Ernest Kuehne Jr was presented the inaugural Wings of Eagles Presidential Award by UNT President Neal Smatresk on April 16 at the Wingspan Gala.
The Wings of Eagles Presidential Award celebrates creativity, spirit and innovation at UNT. It is awarded to an alumnus or friend who embodies what UNT represents: engagement, generosity and affinity. It is the most prestigious award presented by the president to someone who has made a transformative impact on the university.
Ernie Kuehne (’66), a native of Mart, Texas, enrolled at the university on a track scholarship in 1962. After graduating from UNT with a political science degree in 1966, he enrolled at Baylor University where he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1969. He and his wife, Pam, are staunch supporters of UNT. He has three children: Ernie III (Trip), Hank and Kelli.
UNT has benefited from Ernie’s unwavering commitment to the university, its athletes, its students and the community at large. Ernie’s personal generosity is only amplified by his ability to mobilize his peers in the community and build excitement for UNT. His passionate leadership and influence has raised more than $15 million for athletics, the Kristin Farmer Autism Center, logistics and his speaker series. When matching Texas Research Incentive Program funding is included, the impact surpasses $20 million.