UNT proposes renaming Student Recreation Center in honor of outgoing President Norval Pohl

Student Recreation Center
UNT Student Recreation Center
Monday, May 15, 2006

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- At a special appreciation gala saluting outgoing University of North Texas President Norval F. Pohl on May 12 (Friday), UNT System officials joined with members of the university community and students in proposing the renaming of the university's state-of-the-art Student Recreation Center in his honor.

In addition, the UNT Foundation and the NT Exes, UNT's alumni association, unveiled plans for a new endowed scholarship in Dr. Pohl's name.

In July 2005, Dr. Pohl announced that this current academic year would be his last as president of UNT. His term in office officially ends Aug. 31.

"It is most fitting that the Student Recreation Center -- a building in the heart of the university campus, built to promote the physical and mental health of our students -- be named for Dr. Pohl who is widely acknowledged as the ‘student-centered' president," said UNT Chancellor Lee F. Jackson.

In October 2000, the same month Dr. Pohl took up his duties as UNT's 13th president, the student body approved a referendum to institute a $75 per semester fee to finance a new recreation center.

From that time forward, Dr. Pohl lent his support to every effort to move the students' expressed desire for a first-class recreation center from concept to reality.

Dr. Pohl stood with student body leaders at the forefront of the celebration when the 138,000 square-foot facility opened its recreational, leisure and social spaces to UNT students, faculty, staff and alumni in the fall of 2003. The center's facilities include: multi-purpose courts for basketball, volleyball, and badminton; an indoor soccer gymnasium; weight and fitness facilities; an indoor climbing wall; a lap pool; and a leisure pool.

At the gala, UNT Board of Regents Chair Bobby Ray and Chancellor Jackson commended Dr. Pohl for helping navigate UNT successfully in a higher education environment of difficult budget and tuition choices.

"During Dr. Pohl's tenure in the presidency, UNT launched the broadest strategic planning process in the university's history, and that foundation will position the university for a high level of continued progress in the decades to come," Jackson said.

Ray commended Dr. Pohl for an affable nature and availability that have strengthened the bonds between students and the administration at UNT.

"When it comes to critical issues, Dr. Pohl has ensured that students' viewpoints are heard. At university gatherings, it's wonderful to see how students seek him out to chat," Ray said.

Among UNT's accomplishments under Dr. Pohl's leadership are the establishment of a College of Engineering, the creation of UNT Research Park, the construction of a number of new campus buildings and a higher level of student, alumni and community pride.

The UNT Student Recreation Center will officially become the Norval F. Pohl Student Recreation Center at the summer Board of Regents meeting on Aug. 25.

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