During that time — a period of remarkable growth for the University and its faculty — he was responsible for the recruitment of more than 130 faculty.

Rutford Takes Over

May 1982

Robert H. Rutford became the second president of UT Dallas in May 1982. Rutford served as head of the University until 1994 and is still on the faculty. He is one of the world's foremost authorities on Antarctica. In fact, an ice stream he discovered on the continent bears his name, as does a street on campus. Rutford was named president emeritus of UT Dallas in 2007.

Staying Connected after College

Fall 1982

The UT Dallas Alumni Association, now Alumni Relations, was formed in 1982.

Concerns of the Lively Mind


The Polykarp Kusch Lecture Series began in 1985 when the University endowed a program of annual talks in his name and with the theme “Concerns of the Lively Mind.” Kusch was the 1955 Nobel laureate in physics. He joined UT Dallas in 1972 and was a UT System Regental Professor. He served on the University’s physics faculty until he retired in 1982 and was accorded professor emeritus status. The 2009 Kusch Lecture featured space scientist John Hoffman, who discussed the science and the journey that led to discovering water once existed on Mars.

Engineering a New Era


Due to the joint efforts of business, community and education leaders, the long-held dream of a UT Dallas engineering school became a reality in 1986. Now known as the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, it is the second largest school at the University. It is named for the late Erik Jonsson, a former mayor of Dallas and co-founder of Texas Instruments and UT Dallas. Read Complete Article Here

A Royal Honor

June 1988

Brian J. L. Berry, now dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, received the Royal Geographic Society's highest honor, the Victoria Medal, in 1988. Berry is the Lloyd Viel Berkner Regental Professor and Dean, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Founders Professor of Political Economy, and is a fellow of the British Academy.

First Jonsson School Grads

Jan. 1989

In 1989, Andrew Jones became one of the first graduates to receive a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

20th Year

Fall 1989

At its 20th anniversary, fall enrollment at UT Dallas topped 8,000. Read Complete Article Here



First Freshmen

Fall 1990

In 1990, the Texas Legislature authorized the University to admit freshman and sophomore students for the first time. The initial freshman class consisted of about 100 students whose achievements set the academic standard for future classes. Read Complete Article Here

A Champion for Students, Faculty


Dr. Bryan Hobson Wildenthal joined in 1992 as vice president for academic affairs. A champion of diversity and academic freedom, he was instrumental in adopting a core curriculum that addressed key components of undergraduate education when the University was just beginning to admit freshmen and sophomores in the early 1990s. He has served as executive vice president and provost since 1999, where he provides leadership and guidance to academic programs, research endeavors and faculty business.

Space to Grow

January 1992

Two new buildings — the Engineering and Computer Science facility and the Cecil and Ida Green Center — opened on campus in early 1992.

Going Greek

March 1992

UT Dallas' first Greek chapter — Kappa Sigma — joined campus in March 1992. The University is now home to 15 national Greek-letter fraternities and sororities representing organizations from the Interfraternity Council (men's fraternities), Multicultural Greek Council (culturally-based fraternities and sororities), National Pan-Hellenic Council (historically African-American fraternities and sororities), and the College Panhellenic Council (women's sororities).

President Franklyn Jenifer

July 1994

Dr. Franklyn Jenifer served as the third president of UT Dallas from 1994-2005. Jenifer had previously been president of Howard University and the chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education. Under Jenifer, UT Dallas' enrollment increased more than 61 percent. The campus underwent a dramatic physical transformation as major new facilities — including new buildings for the School of Management, the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders — were constructed. Jenifer was named president emeritus of UT Dallas in 2005.

Sounds of Class is held on the lawn east of McDermott Library.

A Back-to-School Tradition

Fall 1995

Sounds of Class, a family-friendly music festival held annually on campus, began in fall 1995, in partnership with the City of Richardson. The event regularly brings local families to campus and is sometimes held in conjunction with homecoming or family day activities.

Mind Games: Chess and More

Fall 1996

Both the chess club and debate program were established in 1996. Soon after, UT Dallas began offering academic scholarships that took chess playing and debate skill into account. In 1997, the University initiated a Creative Problem Solving team — also known as Destination Imagination — that has competed in regional, state and world competitions yearly thereafter. DI is designed to teach problem-solving through creative thinking, teamwork, research, innovation and leadership.

Galerstein Women's Center

Fall 1996

The Galerstein Women's Center opened in fall 1996 with the mission of advancing the status and success of women, and supporting the exploration of gender issues on campus, in the community and in society. The center was founded in memory of Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein, former dean of the School of General Studies (now the School of Interdisciplinary Studies), an activist and an advocate for increased opportunities for women.

Collegium V

Fall 1997

The Collegium V honors program was established in 1997. It offers small, seminar-style classes taught by top faculty, as well as a program of extracurricular activities and benefits designed to encourage and reward academic achievement. The program is housed in the University's Green Center.

Temoc the Comet Arrives

April 1998

Temoc, a blue-skinned, red-headed "comet in human form" was adopted as the University's first mascot in 1998.

UT Dallas: Smart and Athletic

Fall 1998

The Comets joined the American Southwest Conference in 1998.

