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UNT’s new residence hall to be named after ‘Mean’ Joe Greene

UNT’s new residence hall to be named after ‘Mean’ Joe Greene

UNT’s new residence hall to be named after ‘Mean’ Joe Greene
May 18
14:49 2018

The UNT Board of Regents voted unanimously to name the new UNT residence hall, currently under construction behind Kerr hall, after “Mean” Joe Greene during their meeting on May 18 in downtown Dallas.

“His history and legend are wrapped up in the mean green name,” Smatresk said. “It feels like a no-brainer for us to recognize him.”

Greene played football for UNT from 1966 to 1968 and he was the Pittsburgh Steeler’s fourth overall pick in the 1969 NFL draft. He was a two time NFL defensive player of the year and won four Super Bowls while playing for the Steelers.

The name was brought to the board via a recommendation by UNT president Neal Smatresk and system chancellor Lesa B. Roe.

The new 500-bed residence hall, now named Joe Greene hall, is 19,000 square feet and will include a visitor’s center and pod-style living. The residence hall is expected to be completed by March 28, 2019.

“I think the campus will celebrate his name,” Smatresk said.  “I think it will draw some favorable attention to us and it will make sure we have a full and happy residence hall.”

The name change was the last item on the agenda for the two-day meeting. The Board of Regents is the nine-person governing body for the UNT system and they must give their approval before the naming of buildings.

The Student Government Association did a twitter poll on March 30, asking students who they want the residence hall named after. Rodney Mitchell took the top spot with 55 percent of the votes and Joe Greene came in second with 22 percent of the votes.

“Students should feel proud that [the residence hall is being named after] a person of color and its someone who has given back in so many different ways and has a lasting legacy,” SGA president Barrett Cole said.“He ties into our spirit and traditions so hopefully [students] will look at [the naming] with pride.”

Elizabeth With, vice president of student affairs, said prospective students will see that Joe Greene is honored on campus because of the location of the residence hall and its proximity to a new dining hall and visitors center.

“I’m very excited,” With said. “He is an icon for us. Students love him, Faculty and staff love him and alumni love him.”

The naming comes after controversy surrounding the lack of UNT buildings named after people of color or women. Student Government Association Senator Misaki Collins made a petition via Twitter on Feb. 6, which gathered 1,000 signatures.

There are no buildings on UNT’s campus named after a person of color and Collins wanted to change that. The two buildings on campus named after women are Clark Hall and the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

Former UNT spokesperson Nancy Kolsti called the petition “reverse racism” in a personal email that Collins posted on Twitter. Kolsti’s resigned due to personal reasons on Feb. 16.

“If you look around our campus, we don’t have a lot of buildings named for women or minorities,” Smatresk said. “We don’t have a lot of buildings that recognize our most famous alumni.”  

Featured image: File

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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