Supporters, outstanding students recognized at 2014 STAR Celebration

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"STAR stands for Special Thanks and Recognition, and tonight we are excited to Thank and Recognize not only our scholarship donors and students, but all of our friends and supporters who make great things possible at the College of Education," said Jerry Thomas, dean of the College, as he began his remarks at the annual celebration on October 9 at Apogee Stadium.

Nearly 200 guests were in attendance at the event including Jean Keller, professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation studies and interim vice president for community engagement at UNT, Eileen Moran, acting vice president for Advancement, and Marcy Haag, associate dean for the College of Public Affairs & Community Service. Also in the audience was Representative Roberto Alonzo who is a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Alonzo created the Roberto Alonzo Scholarship, a program that has awarded over 600 scholarships to UNT and UNT-Dallas students totaling over $1.5 million over the past 10 years. 

Susan Burton, master's student and teaching assistant in the department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, was the student speaker for the event. After giving thanks to her family, the donors and the faculty of the university, she said:

"A lot of carrying happens in a lifetime before someone is ready to stand alone. We are carried by parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, friends, partners, spouses and benefactors. It is my hope that every shooting star here tonight will have the exhilaration of being carried and the privilege of carrying another in the time that lies before you."

Cathy Bryce ('91 Ph.D.), donor, alumna and chair of the College of Education's Campaign Action Team, expressed her steadfast support of the College of Education and gratitude for the support of all of the college's donors.

"The College of Ed – the preparation we were given here and the pathways that were opened for us as a result of our relationships with our professors and our fellow students – has made all the difference in the world to us. We are honored that, in some small way, we can pay it forward."

Cathy and her husband Jack Atkins recently established The Eva Marie Howard Atkins and Opal Watson Bryce Collier Education Scholarship at UNT to honor their mothers, both public educators.

"To all of the donors who are here, Jack and I are proud to follow in your footsteps. You have been great role models for us, and we're glad to join the family of donors that support UNT's College of Education."

This year, the college has distributed nearly $300,000 in scholarships to 187 students, made possible through the support of alumni and friends. To make a gift to the College of Education, please visit or contact Keturi Beatty, senior director of development for the College of Education at 940-891-6860 or

Give Now

Strengthen the college. Our noteworthy accomplishments, scholarships and programs are supported by generous donations from friends like you. Please make your gift to the college today or contact Keturi Beatty (940-891-6860) to learn more about giving opportunities. Thank you!

By Jessie Laljer, UNT's College of Education Development and External Relations Office
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