UT Dallas became part of the American Southwest Conference — an NCAA Division III conference — in fall 1998. In just over 10 years, the intercollegiate athletics program has excelled, most recently reaching the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament in March 2009. Other sports offered in the program include baseball, softball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

A Place to Play

October 1998

The Activity Center — a popular athletic venue for students, faculty and staff — opened in fall 1998. Surrounded by soccer fields, basketball courts, softball fields, tennis courts, a multipurpose field and a disc golf course, the facility includes a natatorium and fitness center. The building also houses club sports programs, an intramural sports program and intercollegiate athletic offices.

Bettering the Brain


Established in 1999 under the direction of Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, Dee Wyly Distinguished Chair in Brain Health, the Center for BrainHealth integrates research, treatment, academic training and community outreach and provides continued follow-up to enhance and monitor functional recovery in children and adults with brain injury, brain disease and complications of normal aging.



McDermott Scholars Program Launched

September 2000

The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program was established by way of a $32 million gift — the largest in University history — from Margaret McDermott, wife of the late Eugene McDermott. McDermott Scholars' educational expenses — including tuition and fees, stipends for living expenses, travel and books — are covered for four years. They also participate in a wide variety of cultural and educational enrichment experiences.

Champs in the Making

December 2000

In December 2000, the UT Dallas chess team secured its first major victory when it tied for first in the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, eventually taking the first place trophy on tiebreak. In April 2001, they won the first-ever President's Cup, or Final Four of collegiate chess, when they defeated the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore Country in a round-robin match. UT Dallas has gone on to receive national and international acclaim for its comprehensive chess offerings, which are part of a broad program that includes online instruction for teachers and courses about using chess in the classroom.

Legacy Lane


Legacy Lane, a winding pathway on campus, was established by the Student Ambassadors and the Alumni Association. Graduates are invited to adopt and personalize a brick for placement on the path.

Ring of Honor

Fall 2001

The Alumni Ring Award, established by alumni, faculty, and staff in 2001, recognizes outstanding scholars whose contributions both inside and outside the classroom have had a significant impact at the University and beyond.

Small Scale Big Science

Fall 2001

The NanoTech Institute began with the recruitment of Dr. Ray Baughman in 2001. With the later appointments of Dr. Alan MacDiarmid, a 2000 Nobel laureate in chemistry, and Dr. Anvar Zakhidov, professor of physics and associate director, the institute grew. Nanotechnology is the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale — generally 100 nanometers or smaller — and involves developing materials or devices within that size range.

Arts Partner with Technology

January 2002

A joint creation of the School of Arts and Humanities and the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Arts and Technology (ATEC) program transcends existing disciplines and academic units. Offering both undergraduate and graduate degree plans, the program is Texas' first comprehensive degree designed to explore and foster the convergence of computer science and engineering with creative arts and the humanities.

A Nobel Addition

August 2002

Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid (1927-2007), the 2000 Nobel laureate in chemistry, joined UT Dallas in August 2002 as the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology, so named to acknowledge a generous gift from alumnus Jim Von Ehr. MacDiarmid affiliated with the University a year earlier as a distinguished scholar-in-residence. He shared the Nobel Prize with Alan Heeger and Hideki Shirakawa for their discovery that plastics can be made electrically conductive. MacDiarmid was the second Nobel laureate to serve on faculty. The first was the late Dr. Polykarp Kusch.

ECS Addition Opens

August 2002

The Engineering and Computer Science South Building, a three-story, 152,000-square-foot add-on to the University's existing engineering facility, contains the Texas Instruments auditorium, as well as classrooms, offices and equipment. The addition opened in August 2002.

Oozeball in action

A Muddy Tradition Begins

September 2002

Oozeball — an annual mud volleyball tournament — debuted at homecoming in fall 2002.

Development through the Lifespan

March 2003

In early 2003, the School of Human Development changed its name to the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences in order to better reflect the broad range of lifespan-related research and programs taking place within the school. The school is home to the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, the Center for BrainHealth, and the Center for Children and Families.

Strictly Business

Fall 2003

Opened in fall 2003, the 204,000-square-foot School of Management building features 29 classrooms, two computer labs, a 350-seat auditorium, break-out spaces for undergraduate, graduate and executive education student groups, desktop Internet access in every classroom, wireless network access throughout, audiovisual and online learning support in every classroom and conference rooms.

The Third Nobel Laureate

January 2004

Physics pioneer Dr. Russell A. Hulse received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1993 for his discovery of the first binary pulsar. He began his affiliation with UT Dallas as visiting professor of physics and science and math education in 2004 and was named Regental Professor and associate vice president for strategic initiatives in 2007. In recent years, Hulse has become deeply interested in how best to improve science and math education in the nation's primary and secondary schools. He is the founding director of the Science and Engineering Education Center at UT Dallas.

A Song for the Comets

May 2004

The Alma Mater made its debut at commencement on May 8, 2004. The music was written by internationally recognized composer and UT Dallas Professor Robert X. Rodríguez. The lyrics came from another source. As the UTD Mercury reported at the time, a committee reviewed 16 sets of lyrics before selecting lines crafted by the professional songwriting team of Bill Dunn and Neely Reynolds.

First Boren Fellow

Spring 2005

McDermott Scholar Sarah Islam was the first student to win a Boren Fellowship, which provides up to $30,000 to U.S. students to add an international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program, which focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security.

One Student, Two Firsts

March 2005

Sophie Rutenbar was the first student at UT Dallas to win a Truman Scholarship, awarded to college juniors who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit sector, education or other public service fields. In fall 2006, she landed another first, a Marshall Scholarship, which is funded by the British government and allows American students to attend graduate school in the United Kingdom on full scholarship.

