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University Union Collection, 1947 - Present | University Archives

By Perri Hamilton

Collection Overview

Title: University Union Collection, 1947 - PresentAdd to your cart.
Predominant Dates:1965 - Present
ID: 02/20/U0475
Extent: 34.0 Boxes
Arrangement: The papers are arranged alphabetical and by organization for the documents that came in with no established order.  The photographs and media are in their own series. Artifacts are also grouped in a series.
Date Acquired: 00/00/2013. More info below under Accruals.

Request Items From This Collection


The need for a campus center to house student activities was recognized as early as 1928.  In that year UNT alumni started a fund drive to construct a memorial tower dedicated to the veterans of World War I.  The tower was designed by UNT alumnus O’Neal Ford.  Plans were for a 130 foot tower with chimes to replace the curfew bell, two electric clocks, and offices for the Ex-Student Association.  By 1931, Ford had incorporated the tower into a union.  The depression made it impossible to raise the funds for the structure.

By 1944-1945 a College Club House was opened on Ave. A and Sycamore Street.  It was called the “The Student Center” the following year.  The plan was to use this structure as a union until war priorities were lifted and a permanent structure could be built.

In 1948 construction started on an army surplus building to be the core of the new union. A brick veneer and two wings were added to the structure. A bookstore, post office, cafeteria, snack bar, meeting rooms, an office for the Ex-Students Association, and a large center room for dances and gatherings (the Howdy Room) were incorporated into the structure. The union was located on Chestnut Street.  It was two stories high and had a basement. The interior was decorated with a western theme – wagon wheels, barrel bases for lamps, and rustic wood furniture. The Memorial Union Building was dedicated on March 31, 1949, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the legislative act providing for the establishment of UNT as a state institution. A bronze plaque with the names of 147 former students who died in service was erected in the main foyer. Major General Roger Ramey, a UNT alumnus and later UNT regent, was the speaker.

The university’s growth led to the need for a larger union building by the 1960s.  The new structure was built in two sections.  The first wing was started in 1963 and opened in 1964. Then the old building was demolished and the main wing of the new union was built on the original Union site. It was opened in 1965.

In May 1973 the Board of Regents approved an expansion of the Union. One wing of the second Union was razed and the new structure was built around the remaining wing.   The bookstore and Post Office were retained in the surviving wing.  The expanded Union contained a central courtyard with a horizontal fountain on one side, the One O’clock Lounge, the Avesta Lounge (a quiet study area), meeting rooms (the Silver and Golden Eagle Suites, and the Denton Suite), offices for student services, the Campus Chat (a grill), The Corner (originally an ice cream parlor), the Rock Bottom Lounge (a bar) and the Syndicate (a game room) Later additions included the Mini Store (a trade bookstore), a food court, the Avesta (a restaurant).

In the 1990s students voted down a proposed expansion of the Union.  The poor economy was thought to have played a part in the students’ rejection of the planned enhancements to the facility. It was not until 2012 that the Student Government Association successfully put the idea of a new Union to a student wide vote. The students approved the referendum in April 2012.  In 2013 the first phase of construction started.  The new Union is expected to be finished by 2015.

Union Directors:

Harold Farmer

Hall Miller

Dorothy Pijan

Mike Maturea

Mary Yates

Jim Nicklas

Tom Rufer

Zane Reif

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The items in this collection were gathered and maintained by the University Union Administation and the Union's Design Works staff.  The items reflect the history of the unions on campus, the activities, the publications produced by and for the Union, and the organizations the Union served.  The collection contains publications, photographs, clippings, and artifacts.

