Joseph William Pender (1876-1969) | University of North Texas Special Collections
<p align="center"> Joseph William “Dad” Pender
A native of Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas, Joseph William Pender received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Grayson College in Whitewright, Texas. He earned his Master of Arts degree from Baylor University in government and political science. He married Miss Maude Hardison in 1900 in Paris, Texas. “Dad” Pender served on the faculty of UNT for 34 years beginning in 1912. He is credited with the establishment of intercollegiate athletics at the university. He use his athletes to clear a briar filled pasture for the first football field, located on what is now the library mall. He coached the football, track, tennis and baseball teams. In 1920, he organized the first Athletic Council at UNT. He also directed the band from 1915 to 1921. He is also known as the founder of the government (political science) department. In 1925, he was named as the head of the Government Department and served in that position until his retirement in 1946. “Dad” Pender was a lifetime member of the Texas State Teachers Association. He was also a member of Pi Gamma Mu, a social science honorary fraternity; the American Political Science Association; the Kiwanis Club; and the Denton Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Pender was a member of the Masons. He served of head of each of the four Masonic bodies in Denton: the Blue Lodge, the Royal Arch Chapter, the Royal Select Masons and the Commandery. He was Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas in 1932 and Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 1939. Pender was a 32nd degree mason, and a member of the Moslah Shrine Temple at Fort Worth later in life.
Joseph William Pender died in 1969 at the age of 93.