The Ceremonial Mace

March 2005

UT Dallas' first ceremonial mace — a staff of authority that administrators and faculty at universities around the world carry during commencement and convocation ceremonies — was made with wood from the 600-year-old Treaty Oak Tree in Austin. It contains a metal disk taken from an instrument package built at UT Dallas and carried aboard a space mission, as well as the seal of the University.

The Goldwater Award

April 2005

Kassandra McLean was selected as the University's first recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in spring 2005. The award is given annually on the basis of academic merit to undergraduate students planning careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. Austin Swafford received the University's second Goldwater in April 2008.

The Daniel Era

June 2005

Dr. David E. Daniel became the fourth president of UT Dallas in June 2005. During his presidency, the University has more than doubled research expenditures, initiated or completed $300 million of construction for new buildings, added 17 new degree programs, raised $100 million in private funds, and won two national collegiate championships in chess. He has advocated widely for UT Dallas to become one of the nation's top research universities, focusing on hiring world-class faculty members, attracting top students, delivering top-quality education, and partnering with the community in research, education, outreach, the arts, and technology commercialization.

The Strategic Plan

March 2006

President David E. Daniel issued the UT Dallas Strategic Plan, a document highlighting the importance of the University to the region, in March 2006. The plan also identifies a series of key quantitative targets that will drive UT Dallas toward its goal of becoming a top-tier research institution.

A New Name

July 2006

In July 2006, the University of Texas System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a new name for the School of Social Sciences — the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences — to better reflect "a path that emphasizes commitment to strong analytic foundations, interdisciplinary scholarship and research, and a broad and deep interface with public policy."

A Comet Connection

October 2006

UT Dallas President David E. Daniel and Dr. Wright Lassiter, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, signed the first Comet Connection agreement in October 2006. Created for transfer students who begin at community college and know they would like to complete their degree at UT Dallas, the program locks in a participant's tuition rate for four years from the time of registration. By April 2008, UT Dallas had Comet Connection partnerships with all 50 public community colleges in Texas, as well as with the two private community colleges in the state.

BrainHealth's New Home

January 2007

The home of the Center for BrainHealth was formally dedicated in January 2007. The building, three stories and 63,000 square feet, is located near UT Southwestern, facilitating research collaborations and the sharing of specialized equipment and resources. Its acquisition was made possible by a $5 million gift from Dallas community leader Dianne Cash. Named the Frances and Mildred Goad Building in honor of Cash's mother and grandmother, the facility contains offices, educational and public spaces, conference rooms, children's work and play areas, learning spaces, and observation and interview rooms.

More Room for Research

June 2007

The Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory (NSERL) was dedicated in June 2007. The four-story, 192,000 square-foot research facility is home to faculty and scientists from such disparate fields as electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, chemistry, biology and behavioral and brain sciences. Laboratories within NSERL provide space for scientists and engineers ranging from synthetic chemists who require significant fume hood space to electrical engineers who need open labs for large equipment.

A Golden Achievement

July 2007

Jessica Smith, an '07 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University, was selected for the prestigious $10,000 Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award in July 2007. Given to only 12 applicants nationwide each year, the award is Golden Key's premier scholarship program.

Fulbright First

April 2008

Rachel Markowitz was the first undergraduate student from UT Dallas to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which offers fellowships to graduate students and graduating seniors to study in more than 155 countries and covers such items as flights, books and living expenses.

Critical Knowledge

April 2008

In April 2008, Stacey Knepp and Molly Wurzer were the first students from UT Dallas to win Critical Language Scholarships. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the scholarship provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and extensive cultural enrichment experiences. In May 2009, two more students, Dina Shahrokhi and Samia Hossain, received the award. All four women studied Arabic.

Write it on the Rock

April 2008

Spirit Rock, an outlet for expression in the form of three large boulders in front of Green Hall, was introduced to campus in April 2008. Students have painted everything on the boulder, from pop art to marriage proposals to postings about events.

Mural Conveys Traditions, Pride

July 2008

A mural by artist Randy Johnson that depicts various UT Dallas points of pride — including the Love Jack, chess players and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory Building — was unveiled outside The Pub in July 2008.

Founders Facelift

Fall 2008

Renovations began on Founders Hall, the oldest building on campus, in fall 2008. Expected to be complete in 2010, updates will include an open computer lab in the basement, classrooms and offices on the ground floor, and a new atrium lobby extending out to the campus mall.

First Fight Song

September 2008

The University's first fight song was written to the music and lyrics of "Tiger Rag," the famous jazz ballad produced in 1917 by the New Orleans group Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

Interdisciplinary Studies Debuts

October 2008

The School of General Studies changed its name to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in October 2008. The School includes Gender Studies, the Teacher Certification Program, Interdisciplinary Studies degree programs and the Academic Bridge Program, among others.

Science, Math Education Gets Boost

October 2008

In October 2008, ground was broken on the Math, Science and Engineering Teaching-Learning Center. With a budget of $29 million and a completion date of 2010, it is expected to be a comprehensive facility to provide a focused, high-quality education environment for math, science and engineering undergraduate students and is slated to serve as a major laboratory for research into effective teaching and learning techniques at the K-12 and collegiate levels. It will include two large lecture halls, instructional labs and offices.

