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Former LDS stake president retires as president of the University of North Texas

By Sonja Carlson

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014 11:15 a.m. MST

“He’s a real believer in leveraging the resources of community, city and university and did so very effectively,” Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs said in an interview with the Denton Record-Chronicle. “He was so good at pulling out what the true issues were and cutting to the chase. For that reason, even though he was at the university for a relatively short time, his impact was really felt by the city.”

A university honors residence hall will be named after President Rawlins, which is “a real surprise.”

“They don’t do that very often, and I think I’ve been told it was something the students wanted to do, which really moved me and touched me. ... I’m just honored. Nobody deserves that kind of thing, but when it happens, certainly you feel honored by it. Actually what it makes you feel is you want to keep giving as much as you can for the place,” he said.

President Rawlins will continue to serve the university as president emeritus. He might come back and teach one more course as well, he said.

“Our university is a special place, with an honorable and successful history, and I am privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as UNT president since 2010,” President Rawlins said in a letter to the UNT community announcing his retirement March 5, 2013. “Three years ago I never dreamed I would stay more than a few months, but I fell in love with UNT, its students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the broader community. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly, and for working together with me for a brighter future for UNT.”

According to the UNT Office of the President, he received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in economics and his bachelor of science in economics from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Mary Jo, are members of the Denton 4th Ward in the Denton Texas Stake.

scarlson@deseretnews.com

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