Name: Hurley, Alfred Francis (1928-2013)



Historical Note:

Alfred Hurley, a native of Brooklyn, New York, was born on October 16, 1928. He graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University in Brooklyn in 1950. In 1990, he received the President’s medal from St. John’s University.

He enlisted at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.  He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in history at Princeton University under Air Force sponsorship and received Guggenheim and Smithsonian fellowships. He would go on to have a career as an educator and administrator at the Air Force Academy.  His book, Billy Mitchell: Crusader for Air Power, was published in 1964. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him as a permanent professor. He served as the head of the history department, chair of the humanities and executive board member.  His military decorations included the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device, and Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars. He retired as a brigadier general form the U. S. Air Force in 1980 after thirty years of service.

He joined UNT in 1980 as the vice president for administrative affairs. In 1982, Hurley was named president and chancellor.  He was the twelfth and longest serving president of the university. He became the first full time Chancellor in 2000. Before Hurley, the president also served as the chancellor.

He was credited with the success of UNT being designated an emerging research University. He also worked to establish the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, a residential program for high school students with emphasis on research.  He also established the Office of Postgraduate Fellowships in 1993. It is now the Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships. UNT became one of Texas’s six higher education systems under Hurley. He was credited with the rise of the UNT System. He was Chancellor when the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine became the UNT Health Science Center in 1993. The UNT System Center at Dallas opened in 2000. It is now UNT Dallas, the first public university in Dallas.

He and his wife, Johanna Leahy Hurley, celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in 2013. The couple had five children. The UNT System Board of Regents named the administration building the Alfred F. and Johanna H. Hurley Administration Building to honor the contributions they had made to UNT.

After Hurley retired as Chancellor he became a professor in UNT’s Department of History from 2003-2008. He and Johanna were active in organizing the annual Military History seminar. In its 23rd year, in 2006, the participants endowed and renamed it the Alfred and Johanna Hurley Military History Seminar.

He continued to be involved with the university as UNT System Chancellor Emeritus and UNT President Emeritus.

[North Texan, 2013-09-30; North Texan Online, 2013; University Brand Strategy and Communications Press Release, 2013-09-16]



Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Hurley, Alfred Francis

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