The University of Texas at Dallas is home to bold innovators whose vision and accomplishments have paved the way for our bright future.
January, 1990
New Place for Administration

The Administration Building opens. The building was originally called the Multipurpose Facility and housed engineering programs and other departments.

February, 1990
New Arts and Humanities Professor

Dr. Robert S. Nelsen becomes assistant professor of arts and humanities.

UT Dallas welcomes its first freshman class with an invitation to “Come Make History.”
March, 1990
UTD Welcomes its First Freshmen

Nearly 20 years after its founding, UTD’s first freshman class arrives on campus in August 1990. The class consists of about 100 students whose achievements set the academic standard for future classes.


February, 1992
Dr. Wildenthal Joins UTD

Dr. Hobson Wildenthal arrives at UT Dallas as vice president of academic affairs and professor of physics.

May, 1992
Dr. Musselman Arrives at UTD

Dr. Inga Musselman joins the chemistry department as assistant professor. UT Dallas appoints Musselman as provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2017.

August, 1992
Engineering Building and Green Center Open

In a ceremony held in early October, the Engineering and Computer Science Building and the Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society are dedicated.

January, 1993
UTD Goes Greek

Kappa Sigma becomes UT Dallas’ first Greek chapter.

March, 1993
Academic Excellence Scholarship

The first class of Academic Excellence Scholarship awardees enroll at UT Dallas.

July, 1994
Dr. Jenifer Takes the Helm

The University appoints Dr. Franklyn Jenifer as its third president. Jenifer had previously been president of Howard University and the chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education. During Jenifer’s tenure, UT Dallas’ enrollment would increase more than 61 percent. The campus would undergo dramatic physical transformation with major new facilities, including the School of Management, the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders. Jenifer would be named president emeritus of UT Dallas in 2005.

July, 1995
Richardson Fills With Music

UT Dallas pairs up with the city of Richardson to put on the first Sounds of Class, an annual family-friendly music festival.

Galerstein Gender Center staff, graduates and guests celebrate students’ accomplishments at UT Dallas’ fifth annual Lavender Graduation.
April, 1996
A Tribute to Dr. Galerstein

The Galerstein Women’s Center, named for UTD’s first female dean, Dr. Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein, opens. It is renamed the Galerstein Gender Center in 2017.

August, 1996
New School of Management Dean

Dr. Hasan Pirkul joins the School of Management as its new dean and Caruth Chair.

Cheerleaders encourage the chess team at a pep rally.
August, 1996
Comets Checkmate

The chess team debuts at UT Dallas, launching a proud tradition of competitive excellence. Since its establishment, the UTD chess team has won the President’s Cup — known as the Final Four of College Chess — four times, won the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship, and made history by playing Instituto Superior de Cultura Física in the first US-Cuba chess match in 50 years.

September, 1996
New Green Center Director

Dr. John F. Kain joins UT Dallas as director of the Green Center for the Study of Science & Society and the Texas Schools Project.

January, 1997
New Honors

The Collegium V Honors Program begins to provide promising students with small class sizes, innovative teaching methods and a variety of extracurricular activities.

March, 1997
Undergraduate Education’s New Dean

Dr. J. Michael Coleman is appointed dean of Undergraduate Education.

July, 1997
New Professor of Management

Dr. Suresh Sethi arrives at UT Dallas as a professor of management and Ashbel Smith Professor. He later becomes the Davidson Professor and Eugene McDermott Chair.

1998-99 men's basketball team
January, 1998
UTD Plays Ball

UTD Athletics joins the NCAA Division III American Southwest Conference.

February, 1998
More Space for School of Engineering

Engineering and Computer Science North Building opens.

Dr. Richard Brettell (right) with Dr. Hobson Wildenthal (from left) and philanthropists Nancy Blackburn Hamon and Margaret McDermott.
February, 1998
New Distinguished Chair

Dr. Richard Brettell becomes the new Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and professor of aesthetic studies in the School of Arts and Humanities.

March, 1998
A New Place for Students

The Activity Center opens its doors, providing students with courts, exercise opportunities and a new location for commencement.

Aaron Aryanpur's sketch (top left) and other versions of Temoc. Aaron Aryanpur, Artist
October, 1998
Comets Gain a Mascot

After a competition to find a new mascot, UT Dallas decides on “Temoc,” which is “Comet” spelled backward. Alum Aaron Aryanpur designs Temoc, an orange-haired, blue-skinned Comet who frequents events across campus from freshmen orientation to chess matches.

Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman PhD ’86
January, 1999
New Space for Brain Science

UTD alum Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman establishes the Center for BrainHealth. The center is now home to labs with 60 fully funded research projects, including youth brain injury assessment, caregiver training, law enforcement mindfulness training and adolescent reasoning training.

July, 1999
Cecil Professorship

UTD establishes the Andrew R. Cecil Chair in Applied Ethics in the School of Management.