DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas Alumni Association will honor outstanding alumni at the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in UNT's Apogee Stadium HUB Club. The reception will begin at 6 p.m.
This is the 53rd anniversary of the alumni awards program, which showcases the caliber of the university’s alumni and celebrates the depth and breadth of their professional accomplishments and service to the community. This Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards coincides with the university's homecoming weekend, which sees the return of many alumni. The following six awards will be presented this year:
Distinguished Alumni Awards
First presented in 1965, this is one of the university's most prestigious awards. It is awarded to individuals who have achieved prominence in their profession and significantly contributed to society and the university.
- Jim McIngvale will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Also known as “Mattress Mack,” McIngvale owns and operates the Gallery Furniture retail chain in Houston. During Hurricane Harvey, McIngvale opened two of his Gallery Furniture locations to provide shelter to displaced Houstonians. McIngvale is a prolific philanthropist, contributing to the United Service Organizations Inc., the Salvation Army, the Texas Heart Institute, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, and many other causes in Houston and beyond. McIngvale, who attended UNT from 1972 to 1974, is a former UNT football letterman and was instrumental in the construction of the UNT Athletic Center and adjacent football practice facility. He is a member of the McConnell Society.
- Laura Wright (’82, ’82 M.S.) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2012, Wright retired as chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for Southwest Airlines Co. after 25 years of service. She is now the owner and founder of GSB Advisory, L.L.C., a strategic and financial consultancy. For her professional accomplishments, Wright was inducted into the UNT College of Business Hall of Fame. Wright has served the university in many capacities. She is a standing vice chairman of the UNT System Board of Regents. She served on the UNT 2013 Presidential Search Committee and was a member of the UNT Foundation board and the College of Business Accounting and Murphy Enterprise Center advisory boards. Wright and her husband Randy are members of the President’s Council and Mean Green Scholarship Fund. They are life members of the UNT Alumni Association.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Created in 2011, this honor was established to recognize alumni under 40 for distinguished career achievement and contributions to society and the university.
- John Williams (’05) will receive the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Williams is the principal owner of two popular bars near the Denton Square: East Side Denton and Oak St. Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor. He also co-owns Dot’s Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood. Williams is UNT Athletics’ biggest football season ticket holder. He partners with UNT Athletics to sponsor football ticket, tailgate and transportation packages for hundreds of UNT alumni each season. Williams is a member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund and serves on the UNT Alumni Association’s Denton County Alumni Chapter Steering Committee.
Outstanding Alumni Service
First presented in 1974, this award honors individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT and the community.
- Gregory Matthews (’95) will receive the Outstanding Alumni Service Award. Matthews is president of Matthews Financial Services, a registered representative of TCM Securities and an investment advisor representative with Triumph Wealth Advisors. Williams was a starter for the Mean Green Football from 1990 to 1994. He now serves on the board of directors for the North Texas Lettermen’s Association. He is a past president and treasurer of the UNT Alumni Association and was instrumental in formalizing a secure relationship between the association and the university. Matthews also is active in his community, volunteering with youth sports and teaching continuing education classes on finance in the business sector.
- Joseph O. and Betty A. Roy will receive the Outstanding Alumni Service Award. Joe is president of Denton Consultants, specializing in Japanese business interactions. He is retired from Exxon Mobil Corp., where he served mostly in international operations, including 17 years abroad in Thailand and Japan. Betty is a former travel coordinator. The Roys’ became UNT honorary alumni in 2005. They created the Joseph and Betty Roy Music Scholarship at UNT and support the College of Music through service on the Advisory Board and the Community Advisory Council. Joe served on the Denton committee of Campaign North Texas and the Dallas Advisory Board. Joe also is a guest lecturer for the UNT College of Business, where he created the College of Business Administration Department of Management Advisory Board Scholarship. The Roys both volunteer as community liaison coordinators for UNT International Studies and Programs. They are life members of the Dean’s Camerata, the UNT President's Council and the UNT Alumni Association. Joe is a member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund, and Betty is a founding member of the Diamond Eagles Giving Society.
Ulys Knight Spirit Award
Presented since 1975, this award is given to any individual or group that has made noteworthy efforts to sustain spirit among the UNT family.
- Lou Ann Bradley will receive the Ulys Knight Spirit Award. Bradley retired from UNT as assistant dean for facilities and head of access preservation in 2010. During her tenure at UNT, Bradley was active in the areas of preservation and disaster preparedness. She was a member of the UNT League of Professional Women and the Amigos Bibliographic Council. Upon retirement, Bradley was honored with the title of Emeritus Librarian. Bradley is a passionate UNT Athletics supporter and has been a season ticket holder since 1988. She has served on the UNT Athletics Council, the Women’s Basketball Advisory Committee and the NCAA Certification Steering Committee and is a long-time member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund. She attends almost all UNT Athletics’ activities, including events, tournaments, games and conferences at home and on the road.
For information about the UNT Alumni Association or the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, call 940-565-2834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.