Celebrating First 40 Years: Panel of Presidents

Daniel, Rutford and Jenifer to Discuss University’s Past and Future

Nov. 18, 2009

Three individuals who have played integral roles in the growth of The University of Texas at Dallas will discuss the University’s past and future at the Panel of Presidents.

The event begins at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the University’s Conference Center.  Panel of Presidents is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.

40th Anniversary logoUT Dallas President David E. Daniel will host a panel featuring former UT Dallas presidents Franklyn Jenifer and Robert Rutford. Vice President for University Communications Susan Rogers will moderate the discussion. A reception will follow in the Conference Center lobby.

“The 40-year mark affords us the chance to reflect on decades of accomplishments and, at the same time, focus on what is possible for UT Dallas,” said Daniel. “The University’s first four decades have been full of amazing discoveries and milestones. With the support of our outstanding faculty, students, staff, alumni and partners from the community and private sector, I am confident that the next 40 years will see the University ascend in achievement and excellence.”

Panel of Presidents is a signature component of the University’s [email protected] lecture series, a yearlong series of 40 events celebrating UT Dallas' fourth decade as a UT System institution.

UT Dallas and its predecessor institutions have benefited from the leadership of eight individuals:

  • Lloyd V. Berkner, first president, Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, 1961-1965.
  • Gifford K. Johnson, president, Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, later to be renamed Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, 1965-1969.
  • Francis S. Johnson, acting president, 1969-1971.
  • Bryce Jordan, first president, The University of Texas at Dallas, 1971-1981.
  • Alexander Clark, interim president, 1981-1982.
  • Robert H. Rutford, second president, 1982-1994.
  • Franklyn G. Jenifer, third president, 1994-2005.
  • David E. Daniel, fourth president, 2005-present.

Reserved parking is available for the event in Lot I (north of Drive A).

UT Dallas is undergoing significant construction and campus enhancement.

See the most recent campus map at utdallas.edu/map for directions to the Conference Center.

For more information about UT Dallas’ first 40 years, please visit utdallas.edu/40years.

Media Contacts:  Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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UT Dallas Leaders: From 1982 to Present

Robert Rutford

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


Franklyn JeniferDr. 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’ Richardson facility — were constructed. Jenifer was named president emeritus of UT Dallas in 2005.


David DanielDr. David 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 19 new degree programs, raised more than $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.

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April 27, 2018