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UNT to celebrate famous alumni at star-studded event April 15

Roy OrbisonDowntown Dallas will transform into the Emerald City and will rock to the rhythms of the music of UNT alumnus Roy Orbison, right, at 6 p.m. April 15 with the inaugural Emerald Eagle Honors: Recognizing a Lifetime of Contributions to the American Landscape, an event hosted by the UNT Foundation and the University of North Texas, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

The star-studded program is a fundraiser for the university’s Emerald Eagle Scholars program.

“Wonderful things are happening at UNT, and this event is going to tell our story on a big stage,” said Lee Jackson, chancellor of the UNT System and one of the event’s honorary chairs. “The audience that night will hear the inspirational stories of our Emerald Eagle Scholars, while also celebrating the remarkable careers of three of our most prominent alumni.”

UNT President V. Lane Rawlins said by honoring both alumni and future graduates at the Emerald Eagle Honors event, UNT is celebrating its legacy and its future.

"UNT has and always will be a place of opportunity for those who dream big and work hard," President Rawlins said. "We are dedicated to helping our students fulfill their dreams and through initiatives like the Emerald Eagle Scholars program, we are proving that nothing is out of reach."

In addition to Jackson, other honorary chairs for the event include Margaret Jackson; UNT Foundation Chairman Ken Newman (’66) and Ann Newman; Chairman of the UNT System Board of Regents Jack Wall (’64) and Gay Wall (’66); Vice-Chairman of the UNT System Board of Regents G. Brint Ryan (’68) and Amanda Ryan. Serving as event chairs are UNT President V. Lane Rawlins and Mary Jo Rawlins; Kelly (’88) and George Dunham (’88); Tanya Foster (’87); Jenny and John Kirtland (’94); and Robert Nickell (’68).

This Kennedy Center Honors-type stage production celebrates UNT alumni, including former Pittsburgh Steelers great and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame “Mean” Joe Greene (’69); Rock and Roll icon, the late Roy Orbison (represented by his family); and Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm (’74 M.S., ’84 M.B.A.).

The evening will be hosted by two prominent alumni, Melissa Rycroft (’05), who in November took home the Mirror Ball Trophy as winner of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” and actor Peter Weller (’70), who has starred in such films as Robocop, Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness. Among the musical acts expected to perform is Texas-based blues, rock and soul band Prophets and Outlaws.

The show will spotlight the inspirational stories of the evening’s beneficiary, UNT’s award-winning Emerald Eagle Scholars program. The Emerald Eagle Scholars program helps high achieving but financially challenged students realize their college dreams. The program provides students with financial and academic support and campus connections to help them succeed in college and earn their bachelor’s degrees. Since its inception in 2007, the program has benefitted more than 2,400 students—most of whom are first-generation college students.

Approximately 150 seniors in the Emerald Eagle Scholars program will be recognized during the proceedings and will be seated behind the stage in the Meyerson’s choral terrace.

Tickets cost $150 to $300 and include a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.


Posted on: Wed 06 March 2013

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