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UNT Art Exhibition to be named after Paul Voertman

UNT Art Exhibition to be named after Paul Voertman

UNT Art Exhibition to be named after Paul Voertman
August 27
10:26 2018

The UNT Board of Regents voted unanimously to name the student art exhibition in the College of Visual Art and Design’s art building after Paul Voertman during meetings on Aug. 9 and 10.

“Paul Voertman was a very generous donor to the university,” David Wolf, vice president of advancement at UNT, said during the meeting. “As part of our gift agreement process, one of the things we want to do is honor in the existing building this space for Mr. Voertman.”

Voertman, who grew up in Denton and and took classes at UNT for two years before attending the University of Texas at Austin, took over the family bookstore when his father died unexpectedly in 1951. Voertman operated Voertman’s bookstore off Hickory Street for 38 years.

Outside of helping students access their textbooks, Voertman served UNT in a variety of other ways. He created the Voertman Student Art competition in 1960, which is going into its 59th year and is the oldest privately sponsored competitive art exhibition in Texas. Voertman also endowed the Voertman / Academy of American Poets Prize in 2013.

Voertman died at age 88 on June 21, 2017. Following his death, UNT received a gift of $10 million from his estate. The university has already acquired $9.3 million of the gift, which is the largest UNT has ever received and will go toward the CVAD, Music, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences colleges.

“His philanthropic benevolence has and will continue to make a distinct difference in our lives and those of future generations,” UNT spokesperson Kris Muller said.

After years of service to UNT, the university decided to dedicate their art exhibition to him by naming it The Paul Voertman Gallery. The meeting book for the board of regents praised Voertman for his years of service.

“Paul was the very embodiment of academic and artistic values, impeccable taste, generosity of heart and mind and abiding commitment to student success,” the meeting book states. “His philanthropic benevolence has and will continue to make a distinct difference for current and future generations of UNT students.”

Muller was also positive regarding Voertman’s legacy and impact on UNT students.

“Paul Voertman was deeply committed to and passionate about UNT,” Muller said. “His long-standing support helps students fulfill their dreams of earning a college degree and becoming world-class performers, artists and scholars.”

Brent Erskin purchased the bookstore in 2013 and said Voertman had a deep passion for serving the students at UNT, which included dedicating his time and money to the university.

“I can’t think of any reason he doesn’t deserve it,” Erskin said. “You can describe a laundry list of [reasons he deserves the recognition], including the fact that he established a business that is here to serve the community and this university.”

Voertman received numerous accolades, including being honored by the Greater Denton Arts Council and having the date Oct. 19 named in his honor.

Featured Image: As the CVAD building construction nears an end, questions about what the building will feature inside are undergoing deliberation. Kara Dry

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Devin Rardin

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