Grammy-winning UNT alumna charms jazz students in special pre-fest Q&A

Thu, Sep 22, 2016 - 7:08am

By Lucinda Breeding

Norah Jones was a reluctant sage at a closed question-and-answer session with University of North Texas jazz studies majors Wednesday afternoon.

The Grammy-winning artist is a UNT alumna (she learned that term and others from moderator John Richmond, the brand new dean of the College of Music) who’s in town for Oaktopia music festival. The College of Music invited her to spend about an hour with jazz students and to award her the UNT Presidential Medal of Honor.

Students and faculty packed the recital hall for the session, and only standing room was available along the staircase well...

UNT student stars as famed 1980s 'Preppie Killer' on 'Murder Made Me Famous'

Thu, Aug 4, 2016 - 2:07pm

By Chase Caracostas

The 30th anniversary of the "Preppie Killer" murder is Aug. 26. One of the most well-known killings of the '80s, the murder of Jennifer Levin by Robert Chambers left its mark as the first highly publicized murder in New York City's Central Park.

Hunter Hart Lightner had to figure out how to embody a murderer once he was cast as Chambers in the third episode of season two of Murder Made Me Famous. The episode will air this weekend on REELZChannel at 9 p.m. central time. 

Lightner's past film experience included commercials for Ford, Rooms To Go and...

Tags: Alumni, TV, UNT

UNT alum to drop his 2nd record

Thu, Aug 4, 2016 - 6:51pm

By Lucinda Breeding

University of North Texas alumnus Donovan Payne has been at the hip-hop game since he was a kid in Fort Worth.

As 88 Killa, Payne channels his musical maturation, which mills threads of breakdance, rap and graffiti into his sophomore EP, 88 BPM through DEFDISCO (the label that signed fellow UNT alumna Kaela Sinclair and hip-hop supergroup Public Enemy).

The lead single from Killa’s second effort is “Boomerang,” a bass-heavy banger that poises 88 Killa as a steady threat to posers, fakers and lightweights.

“Quit calling me underrated,” Killa demands, and promises...

Tags: Alumni, UNT

UNT alumnus to become a four-star general

Tue, Aug 2, 2016 - 6:48pm

Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, who graduated from UNT in 1981, will be promoted to four-star general today and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Lengyel will be promoted during a ceremony at the Pentagon.

“We are thankful for Joseph Lengyel’s service to our country and honored to call him a UNT alumnus,” said UNT President Neal Smatresk in a statement. “His journey from graduating with a chemistry degree from UNT to becoming a four-star general and part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is both incredible and inspiring.

“And his leadership and service sets a wonderful example for our students and...

Tags: Alumni, UNT

Elida Tamez finds lessons in patience and humility, from cancer to frack fight

Sun, Jul 17, 2016 - 11:37pm

By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Growing up, Elida Tamez was a good girl. She went through a rebellious stage, but she finished high school, graduated college, landed a terrific job as a bookseller, got married and raised her daughters, one of whom happens to have cerebral palsy.

Nothing about the shiny surface of Tamez’s life suggests she would have been an environmental activist. Even after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999, she got a second lease on life that turned out to be a long and happy one.

During that second chance, she went back to work at the University of North Texas, where she had graduated...

Tags: Alumni, UNT