Now and then I am reassured that the next generation will progress in new ways that will improve society.
It happened again on a recent Saturday night when I attended the University of North Texas’ Emerald Ball (www.unt.edu), held this year at Dallas’ Belo Mansion. Established in 2007, The Emerald Ball supports UNT’s Emerald Eagle Scholars Program. The program helpsÂ outstanding UNT students, most first-generation college students in their families.
After the UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble entertained and we dined on beef tenderloin, we heard from some ofÂ those students. Wow, is what I can say. One is graduating in three-and-a-half years. One studied French at The Sorbonne in Paris. One hopes to go to law school.
UNT president, Dr. V. Lane Rawlins also spoke about the connections between our democracy and public education, a connection I think is at the foundation of this country. He talked about investing in these students being an investment in the future. A worthy investment, if you ask me.
These UNT students were all pointed toward success. My table mate, Emerald Eagle Scholar Miguel Robinson, will graduate with a master’s and already has secured a spot with one of the big accounting firms.Â Miguel, well-dressed with impeccable manners, will make a wonderful ambassador for bothÂ UNT and that accounting firm, too.
All kinds of plans were on these students’ minds. One scholar, Roberto Arriola, ensured he brought the right young woman with him intoÂ his future. As all of us in that ballroom watched, he popped “the” question to his girlfriend. You can see it here:
Happy ending it was. Amanda Hattoon agreed to be a part of Roberto’s future, and Dr. Rawlins brought the bride-to-be with him to the stage just to make sure she wasn’t feeling too much pressure.
“There’s no one I’d rather marry than that boy over there,” Amanda said, pointing to her new fiance.
And we all applauded the hope, the happiness, the success and the intelligence in the ballroom that night.