University to Celebrate Founders Day with Mall Activities, Photo Salute
UT Dallas' founders and their wives (from left): Ida Green, Cecil Green, Margaret Jonsson, Erik Jonsson, Margaret McDermott and Eugene McDermott.
More than a half-century ago, three scientific entrepreneurs who wanted to nurture local engineering talent for their firm, Texas Instruments, launched what would become The University of Texas at Dallas.
On Friday, UT Dallas students, faculty and staff will celebrate the legacy of the University’s founders — Eugene McDermott, Cecil Green and Erik Jonsson — with games, food truck snacks and activities on the campus mall.
The Founders Day celebration, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Chess Plaza, will include T-shirt and sunglasses giveaways, and carnival games. Radio UTD will provide entertainment.
Student Treasure Hunt
Student Affairs has organized a weeklong, founders-themed treasure hunt for students. Winners will receive prizes that include an Apple Watch, a Coca-Cola mini-refrigerator, a Coca-Cola bike and University bookstore gift cards.
The annual event commemorates the day in 1964 that the Founders Building, the first building on campus, was dedicated at what was then the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest.
McDermott, Green and Jonsson knew that Texas needed highly educated minds if the state was to remain competitive, so they established the center to keep bright people, who might leave to pursue advanced education elsewhere, in the region. UT Dallas students are known for their intellectual curiosity and academic excellence.
“Founders Day is designed specifically to honor UT Dallas’ founding fathers and their vision,” said Rena Piper BA’16, events manager. “It is a day for the campus community to come together to reflect on where we started, and celebrate the growth and successes of our University.”
New this year will be a campus photo salute to the UT Dallas founders in the shape of the University’s monogram with about 250 people forming “U,” “T” and “D” across Chess Plaza. Ricardo Castrillón, a student worker in the Office of Communications, will film the process and capture the finished product with a drone.
“Founders Day is one of UTD’s biggest annual events,” said Robert Tracy, senior web content editor. “Two years ago, we celebrated with the world’s largest Whoosh on the newly opened North Mall. This year, we want the people who make UTD awesome — our students, staff and faculty — to make a human version of our new monogram.”
In 2015, about 350 students, faculty and staff punctuated Founders Day with “the largest Whoosh in world history.” On Friday, there will be a campus photo salute to the UT Dallas founders in the shape of the University’s monogram with about 250 people forming “U,” “T” and “D” across Chess Plaza.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].