Landscape Enhancement Takes Root

November 2008

In November 2008, a campus enhancement project began that involves the overhaul of the perimeter and entrance roads to campus, as well as the central plaza where the major north-south and east-west pedestrian routes meet. Expected to be completed by late fall 2009, elements include the planting of 5,000 trees, a roundabout drive near the intersections of University Parkway and Drive A, a small amphitheater and stage constructed near the existing steps in front of the Student Union, and a greenery-lined waterway.

Prescription for Success


During the 2008-2009 academic year, a record-setting 101 UT Dallas students were successfully admitted to medical and dental schools, thanks in part to the resources and assistance of the Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC). The HPAC was created in 1999 to increase the services UT Dallas offers to students interested in pursuing health-related careers, such as dentistry, medicine, pharmacy or optometry. The overall University admission percentage is about 60 percent, as compared to a national admission rate of 40 percent.

The Road to Greatness

June 2009

UT Dallas was host to Texas Governor Rick Perry and representatives of six other emerging research universities from across the state as Tier One legislation, known as HB51, was signed into law in June 2009. The legislation offers funding to reward research productivity and match private funding, and also establishes goals based on national standards that will encourage UT Dallas and other universities throughout the state to stretch toward excellence.

Dining, Residence Halls Open

August 2009

The student residence and dining halls opened in August 2009. The residence hall, a 148,000-square-foot, 400-bed facility, offers living learning communities geared toward freshmen. It includes a mix of furnished, three-bedroom, single-bath suites. The dining hall, a 30,000-square-foot building, is open seven days a week and includes a waffle bar, cooking and beverage stations, a dessert bar and full meal options.

UT Dallas: Creating the Future Since 1969

August 2009

UT Dallas marks 40 years as a Texas public university and a member of the University of Texas System.

Gifts for Growth

September 2009

On Sept. 1, 2009, the University received 16 philanthropic gifts, totaling more than $16.8 million. Seven were of amounts greater than $1 million, the largest number of individual seven-figure gifts ever received in one day. The gifts were motivated in part by the availability of matching funds through the Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP fund, which was created by the Tier One law. Read Complete Article Here

Chess Team Makes Historic Moves in Cuba

October 2009

On Oct. 18 and 19, 2009, the UT Dallas chess team played an exhibition match against counterparts at the Instituto Superior de Cultura Fisica in Havana. Since college-level chess players from the U.S. and Cuba hadn't squared off in 50 years, the 3-point loss to the Cubans was diminished by the historic nature of the trip and resulting intellectual and cultural exchange.

Score 1 for Higher Ed with Prop 4

November 2009

The November 2009 statewide special elections saw the passage of Proposition 4, a measure designed to infuse Texas' Emerging Research Universities with $500 million in their drive to become Tier One schools. Universities that succeed in ascending to the top rank will help Texas compete for federal research dollars as well as the most talented students, researchers and faculty and will help produce better-educated citizens.

Panel of Presidents

November 2009

UT Dallas President David E. Daniel and his two immediate predecessors Dr. Franklyn Jenifer and Dr. Robert Rutford, met on Nov. 18 to discuss the University's forty-year trajectory, as it grew from a graduate institute to an aspiring national research university. The event included a multi-media presentation on the University's history and personal anecdotes from each leader.


Second trip to NCAA BB playoffs

March 2010

The Comets made their second-straight trip to the "Sweet 16" round of the NCAA Division III Tournament playoffs in March 2010. The team fell to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 74-67 in the national championship game. In 2009, the Comets made it to the "Elite Eight" during championship play.

New EPPS Dean

March 2010

Dr. James W. Marquart, one of the nation's leading experts on prison systems and director of the criminology program at UT Dallas, was named dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences in March 2010. Marquart succeeds Dr. Brian Berry in the post. Marquart is an expert on prison organizations, capital punishment and criminal justice policy.

Coleman Steps Down

May 2010

After more than 32 years at UT Dallas, Dr. J. Michael Coleman stepped down as dean of undergraduate education, a post he held since 1997. Coleman also was a professor of psychology in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. During his tenure as dean of undergraduate education, the size of the freshman class has grown exponentially, while the average SAT score of entering freshmen has consistently been one of the highest among Texas public universities.

Pineres Takes the Reins

May 2010

Dr. Sheila Amin Gutierrez de Pineres, a professor in the School of Economics, Political and Policy Sciences was named dean of undergraduate education in spring 2010. Pineres succeeded Dr. J. Michael Coleman. Since joining UT Dallas, Pineres has served as associate dean for undergraduate education in EPPS as head of the public policy and political economy program in that school and, during 2006-2008, while serving as associate provost, directed the Office of Enrollment Services. During 2009, she led the initiative to secure UT Dallas' presence at the Collin Higher Education Center in McKinney. She also served as interim dean of the University's Eugene McDermott Library.

Top-Notch Science Learning

June 2010

Opened in June 2010, the Science Learning Center provides spaces for mostly undergraduate math and science courses. The building also includes a lab where effective math and science teaching and learning techniques are researched, at the college and K-12 levels. The $29 million facility includes a lecture hall, instructional labs and offices for faculty and tutors.

Old Friend, New Look

August 2010

Renovation of the Founders Building, one of the first buildings on campus, included updating classroom and lab spaces and creating a new eastern facade. An atrium lobby in the building extends out to the mall and is enclosed with glass. The renovation also added an open computer lab in the basement. The updates were completed in August 2010.