Administrative Information

Repository: University Archives
Accruals: 2013-25
Access Restrictions: This collection is not restricted.
Use Restrictions: Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Archives and Rare Books department. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Physical Access Note: This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hour notice prior to use.
Acquisition Source: Design Works (Analise Minjarex and Steve Meehin)
Acquisition Method: Gift

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

Series 4: University Union Collection: Oversize ItemsAdd to your cart.
This series is for items that are so large that they need to be stored in a map case.
Box 30: Oversize ItemsAdd to your cart.
Items that need to lay flat in an oversize box.
Barcode: 50410
Item 1: Juilan A. McPhee, ndAdd to your cart.
Brochure removed from box 1, folder 11, "Brochures (1)." It is for the McPhee University Union on the California Polytechnical campus.
Item: 1
Item 2: Student Activities Center, ndAdd to your cart.
A blue and pink brochure that gives information on the organization, offices, and opportunities offered by the Student Activities Center.   This item comes from Series 1, Box 1, Folder 15.
Item: 1
Item 3: The Union, circa 1976Add to your cart.
"The Union" brochure that describes the Union by floor with photographs, floor plans, and a campus map.
Brochures: 3
Item 4: Union Brochure, ndAdd to your cart.
A green and white brochure that describes the Union by Services, Food, Entertainment, Points of Interest, and Offices.  It was originally in Series 1, Box 1, Folder 16.
Item: 1
Item 5: Formal Bid Acceptance, 1985Add to your cart.
A green brochure that lists the fraternities on campus and their activity schedules for rush. It was originally filed in Series 1, Box 1, Folder 18.
Item: 1
Item 6: North Texas Daily, 1993Add to your cart.
Special Orientation issue of the North Texas Daily.  It was originally filed in Series 1, Box 38.
Newspaper: 1
Item 7: Newspapers, 1997 - 1998Add to your cart.
The following items were moved from Series 1, Box 1: InHouse, September 1997; InHouse, February 1998; Denton Record Chronicle, March 5, 1998.
Items: 3
Item 8: 1996, 1998, 1990Add to your cart.
The clippings were moved from Box 1, Folder 41 to the oversize box.
Items: 13
Item 9: Tex Talks, 1963Add to your cart.
Tex Talks, October 1963 was moved from Series 1, Box 1, Folder 53.
Items: 1
Item 10: Cover, 1995Add to your cart.
A bright yellow cover for the binder for "Union Fest '95; 19th Anniversary, University Union - Wednesday March 8, 1995."
Item: 1
Item 11: Computer Printout, 1995Add to your cart.
"Food Service/Operations Report for Wednesday 03/08/1995"
Item: 1
Item 12: Poster, 1979Add to your cart.
Poster with the image of an angle playing a musical instrument; "Madrigal Dinner."
Item: 1
Item 13: Poster, 1979Add to your cart.
A brown poster with the image of an angle playing a musical instrument; "Madrigal Dinner."
Item: 1
Item 14: Program, no dateAdd to your cart.
"The Nineteenth Madrigal Dinner Concert, The University Union, Illinois State University."
Item: 1
Item 15: ClippingsAdd to your cart.

The following pages or papers were removed from Box 3, Folder 36:

North Texas Daily - February 28, 1973

North Texas Daily - April 18,k 1973

Denton Record Chronicle - March 5, 1976

Denton Record Chronicle - January 30, 1977

North Texas Daily - October 20, 1977

North Texas Daily - no date.

Items: 6
Item 16: Poster, 1988Add to your cart.
"Spring Howdy 88"  A list of events for Howdy Week in 1988.  The poster has an orange border.
Item: 1
Item 17: Posters, 1988Add to your cart.

"U. S. College Comedy Compitition," a yellow, red and blue poster.

"Dave Rudolf: Guilty of Entertainment," a grey poster with black and white photographs.

These items come from Series 1, Box 5, Folder 1.

Items: 2
Box 31: Map Case ItemsAdd to your cart.
Items that require storage in a map case.
Barcode: 50409
Item 1: Poster, 1998Add to your cart.
"Celebrating Fifty Years of Unions at North Texas, 1948-1998"  A white poster with black and white images of the Unions and a timeline that gives information on the name of the University, names the directors of the Union, and shows when each Union opened.  The posters are numbered 113/500 - 153/500.
Items: 40
Item 32: Award, 1970 - 1974Add to your cart.
A loving cup topped with a winged victory, two men holding wreaths aloft below the cup and plaques engraved with: "The N.T.S.U. Student Activity Outstandng Committee of the Year Award" and " 1970-1971 Entertainment, 1971-1972 Ideas and Issues, 1972-1973 Public Relations, 1973-1974 Videotape."  It has a wooden base.
Barcode: 50408
Item: 1
Box 33: Clothing BoxAdd to your cart.
This box contains items of clothing worn for events or by Union staff.
Barcode: 50394
Item 1: ApronsAdd to your cart.
Two aprons with a green background and decorated with images of watermelon slices.
Items: 2
Item 2: SweaterAdd to your cart.
Grey sweater with red, orange and yellow stripes across the chest and the Union symbol with "University Union" printed beside it.
Item: 1
Box 34: PostersAdd to your cart.

