Willis Library 50th Anniversary

Black and white photograph of a person laying down reading a book. The background is beige with a large yellow circle on the left with text in orange reading Willis Library 50th Anniversary 1971-2021.

Willis Library has become a major landmark on the UNT Denton campus since its construction in the late 1960s. It was originally expected to open for the Fall 1970 semester, but delays pushed back the opening date considerably to June 4, 1971. The library was named after A.M. Willis Jr., in 1978, for his service to the university as a Board of Regents member and Chairperson. Prior to being named Willis Library, the building was simply referred to as the new library.

The Library has always been an obvious destination for studying, especially around midterms and finals, and has been lovingly referred to as “Club Willis” since the mid-2000s. The library mall has also been a major spot for commemorative photos, activism, and university events.

Though Willis Library is not the building originally envisioned, it has allowed the UNT Libraries to become a top tier research library, housing a wonderful array of resources, including a government documents repository, the number one music library in the country, a top tier archives and special collections department, and a state-of-the-art makerspace.

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