First-Tier Ranking, US News

August 2010

U.S. News and World Report published its "Best National Universities" in August 2010, for the first time ranking UT Dallas in the first tier at No. 143 nationally, tying Arizona State, Rutgers and the University of Illinois at Chicago, among others.

A New Era: Campus Redesign Unveiled

September 2010

A privately funded effort that included a redesign of the heart of campus was dedicated in September 2010. Features included a revamped central mall with waterways, a misting column, thousands of trees, benches and a steel trellis. Begun in fall 2008, the project addressed one of the goals set by the University's strategic plan under Initiative 6: "Making a Great City Greater: Enhance the physical appearance of campus..." The effort was led by renowned landscape architects Peter Walker and Partners.

One-Stop Shop for Students

September 2010

The four-story, 74,000-square-foot Student Services Building houses many of the primary departments that students need during the course of their relationship with UT Dallas. They include the Bursar's and Financial Aid offices, the Career Center, Enrollment Services and the Registrar, among others. The building was certified LEED Platinum by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs. It is the first academic structure —and only the 11th statewide—to achieve the designation. It also is the first LEED Platinum facility in the UT System.

Record Enrollment

October 2010

The UT Dallas student body, which has grown steadily since the University's founding, surpassed the 17,000 mark for the first time in fall 2010.

A New Gateway

January 2011

A groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the construction of the Visitor Center and University Bookstore. The 33,000-square-foot building contains a gateway facility for visitors, as well as the campus bookstore, coffee shop, Technology Store and Copy Center. The building was completed in only eight months.

Phi Kappa Phi Established

March 2011

The UT Dallas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was approved, bringing a highly selective academic honor society to campus. The addition helped the University reach a criterion for state funding vital to the growth of research. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and largest honor society for all academic disciplines. The UT Dallas founding officers were: (from left) Andrea Stigdon, public relations officer, Dr. Douglas C. Dow, scholarships and awards, Dr. Denise Paquette Boots, founding president and Dr. Edward J. Harpham, secretary/treasurer.

Top Researcher

July 2011

Dr. Ray Baughman was ranked one of the decade's top 100 material scientists in a list compiled by Thomson Reuters. Baughman, who ranked 30th, filled the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair at UT Dallas in 2001 and serves as director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute. Thomson Reuters compiled the list by comparing scientists who achieved the highest citation-impact scores for papers published after January 2000.

Major Milestone

September 2011

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science celebrated its 25th anniversary. All of the school's deans, past and present, participated in the commemoration. Dr. Blake Cherrington served from the school's beginnings, from 1986-1995; Dr. Bill Osborne filled the position from 1995-2002; Dr. Bob Helms served 2003-2008. Dr. Mark Spong has been dean since 2008.

Enrollment Soars

September 2011

Enrollment at UT Dallas set several new records. At nearly 19,000, total enrollment was boosted by 6,251 new students, or almost 33 percent. The new students included 1,777 first-time-in-college freshmen, 2,034 transfers and 2,440 new graduate students. At the same time, the average SAT score for entering freshmen rose.

Giving Records Set

September 2011

Donors to UT Dallas shattered records by nearly every measure used to gauge private support for the 2011 fiscal year. More than $55 million in total gifts and pledges were received, eclipsing the previous year's $40.6 million. A celebration of the achievement (shown above) was part of a new series of stewardship activities initiated by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

A New Home for ATEC

September 2011

A groundbreaking celebrates a new 155,000-square-foot Arts and Technology building. The $60 million building was designed to house programs in visual arts, emerging media technology and multimedia communications, as well as a 1,200-seat auditorium.

New Leadership

September 2011

Dr. Bruce M. Novak was hired as dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Novak came to UT Dallas as an expert in polymer research whose academic career had taken him from UC Berkeley to the University of Massachusetts to leading the chemistry department at North Carolina State University for more than a dozen years.

Alumni Give Back

October 2011

UT Dallas alumnus Naveen Jindal presented the University with its single-largest alumni gift ever, part of a joint $30 million gift presented with fellow alumni Charles and Nancy Davidson to the School of Management. The Davidsons, both alums, are known as consummate University alumni supporters. Jindal, who earned his master's degree from UT Dallas in 1992, became a leading industrialist and statesman in his home country of India. The school was renamed the Naveen Jindal School of Management during this unveiling ceremony. (Shown from left to right: Jindal, Hasan Pirkul, dean of the school, and the Davidsons.)

October 2011

International Innovation

New artificial muscles that twist like the trunk of an elephant but provide a thousand times higher the rotation per length were announced in Science magazine. The medical advancement comes from the work of researchers at UT Dallas from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, as well as others in Australia, Canada and Korea.

Faculty Recognized

February 2012

The University began a practice of acknowledging faculty who hold endowed chairs and professorships. Beginning in February, President David E. Daniel recognized more than 100 faculty members during a number of Investiture Ceremonies in 2012, which honored their accomplishments and their contributions to their fields. One by one, dressed in full academic regalia, each investee was presented to a crowd of colleagues, family members, students and mentors before receiving a medallion signifying the honor.

Campaign Underway

March 2012

The public phase of a $200 million, five-year campaign was launched with celebrations on campus. Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One & Beyond was the University's first comprehensive campaign and a key part of UT Dallas' quest to become a nationally competitive research institution.

Enhancement Expands

March 2012

A series of donations began in 2012 to greatly expand the University's $30 million Campus Enhancement Project, which was launched in 2008. President David E. Daniel announced $7 million in anonymous donations in March. By the end of the year, that amount had risen to $14 million.

