History & Mission

Mission Statement

The University of North Texas Foundation, Inc. serves as UNT's strategic partner in managing and growing private assets through investment management, and administration of endowments and planned gifts to support the University's mission. UNT-F's continuity, long-term view, flexibility and creative solutions contribute to fully realizing UNT's potential.

History of University Foundation

The first foundation organized for the benefit of a university was at the University of Kansas in 1893. More than 1,700 institutionally related foundations have been organized since that time. The vast majority of four-year public universities and colleges in America are associated with an affiliated foundation, according to the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities (AGB).

University foundations have also been organized for nonphilanthropic reasons—for instance, to patent and license university-related discoveries; to build and operate dormitories, football stadiums, sports arenas, research parks, etc.—all to benefit the institutions with which they are associated.

Why UNT Established a Foundation

The University of North Texas Foundation, Inc. was established for several reasons, including:

  • A foundation emphasizes the "enhancement" nature of private gifts by distancing such funds from other university revenues.
  • A foundation is, for the majority of public universities, the most accommodating vehicle for attracting (and retaining beyond an intensive campaign period) a powerful, philanthropic volunteer leadership.
  • Private foundations have been used successfully to overcome some of the biases—and, in some cases, outright proscriptions—against foundation and corporation funding of public institutions.
  • Some donors will only give to a foundation (for example, Pew Charitable Trusts and Keck Foundation).
  • A foundation is able to recruit highly talented volunteers skilled in investment management who have exercised fiduciary responsibility both to the institution and to the donors of gifts.

History of the UNT Foundation

The University of North Texas Foundation, Inc. was chartered in the State of Texas in 1972 as the North Texas State University Educational Foundation, Inc. Its articles of incorporation became official on June 27, 1972. The incorporators and the initial directors, all Regents of North Texas State University, were E. Bruce Street Sr., C. Dean Davis, and A. M. Willis Jr.

In 1981, a major change took place in the structure of the Foundation. Effective February 6, 1981, the Board of Regents' authority to appoint directors of the Foundation was removed, and the Board of Directors of the Foundation was given that authority. Other changes through the years have included dropping the word "Educational" from the name and changing the total name of the Foundation to its present form, reflecting the change in the name of the University.

The overriding purpose of the Foundation is to advance education through support of the University of North Texas. To that end, the Foundation receives gifts, invests them, and, according to the terms of the gifts, pays out to the University distributions from the earnings of the investments, or parts or all of the gifts themselves.

Directors assist the efforts of the University to secure gifts by giving advice, cultivating potential donors, and assisting in the planning and development of fundraising campaigns under the guidance of University Office of Development staff.

The By-Laws authorize a Board of Directors of up to 35 members, and a comprehensive committee structure that implements the fiduciary and business responsibilities of the Foundation.

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