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"Hurley Administration Building"

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For release:

Regents rename UNT Administration Building in honor of Alfred F. and Johanna H. Hurley

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Last weekend, at Dr. Alfred F. Hurley's final University of North Texas System Board of Regents meeting as system chancellor, the regents honored him and his wife, Johanna, by renaming the university Administration Building in their honor.

Hurley, who became the system's first full-time chancellor in October 2000 and prior to that held the university presidency longer than any other chief executive in UNT's history, announced plans in January to leave the chancellorship at the end of the 2001-2002 academic year.

When he steps down on Aug. 31, Hurley, 73, will have served as the UNT System's chief executive officer for more than 20 years.

Hurley joined the university as vice president for administrative affairs on September 1, 1980. Less than 17 months after his arrival, in February 1982, he became UNT's 12th president and the second chancellor of the informal UNT System.

Many credit Hurley as a major factor in the rise of the university and the system to educational leadership in the North Texas region, but Hurley always shared the credit for the amazing progress during his presidency and chancellorship. He acknowledges Mrs. Hurley as his full-time partner in fulfilling the responsibilities of his offices with the university and the system.

"It is fitting that the Administration Building, which stands at the center of the UNT campus and since 1956 has symbolized the seat of administrative leadership, should be named for Dr. and Mrs. Hurley," said UNT Board of Regents Chairman Bobby Ray.

"The building overlooks a campus benefiting from nearly $200 million raised in two capital campaigns and transformed by more than $260 million in construction and renovation to expand and update its facilities during Dr. Hurley's tenure. Accordingly, renaming the building the ‘Alfred F. and Johanna H. Hurley Administration Building' will be a lasting symbol of the Hurleys' accomplishments on behalf of the university and the system," Ray said.

In other action, the regents took steps to keep Hurley in the university and system communities by appointing him chancellor, emeritus, of the UNT System and president, emeritus, of the university.

In 1981, the regents approved his appointment as professor of history, with tenure.

A nationally recognized military historian, Hurley is the author of the first scholarly biography of General "Billy" Mitchell and a contributor to other works on the history of air power.

During his 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force, he headed the History Department at the Air Force Academy from 1966‑1980 and served as chairman of its Humanities Division.

He also led the development of the Air Force Academy Symposia in Military History; won a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Humanities in 1971-72; held an appointment as a Fellow in the Eisenhower Institute of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 1976‑77; and often lectured at the National Army and Navy War Colleges as well as various Air Force service schools between 1966 and 1980.

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I have been a supporter of Dr. Al Hurley from the "git-go" like many of you. I think he did all he could with what he had to work with beginning in the early 1980's (and the school had hardly any financial endowment in its coffers when he arrived on the scene). In fact, UNT didn't start its endowment fund raising until about 10 years before Al and Joanna Hurley arrived at UNT from the Air Force Academy. In fact, in the early 1970's, UNT's first attempts at financial emdowment fund raising among industry and its alums got off to a very shaky start and you can read about all that in Dr. James Rogers new book, The North Texas Story.

I believe it is largely because of Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley that we did not drop football in the dark days of the "post Bob Tyler" era. In a sense, we are playing the UT Longhorns tonight because of some actions taken by Alfred Hurley in the early 1980's. During that time, there was a move to do away with football on our campus and I don't think the man ever received his due in salvaging a pathetic athletic situation when there was no funding for it (also because there was hardly any Presidential discretionary fund to speak of to help supplement athletics to the extent that it was needed to save the program BUT Dr. Hurley and his staff saved football anyway). He deserves more credit than he has received in this matter IMHO.

I believe it is largely due to the quiet "low key" but aggressive lobbying style of "Brooklynite and New Yorker" Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley among some of our fellow loud, boisterous Texas redneck legislator "good ol' boys" down in Austin as to why TCOM is now among a group of schools under the umbrella of a school called: The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. (If you've never seen it, you owe yourself a favor to go see it now--its booming with growth and new construction just like its main campus in Denton)!

I believe the above described characteristics of one Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley is why a group of African American south Dallas County officials and politicians led by Texas State Senator Royce West (a former UTA football player) chose UNT over Texas Tech and Texas A&M to be the school of "their" choice and to eventually be the only public university located in the city limits of Dallas, Texas. BTW, a school that once it is free standing will be called: The University of North Texas at Dallas...

I believe I could go on and on about the virtues of our now Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Alfred Frances Hurley but I am most proud that I can call he and his lovely wife, Joanna, my friends. God Bless the Hurleys! cool.gif

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Congrats to the Hurley's. I woulda prefered the next new building be named after them instead of an old one...but it's not a big deal. smile.gif

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Dr. Al Hurley has done some great things for the University of North Texas and I do not begrudge naming a building for he and his wife. He led the improvements in academics and is the chief architect of the UNT System.

My preferences would have been to (1) rename the General Academics Building the Hurley Academics Building or (2) change the name of the College of Arts & Sciences to the Hurley College of Arts & Sciences or (3) name the next new academic building for the Hurleys.

I don't really object to naming the Administration for them UNLESS they try to do away with the McConnell Tower. Most of you didn't know Dr. W. Joseph McConnell but he was also a great college president and a friend of athletics. Under his leadership, North Texas became a university (although the name change occurred under Dr. Carl Matthews a few years later). He also saw to it that athletics be upgraded (we actually became Division 1 by his leadership. He laid the foundation for our joining the Missouri Valley Conference. I think that it is appropriate that the McConnell Tower is lighted green after each North Texas victory.

Someone is going to have to give me a lot more facts than I now know to anoint Dr. Hurley as the savior of UNT athletics. Under his watch we were relegated to Division 1-AA and lost a lot of alumni support. Even though I must also give him credit for the return to 1-A. I think that there was never serious consideration to do away with football. How many state universities do not have football? I think that only Lamar and UTA have done away with programs and we all know the immediate results that occurred.

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