Journal Debuts

March 2012

UT Dallas introduced The Exley, a research journal for undergraduates. The journal showcased student research and creative works, including photography, drawings and poetry. The publication is named for donor and former staff member Elizabeth Exley Hodge. Hodge joined the administrative offices of the University's precursor, the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies in 1967 and retired from UT Dallas in 1986.

New Tradition

May 2012

A new tradition involved the new reflection pools on the University's central mall. For the first time, students participating in the class ring ceremony dipped their rings into the water in unison, covering the ring and themselves with UT Dallas pride.

Top 50 in World

May 2012

Higher Education magazine ranks the University as 29th in the world among universities 50 years and younger. Only nine American universities make the list, and UT Dallas was the highest-ranked in Texas. The ranking was based on research productivity, teaching, international outlook, industry income and the number of scholarly citations.

Center for Veterans

September 2012

A new Veteran Services Center was established as thousands of soldiers returned from the Middle East and took advantage of their college benefits. The center is a one-stop shop of resources for veterans, from financial aid and benefits to academic success programs. The center helps students overcome academic obstacles and offers contact with others who share their military backgrounds.

Rising Enrollment, Scholars

October 2012

Enrollment hit 19,727 and the freshman class brought the highest average SAT scores and the largest number of National Merit Scholars (63) in the University's history, more than all of the other universities in the University of Texas System combined. The scholars joined 117 continuing National Merit winners, for a total of 180 on campus.

Bridge to PhD

December 2012

Rosalinda Valenzuela, who was part of the inaugural group of students in UT Dallas' Academic Bridge Program in 2000, became the first Academic Bridge student to earn a doctoral degree from UT Dallas. After earning her undergraduate and master's degrees in political science, she was among the PhDs honored at hooding ceremonies during winter graduation.

Online Programs Recognized

January 2013

UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management online graduate programs established themselves as among the best in the nation, according to rankings from U.S. News & World Report that put them in ninth place overall in the country.

Conference Champs

February 2013

In an upset, the UT Dallas women's basketball team won the American Southwest Conference title after a 67-63 victory over Louisiana College. The team made its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Teaching Program Boosted

April 2013

Dallas-area foundations and industry partners in science and technology provided $2 million to support the UTeach Dallas program aimed at training the teachers to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs. The program prepares undergraduate students majoring in such fields as physics, math, chemistry and biology to be secondary science or math teachers.

Building Named

May 2013

The UT System Board of Regents approved naming the Arts and Technology (ATEC) building for philanthropist Edith O'Donnell, in honor of her long-standing dedication to higher education, scientific research and the arts. The 155,000-square-foot facility houses programs in visual arts, emerging media technology and multimedia communications, as well as a 1,200-seat lecture hall. Edith O'Donnell and her husband, Peter, and the O'Donnell Foundation they created are known for their support of education in America.

Ceremonies Expand

May 13, 2013

The University expanded to a record seven commencement ceremonies over three days to accommodate the largest spring graduation cohort ever, with more than 3,000 graduates, a nearly a 15-percent increase over the previous year.

Regents Approve Bioengineering Building

September 2013

The UT System Board of Regents approved design plans for a new Bioengineering and Sciences Building. The 220,000-square-foot structure will provide research space for 70 faculty members and their staff members and graduate students, along with teaching laboratories for undergraduate majors in these fields.

O'Donnell Building Dedicated

November 2013

Students, faculty and staff welcomed longtime UT Dallas supporters Edith and Peter O’Donnell to the dedication of the new Arts and Technology Building named in Mrs. O’Donnell’s honor. “We’ve been in a lot of art buildings all over the world,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “But this one is exceptional.”

North Mall Enhancement Project

November 2013

Construction teams broke ground on the second phase of the University’s Campus Landscape Enhancement Project. The project was designed to bring a more park-like environment to the north mall to complement the transformation of the south end of campus, which was completed in 2010.

ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series Opens

January 2014

A capacity crowd of 1,200 people turned out to hear a talk by "Monuments Men" author Robert Edsel in the first event in the University’s new ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series. Speakers appearing later in the season included alumnus and Microsoft executive Christian Belady, Internet pioneer Vinton G. Cerf and former astronaut Mae Jemison.

New Design Studio Nurtures Big Ideas

February 2014

UT Dallas opened a studio for UTDesign, a program that teams engineering and design students with corporate sponsors seeking solutions to their research problems. The studio includes a computer lab, machine shop and more than $550,000 in state-of-the-art equipment donated by local companies.

Team Creates Muscles From Fishing Line

February 2014

UT Dallas researchers at the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute developed a way to make powerful artificial muscles from ordinary fishing line and sewing thread. The muscles can lift 100 times more weight and generate 100 times more mechanical power than human muscles of the same length and weight.

$200 Million Campaign Goal Met Early

April 2014

Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One & Beyond reached its goal almost a year early. Donors made more than $200 million in gifts and pledges for students, faculty research and programs vital to UT Dallas’ quest to become a Tier One university.

First Gates Cambridge Scholar

May 2014

Bhaskaran Nair became the first UT Dallas student to receive the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, given to outstanding applicants outside the United Kingdom to pursue postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge. Nair, who was a McDermott Scholar, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics.

