Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards
A long-standing university tradition, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards recognize the best in our alumni body. Throughout their careers, honorees have contributed significantly to their companies, communities and the university while upholding the highest standards and values.
Nominate a Deserving Alumnus/a
Nominations for Alumni Awards are open and are accepted on a rolling basis. Nominations must be submitted by April 15 in any given year for consideration at that year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards Ceremony.
Distinguished Alumni Award
The most prestigious award given by the UNT Alumni Association, honoring alumni for professional achievement and significant contributions to society and the university.
Linda Creagh (’62, ’63 M.S., ’67 Ph.D.), the first person to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry at UNT, enjoyed a long career beginning with Texas Instruments as a research chemist and retired as the business development director for FujiFilm Dimatix in 2008. She stays actively involved with UNT as an advisory board member for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science.
Frank Morris (’71) is the chairman and owner of First State Bank, the oldest state bank in Texas. He is heavily involved in his community, philanthropically supporting numerous institutions including UNT, North Central Texas College, Gainesville I.S.D., the Frank Buck Zoo, CASA of Denton and United Way of Denton County.
Victor Rodriguez (’55, ’62 M.S.) is a retired educator with a distinguished career, earning numerous awards including the Superintendent of the Year Award by the American Association of School Administrators. He has been inducted into the National Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame, and he also established the Victor and Flo Rodriguez Future Coaches Scholarship at UNT.
Rising Star Award
This award recognizes recent graduates for distinguished achievement that has merited the honor and praise of peers and colleagues.
Mathew Zuniga (’21 M.S.) is a teacher and librarian at the Del Valle Opportunity Center, which he played a vital role in establishing, along with its literary program, which sees high schoolers read books to children in both Spanish and English. He was awarded Teacher of the Year for 2020-21 at the Del Valle Opportunity Center.
Outstanding Alumni Service Award
Presented to individuals who have provided exceptional service to UNT or the community.
George Esquivel (’91) is the business development director at Four Corners Brewing Co., which he co-founded. He has served on the UNT Alumni Association Board of Directors and currently serves on the Latinx Alumni Network Executive Board. He and his wife, Joanna, recently established the Esquivel Endowed Scholarship, which supports undergraduate advertising students who are also involved in a UNT Latinx student organization.
Ulys Knight Spirit Award
Given to an individual or group that has made noteworthy efforts to show exceptional UNT spirit.
Le’Nore Smith, a longtime friend and supporter of UNT, supports multiple UNT initiatives, including the Mean Green Scholarship fund, Send-a-Student to the Bowl Donations, the Kuehne Speaker Series and the Ryan College of Business Dean’s Excellence Fund. Le’Nore is an avid UNT Athletics fan — she’s seen wearing green and supporting UNT students at almost every game!
Generations of Excellence Alumni Award
This award recognizes a legacy family that has exhibited extraordinary dedication to higher education and to UNT through multiple generations.
Neil and Sandra Davidson Family:
Neil Davidson (’52, ’57 M.M.Ed) previously worked as a licensed attorney and served as a Minister of Music at Plymouth Park Baptist Church. He and his wife, Sandra, established the Fulmer-Davidson Organ Scholarship and the Frank McKinley Endowment for Choral Studies in the UNT College of Music.
Sandra Davidson (’54, ’57 M.M.) previously worked as an organ professor at Dallas Baptist University and an organ teacher at Northlake College. She and her husband, Neil, established the Fulmer-Davidson Organ Scholarship and the Frank McKinley Endowment for Choral Studies in the UNT College of Music.
Dr. Scott Davidson (’81) has owned a private dental practice since 1988. He and his brothers, Bruce (’84) and Blake make up “The Davidson Brothers” and have been singing together since they were teenagers. Scott has performed in venues such as The Grand Crystal Palace and Stage West.
Bruce Davidson (’84) is a retired lawyer who worked in the insurance industry. As a student at UNT, he was very active with Lamda Chi Alpha fraternity, where he was QB for the flag football team that went to the national tournament.
Blake Davidson attended the University of North Texas and studied voice in the College of Music. Blake has sung with the Anchorage Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony and The Florida Orchestra. Today, he is a professional singer and performs with a musical comedy group called “The 3 Redneck Tenors.”
Shannon Davidson (’17 M.S.) is Scott Davison’s daughter and earned a master’s degree in taxation from UNT, having earned her B.B.A. in accounting from Texas Tech University. She currently works as a senior property accountant for Stream Realty Partners.
Kathryn Davidson (’20) is Scott Davidson’s daughter and earned a B.M. in music performance and flute, as well as a teaching certificate in 2020. She is now working on a master’s degree in music at the University of Indiana.