Posters used to advertise events or places in the University Union.

This box also contains posters created by University Relations, Communications and Marketing for groups and events on campus and posters created by the University Archives.

Barcode: 702925
Item 1: Poster, 1989Add to your cart.
"Movies, Spring 1989 Film Schedule; University Program Council"
Items: 2
Item 2: Poster, 1987-1988Add to your cart.
"Fine Arts Series 1987-88"
Item2: 2
Item 3: Poster, 1988-1989Add to your cart.
"85th Anniversary, Fine Arts Series, 1988-1989"
Items: 10
Item 4: Poster, 1994Add to your cart.
"Spring Film Schedule, University Program Council"
Items: 7
Item 5: Poster, 1995Add to your cart.
"Howdy Week"
Item: 1
Item 6: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"Under the Yum Yum Tree; Dinner Theatre at NTSU'S Silver Eagle Suite"  NTSU, North Texas State University, was the name of the university from 1961 untill 1988 when the name was changed to the University of North Texas.
Item: 1
Item 7: Poster, 1993Add to your cart.
"university Program Council Presents: Fall Film Schedule"
Item: 2
Item 8: Poster, 1996Add to your cart.
"UPC [University Program Council] Presents: Spring Movies"
Items: 3
Item 9: Poster, 1996Add to your cart.
"Howdy Week"
Item 10: Photographs, no dateAdd to your cart.
Oversize photographs that are blue in color.  Three are of the Art Center and one is of a computer lab.
Items: 4
Item 11: Poster, 1993Add to your cart.
"UPC [University Program Council] Presents Spring Film Schedule"
Items: 3
Item 12: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"...One Successful Recycling Campaign"
Items: 2
Item 13: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"UNT Recycles...UNT Does Not Recycle"
Item: 1
Item 14: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"A Check List of Winning Qualities"
Item: 1
Item 15: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"Dreamland Express"
Item: 1
Item 16: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"One O'clock Lounge"
Item: 1
Item 17: Poster, 1990-1991Add to your cart.
"Drama, Arts, Music, Dance: Fine Arts Series"
Items: 9
Item 18: Poster / Sign, no dateAdd to your cart.
"Art Center: Studio Graphics"
Item: 1
Item 19: Poster / Brochure, no dateAdd to your cart.
This is the layout of a poster with photographic prints and slides which include images of the victory bell and  the exterior and interior of the University Union (the third union).
Item: 1
Item 20: Poster, 1996Add to your cart.
"Black Ball: Negro Baseball and the Texas Connection"
Item: 1
Item 21: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"The Corner and Sweet Shop"
Item: 1
Item 22: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"The Chat"  Hand made sign with an image of a salad bowl.
Item: 1
Item 23: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
"The Chat" A hand-made poster with images of a burger and pizza.
Item 24: Poster, 1994Add to your cart.
Layout of the "UPC [Union Program Councing] Spring Film Schedule" poster.
Item: 1
Item 25: Poster, no dateAdd to your cart.
Photographs of union activities that have been mounted on foam core board.
Box 36: PostersAdd to your cart.
This poster is in a box with items from the  University Relations, Communications, and Marketing; the Fashion Collection; and the University of North Texas Library Records.
Barcode: 642212
Item 1: 10th Anniversary Poster of the University Union, 1986Add to your cart.
This poster celebrates the 10th year for the third versions of the University of North Texas Union.  It shows a drawing of the interior courtyard and the tree that decorated the center of that area.

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