Art History Institution Established

July 2014

A $17 million gift from longtime arts and education patroness Edith O’Donnell established the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. The gift will make possible collaborations such as one between the Dallas Museum of Art and Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science to analyze the materials used in (above) Paul Gauguin’s Under the Pandanus (I Raro te Oviri).

Growing Campus Expands

August 2014

Students returning for fall classes found five new structures open and ready for use: Residence Hall West, Recreation Center West, Dining Hall West, a new parking structure and a 110,000-square-foot addition to the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

Gifts Surpass Goal

October 2014

Hundreds of donors, faculty, staff and students gathered to celebrate the finale of Realize the Vision: The Campaign for Tier One and Beyond. The University’s first comprehensive campaign surpassed its goal to raise more than $263 million to help students, boost research and strengthen the endowment.

Day for the Founders

October 2014

Current and former Texas Instruments staffers visited for the unveiling of busts (from left) of Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and Cecil H. Green on the University’s first Founders Day. The guests included Jonsson’s son, Philip, who told attendees about the events that led the founders to launch Texas Instruments and the research center that would later become UT Dallas.

Forum Reviews Ebola Crisis

November 2014

As the international Ebola crisis flared, the University invited scientists, physicians, and local and state officials for a community forum on the deadly disease. The panel took a hard look at the challenges the Dallas area had recently faced in dealing with the first case contracted in the United States.

Robotics Help Amputees Walk

December 2014

Dr. Robert Gregg announced artificial limbs that help amputees walk better by responding to the wearer’s environment. The faculty member in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science said subjects testing the robotic leg could walk almost as fast on a treadmill as an able-bodied person.

Youngest PhD

December 2014

Austin Howard became the youngest person ever to receive a doctorate at UT Dallas – in physics, at age 22. Howard began work on the degree at age 16 after graduating summa cum laude from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

New College for Honors Programs

January 2015

The UT System’s Board of Regents approved the creation of an Honor College at UT Dallas to better promote programs that advance excellence in undergraduate education. Existing programs joining the new college included Phi Kappa Phi, whose students are invited to join in tapping ceremonies in their classes (above).

Nanotech Discovery Moves to Market

February 2015

UT Dallas’ Office of Technology Commercialization licensed a process developed at the University’s Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute to Lintec of America. The patented process transforms microscopic tubes of carbon into sheets and yarns that are super-strong and extremely light.

New School for Arts and Technology

February 2015

The UT System Board of Regents approved splitting off two successful arts and technology programs into a separate school. “The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications will help UT Dallas better manage rapidly growing programs and also create more visibility for the degrees offered by this new school,” said Bill McRaven, chancellor of The University of Texas System.

TI Lab Nurtures Research

March 2015

UT Dallas and Texas Instruments celebrated the company’s creation of a 1,100-square-foot innovation lab inside the UTDesign Studio. It will be used for classes, student projects and workshops taught by TI staff members.

Season for the Record Books

March 2015

The UT Dallas women’s team ended its most successful season in history with its first trip to the “Sweet 16” playoffs of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament. The team went 2-1 in the tournament and 26-5 overall for the season.

Combat Robot Captures National Title

April 2015

A “battlebot” designed and built by UT Dallas students reclaimed the national title in the 2015 Robogames, the world’s largest robotics exposition. The 120-pound device, known as the Blender, uses a spinning, 70-pound titanium shell outfitted with four hardened steel blades to destroy its challengers.

Housing-Retail Development Starts

April 2015

Developers broke ground on Northside, a mixed-used development that will include housing and retail businesses, across Synergy Park Boulevard from the northernmost part of campus. Northside is the first phase in what is envisioned as a transit-oriented project that may one day include a rail station.

Daniel Steps Down to Take UT System Job

May 2015

After a decade as the University’s president, Dr. David E. Daniel announced that he was stepping down to take a new position as deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the UT System. The appointment made him the second-highest-ranking administrator in the UT System, which launched a national search to select UT Dallas’ next president.

Wildenthal Named President Ad Interim

May 2015

Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, provost and executive vice president at The University of Texas at Dallas, was appointed president ad interim of the University by UT System Chancellor William McRaven. Wildenthal’s appointment followed the announcement that UT Dallas President David E. Daniel would take on a new role as deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the UT System.

Stretching Nanofibers to New Lengths

July 2015

An international research team based at The University of Texas at Dallas developed electrically conducting fibers that can be stretched to more than 14 times their initial length and whose electrical conductivity increases 200-fold when stretched. The research team is using the new fibers to make artificial muscles as well as high-storage capacitors.

Alumnus Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 2015

Dr. Aziz Sancar became the first graduate of The University of Texas at Dallas to win a Nobel Prize. Sancar, who earned his PhD in molecular and cell biology from UT Dallas in 1977, was one of three scientists who received the 2015 Nobel in Chemistry for their work detailing how cells continuously monitor and repair damaged DNA on a molecular level.

Center for BrainHealth Expansion

October 2015

UT Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth broke ground on a new 62,000-square-foot facility. The center’s ongoing research studies focus on topics ranging from healthy aging and teen reasoning to autism, Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder, as well as concussions, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.

Alumni Center Groundbreaking

October 2015

Construction begins with a groundbreaking ceremony for the 30,000-square-foot Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center. The center is named for Nancy Gundy Davidson BS’80 and Charles “Chuck” Davidson MS’80, in recognition of a $15 million gift for the center, where UT Dallas' more than 90,000 alumni can connect with one another and the campus.

