UNT receives $2.6 million from Jim and Linda McNatt for athletics, logistics, academic excellence and more

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 16:11
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DENTON (UNT), Texas – With gifts totaling more than $2.6 million, local businessman and UNT alumnus, Jim McNatt ('66), and his wife, Linda, have made an immediate impact through their generosity supporting the University of North Texas Mean Green Athletics and university academic and research initiatives.

The McNatts will provide $1.25 million to enhance Mean Green athletic initiatives and $1.36 million to establish endowments for logistics and autism research, support the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series and promote academic excellence by providing additional funding to attract National Merit Scholar Award winners.

The gifts, some of which are eligible for matching funds from the State of Texas through TRIP (Texas Research Incentive Program), could have a total impact of more than $3.4 million.

UNT President Neal Smatresk honored the McNatts and other alumni who have made generous contributions to the university at today's State of the University address.

"Jim's support directly impacts UNT, our students, student athletes and researchers in a big and positive way," Smatresk said. "He has seen the work UNT has put toward becoming a first-choice university, and this gift moves us even closer to that goal."

McNatt, his wife, his brother and his sister-in-law all attended UNT and are grateful for their degree and their partnerships with the students, faculty and surrounding community, he said. This gift is one way to show their gratitude, McNatt said.

"We've been very blessed to be able to give back to the university," McNatt said. "I'm proud of the current administration and athletic leadership. They are dedicated to ensuring the university remains a quality institution, expands its outreach and grows its nationally-ranked educational programs."

The McNatts' gift will establish three endowments:

  • The Jim McNatt Endowment for Logistics Research in the College of Business will support undergraduate research in the Center for Logistics Education and Research.
  • The Jim McNatt Endowment for the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series in the College of Arts and Sciences will support the series, which brings internationally recognized speakers to discuss issues related to national and human security and other globally relevant topics.
  • The Jim McNatt Autism Research Endowment in the College of Education will support research efforts in the UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center.

The gift also establishes the Jim McNatt National Merit Scholar Award. This scholarship will support four students by providing them $10,000 a year for their educational expenses at UNT.

"UNT is a leader in logistics and autism research, well-known for bringing in speakers and guests who can provide students and our community with a global viewpoint, and continues to excel in enticing National Merit Scholars – some of the nation's brightest students – to our campus," Smatresk said. "This gift means our students and researchers can continue doing important work that helps families, educators, cities and businesses around the world. It gives our students and community members an opportunity to learn about issues from around the world through the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series. It also provides for our future by helping National Merit Scholars realize their educational dreams at UNT."

McNatt hopes that other alumni will recognize the importance of supporting UNT's nationally-ranked educational programs and the activities on campus that tie together the community.

 "We can continue to be a top-notch university if alumni continue to be involved in the university," McNatt said. "It's not just about a monetary donation, it's about investing back into the university that provided so much to us all."

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