University of North Texas The North Texan

Our students and alumni are reaching new heights — some of which they thought were impossible.

Take the families of children with intellectual disabilities. They never imagined their children would get a true university experience. But thanks to the caring staff, faculty and other students, UNT's ELEVAR program is providing educational access to a population that has been excluded from higher education. For alumnus Donnie F. Wilson ('90), he knew breaking into the Hollywood film world would require hard work. But his vision and determination led The Queen of Basketball to win Best Documentary Short at this year's Academy Awards. R'Bonney Gabriel ('18) used her passions and talents to claim the Miss USA crown and is now aiming for the Miss Universe title. And some faculty researchers, students and alumni are reaching beyond the skies by helping NASA make innovative discoveries.

What goals are your reaching? We'd love to hear your story. Drop us a line at

Fall 2022 Issue
Read this issue of North Texan magazine on Issuu.
UNT faculty

Cover Story

A Community to Succeed

At UNT, we want to make sure every student is thriving. We've offered an array of initiatives to help them earn their degrees and launch their careers. Besides ELEVAR, the first inclusive post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities in the North Texas region, UNT offers programs aimed at first-generation college students and a mental wellness program for diverse students. And it's working. "I had one student who told me, 'This is the happiest I've ever been in my life,'" career coach Elsita Dean says.


Alumni Spotlight

Hollywood Ending

Donnie F. Wilson ('90) always wanted to tell stories. He went to Hollywood with just $500 in pursuit of his dream. He eventually teamed up with basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal to establish a production company and learned about the life of groundbreaking athlete Luisa "Lucy" Harris. Wilson knew her story had to be made into a movie. And that film, The Queen of Basketball, won an Oscar this spring.

Research Feature

To the Skies and Beyond

From the earth to the heavens, UNT faculty researchers are using NASA resources to create better lives for all — from examining satellite and aerial images aimed at improving farmers' irrigation techniques to creating "highways in the sky" for drones to deliver health life-saving transplants quickly. Plus, read how alumni are working and students are taking part in innovative projects for the beloved space agency.

Feature Story

Show of Force

Kevin Hawkins has been singing since he was a child, but the foundation for his career came during his time at UNT's College of Music as he worked with voice professors and participated in competitions — lessons that made him a fan favorite on The Voice TV show.

Feature Story

All Hail the Queen

When R'Bonney Gabriel ('18) studied fashion design at the College of Visual Arts and Design, she learned skills that helped her create her own clothing line and outfits that made her stand out in the Miss Texas USA and Miss USA pageants where she was the first Filipino American woman to win the titles.

Feature Story

Historic Build

As a College of Music student, Roy Redman ('60) listened to organ concerts in UNT's Main Auditorium that helped him understand the intricate instrument. Now the owner of an organ repair business, he came back to campus this summer to help rebuild the nearly century-old pipe organ that inhabits the stage walls. "It's déjà vu, because I grew up with this organ in a way," Redman says.

More Online Features

Destination North Texas
Homecoming is a time for members of the Mean Green Nation — students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends — to come together to embrace our traditions and celebrate the university. You're invited to join us for numerous festivities, including the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, Homecoming Bonfire, tailgating on The Hill at Apogee Stadium and the Mean Green football game! Purchase your tickets now to watch UNT take on FIU at 3 p.m. Nov. 5.
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