Elite Status

February 2016

The University attained the highest classification of research activity by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. Historically denoted as an “R1 University,” the classification acknowledges UT Dallas as a doctoral-granting university with the highest research activity. UT Dallas is among 115 universities in the U.S. with this classification.

Balsamo Named Dean

May 2016

Dr. Anne Balsamo was appointed the inaugural dean of the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. Balsamo came to UT Dallas from the New School in New York City, where she served as dean of the of Media Studies. Prior to her appointment at the New School, she held tenured faculty appointments at the Georgia Institute of Technology and, later, at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism of the University of Southern California.

Student Researchers Win Awards

May 2016

Undergraduate students Arden Wells (right) and Melanie Maurer, both Eugene McDermott Scholars, were awarded Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Maurer, a biomedical engineering major, and Wells, a geosciences major, joined Maria Castaneda, a graduate student in chemistry and biochemistry, among the 2,000 students nationwide to receive the awards, which provide three years of financial support to attend graduate school and conduct research at a U.S. institution of their choice.

Bioengineering and Sciences Building Ioens

May 2016

The University and community leaders celebrated the official opening of the Bioengineering and Sciences Building. The 220,000-square-foot structure is the University's largest academic building. It houses programs in bioengineering and neuroscience, as well as research space for related programs in biology and chemistry.

Perfect Score

June 2016

Siddhartha “Sidd” Srivastava, a neuroscience major, achieved a perfect score on the Medical College Admissions Test. Srivastava credited his work as a peer tutor and peer-led team leader for organic chemistry in the UT Dallas Student Success Center with further honing his critical thinking skills.

Record Enrollment

September 2016

In fall 2016, enrollment at UT Dallas reached a new high of 26,797, up 9 percent from 2015. The freshman class boasted an average SAT score of 1,261 and 119 National Merit Scholars.

Benson Era Begins

October 2016

Dr. Richard C. Benson was inaugurated as the fifth president of The University of Texas at Dallas on October 27, 2017. An engineer with a self-described “appreciation for all things artistic and beautiful,” he detailed his vision to not only maintain the University’s excellence in science, math and technology programs but also to boost the arts and humanities.

Caillier Center Expands

November 2016

UT Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders opened a new $22 million facility that provides added space for research capabilities in communication disorders and related areas on the Richardson campus.

Founders Plaza Dedicated

October 2016

University President Richard Benson and Texas Instruments CEO Richard K. Templeton dedicated Texas Instruments Plaza, a newly renovated area on the east side of Founders Building that includes green spaces, water fountains and seating areas.

A Campus Transformed

December 2016

The two-phase Campus Enhancement Project neared completion, representing a $45 million investment since 2008 by longtime supporter Margaret McDermott and other private donors. The seven-year overhaul by world-renowned landscape architect Peter Walker brought an iconic trellis with misters and climbing wisteria, inviting walkways and visiting spots, and signature reflecting pools lined with magnolia trees.

Student Earns Marshall Award

January 2017

Political science senior and McDermott Scholar Nancy Fairbank became the first student in more than 10 years at The University of Texas at Dallas to win the very selective and prestigious Marshall Scholarship funding study in the United Kingdom.

Honors College Named

February 2017

The University, in accord with the terms of a gift from Philanthropist Margaret McDermott creating an endowment of $10 million for support of undergraduate research, announced its Honors College would be named the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College, in honor of its long-serving chief academic officer.

New Building Serves Students

February 2017

The Student Services Building Addition officially opened, providing much-needed event, meeting, office and study space. The 68,000-square-foot facility features a 530-seat auditorium, food and retail locations and a gaming wall.

Star Athletes Recognized

March 2017

Two student-athletes — soccer standout Sam Konstanty (right) and first-team All-America volleyball player Michelle Toro — became the first Comets in school history to earn the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Richard Brettell Award in the Arts

April 2017

Landscape architect Peter Walker, whose work includes the transformation of the UT Dallas campus and the design of the sculpture garden at the Nasher Sculpture Center, is named the inaugural recipient of the Richard Brettell Award in the Arts, a biennial honor recognizing established artists in any medium.

Top Ranking

April 2017

The University of Texas at Dallas is ranked No. 1 in the United States among universities founded less than 50 years ago, according to the Young University Rankings report from Times Higher Education. UT Dallas was also ranked as a top public college value in surveys from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and The Princeton Review.

Northside Grand Opening

April 2017

The University community celebrated a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for Northside Phase I, a mixed-use development north of campus across Synergy Park Boulevard. The second phase, scheduled for completion in fall 2018, will offer an additional 6,600 square feet of retail space and 275 housing units with 900 beds.

Goldwater Scholars

May 2017

Four undergraduate researchers from UT Dallas were recognized by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Karthik Hullahalli (top left), Gino Occhialini (top right) and biochemistry sophomore Justin Raman (bottom left) received full scholarships and an honorable mention went to Jeanie Aird (bottom right). Only 11 universities in the country had three or more full scholarship winners.

Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center Opening

September 2017

The campus celebrated the official opening of the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center, a 30,246-square-foot facility designed to deepen bonds between students and the University’s more than 100,000 alumni. The center was made possible by a $15 million gift from Nancy Gundy Davidson BS’80 and Charles “Chuck” Davidson MS’80.

Brain Performance Institute Opening

October 2017

The Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas unveiled the new home of its Brain Performance Institute. The 62,000-square-foot building and program center offers scientifically based programs to increase brain performance and health, and to regenerate brain cells.