Five alumni leaders commit $600,000 to support UNT's National Merit Scholars

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 16:17

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Five University of North Texas alumni leaders have committed to helping some of the best and brightest students in the nation achieve their educational goals at the university by agreeing to fund UNT's National Merit Scholars for four years – gifts totaling $600,000.

"The pledge our five alumni have made is a commitment to the future of the university," UNT President Neal Smatesk said. "These gifts will make a difference in the lives of our National Merit Scholars, allowing them to concentrate on their education. This also gives UNT a competitive edge as we continue to attract top students to our university in our pursuit of Tier One status."

Supporting academic excellence at UNT through this gift are:

  • Jim ('66) and Linda McNatt – The McNatts are active in several community organizations in addition to being enthusiastic supporters of UNT and the Mean Green. The couple recently donated more than $2.6M to Mean Green Athletics, Kuehne Speaker Series, Logistics Center, Kristin Farmer Autism Center and National Merit Scholars.
  • Ernie Kuehne ('62) – Kuehne, a 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, has been active with Mean Green Athletics. He chaired UNT's Basketball Enhancement Committee, which raised more than $3 million for infrastructure and scholarships. For that campaign, Kuehne gave $1 million to establish a basketball practice facility. He has also supported academics, pledging $300,000 to create the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series. 
  • Kristin Farmer ('95) – Farmer, a 2012 UNT Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, has dedicated her life to advancing development breakthroughs with autism spectrum disorders and has a special interest in supporting education. Through her 2012 donation, UNT opened the Kristin Farmer Autism Center, dedicated to providing professional services for North Texas children and families affected by autism.
  • Don Lovelace – Lovelace serves on the UNT Foundation Board and the Advisory Board for Athletics. Lovelace supports Mean Green Athletics. One of his biggest interests in Mean Green Athletics includes bringing a new baseball program to UNT.
  • C. Dan Smith ('62) – Smith, a 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, was formerly on the UNT Board of Regents, having been appointed in 2002. He also served as chairman until 2011. A former UNT football player, he continues to support Mean Green Athletics, along with academic endeavors in business, and music.

For more information about giving opportunities at the University of North Texas, visit Giving to UNT online.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108