A new University Welcome Center
that will greet prospective students, their families and visitors to The
University of Texas at Arlington will be named for an icon in the North Texas
Dan Dipert, chief executive
officer of Arlington-based Dan Dipert Travel & Transportation Ltd., and his
wife Linda have committed $400,000 toward construction of the University’s
first, free-standing visitors center. The 7,000-square-foot, high-tech center
will open in summer 2012 at South Center and East Second streets in the College Park District, UT
Arlington’s new residential and retail development that includes the world
class College Park Center.
The visitors center will be
named the Dan Dipert University Welcome Center in honor of Mr. Dipert, a
prominent civic and business leader, and Mrs. Dipert, marketing director for
Dan Dipert Travel.
Mr. Dipert is a past chairman of
the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Mrs. Dipert earned her
Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing from UT Arlington in
2001 and serves on the University’s Development
The Diperts said they chose to
support the Welcome Center to help fuel the momentum that University President
James D. Spaniolo has established since joining UT Arlington in 2004.
Enrollment is at an all-time
high of 33,421, making UT Arlington the second largest institution in The
University of Texas System. Research expenditures have nearly tripled over the
past six years to $63.6 million in 2010. The College Park District is bringing
new campus residences, restaurants, retail outlets and other activity to more
than 20 acres that seamlessly connect the University and the central business
“With all that has been going on
at UT Arlington over the past few years, it wasn’t a question of whether we
were going to do something – it was what could we do if we really stretched
ourselves,” Mr. Dipert said.
Mrs. Dipert added: “We hope this
will spur more people to do things to help the University, which contributes to
the revitalization of downtown and benefits the community as a whole.”
President Spaniolo said the
Diperts embody the spirit of community and outreach that will be evident
throughout the new Dan Dipert University Welcome Center.
“It makes perfect sense to have
their name attached to the marvelous, new Welcome Center,” Spaniolo said. “This
center will serve new and prospective students and their families, but it also
will serve all visitors who want to know more about the University. It’s our
entrance to the world of UT Arlington.”
The center will feature a
40-seat, circular theater with retractable glass walls that can be closed for
special events or opened for presentations. It will have a 360-degree imaging
board for electronic displays as
well as state of the art electronic displays and exhibits that tell the UT
Other amenities include a
visitors’ coffee bar, tour guide stations and a shared courtyard with the
adjacent Tom J. Vandergriff Hall for students. The Dan Dipert University Welcome
Center is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors a year.
Mrs. Dipert said her ties to UT
Arlington were cemented when, after successful careers in the cosmetics and
travel industries, she enrolled in the University’s College of Business. She
graduated first in her class.
“The Honors College gave me the
opportunity to study in Italy and France, and it was through the Honors College
that we met people who are still our closest friends,” she said. “I knew I had
to work harder, and I liked that. The Honors College made the difference for
Mr. Dipert’s first experience
with the University came in 1964 when he served as youth and recreation
director for First Baptist Church of Arlington and worked with the Baptist
Student Center at what was then Arlington State College.
The Dipert family will celebrate
the 40th anniversary of their business in 2012, as the College Park
District fully opens. Mr. Dipert recalled how he bought a small travel agency
from a local bank in 1972 and quickly migrated into the tour business when a
group asked him to take them to see the then-new Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
& Museum in Austin.
Since then, Dan Dipert Travel
has evolved into a thriving charter coach and tour business. The company is now
managed by Mr. Dipert’s son, Dan W. Dipert, who is president; and his daughter Autumn
Dipert Brown, who serves as chief operating officer.
For more about philanthropic
opportunities at UT Arlington, please contact the University’s Office of
Development at www.uta.edu/giving/ or
by phone at 817-272-2584.
To learn more about retail and
booking opportunities within the College Park District, please visit www.uta.edu/collegepark/.
For more about UT Arlington,
please visit www.uta.edu.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.