The College of Science is proud to announce that Dr. Linda Truitt Creagh, UNT Chemistry alumna and longtime COS Advancement Board member, has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNT Alumni Association. She was presented with the award at a special ceremony and dinner on November 2.
"Dr. Creagh is one of the pioneers in our College of Science," said Interim Dean Dr. Quintanilla. "She actually received the first PhD in science offered by the University of North Texas about fifty-five years ago and she has been a tireless advocate for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in both academia and in the workplace."
Dr. Creagh said she is "flattered and humbled" to receive the award.
"Alums like Linda Creagh make it possible for students to make their dreams of becoming scientists and/or teachers of science come true," said Dr. Rudi Thompson, Director of Teach North Texas. "Linda deserves this alumni award because of her selflessness; Linda is truly an alum who cares and embodies what it means to have the Mean Green spirit."
A long-standing member of the UNT Alumni Association, Dr. Creagh graduated with a bachelor degree in chemistry and a minor in mathematics from UNT in 1962. She received her MA in organic chemistry in 1963, and went on to become UNT's first recipient of a doctoral degree in Chemistry in 1967. After earning her degree, she enjoyed a successful career as a research chemist, advancing liquid crystal display (LCD) technology at Texas Instruments and developing printer and ink-jet technology for Xerox, Spectra, and Fuji Film. She retired in 2008.
Dr. Creagh recalls that most of her life has been connected to the university. Her father, Dr. Price Truitt, was a science professor here, and North Texas State College even had a demonstration school which she attended as a kindergartener in 1945. It just made sense to pursue her education here, she reminisces. "Growing up, I saw how much my father enjoyed teaching and mentoring his students. I saw how rewarding he found his time in the lab," she said. "Our family friends were university faculty."
Besides serving as a dedicated Advancement Board Member in the College of Science, Dr. Creagh is a UNT Diamond Eagle and member of both the 1890 Society and the Chilton Society. In 2019, she made a major gift to the UNT Mathematics department, who named a lab after her in recognition of her generosity. Dr. Creagh has also funded dozens of scholarships, programs, and research projects, and can often be found on campus lending a hand with events, search committees, and other volunteer efforts at the university. She and her family created the Price and Elaine B. Truitt Endowment Fund, and her daughter also attended UNT for Early Childhood Education, earning her BS in 1986 and her MEd in 1991.
It is clear that Dr. Creagh's commitment to student success and research initiatives at UNT is unmatched; she takes pride in helping the university grow. "I'd like to see UNT continue to thrive in the path it seems to be developing now," she said. "Accepting a diverse range of students, providing financial and emotional assistance to the students who need it, and personal guidance for those attending college for the first time. Giving that kind of support is so important. I think that's a very necessary role for a state supported institution to have, and I'm proud to be a part of that."