Wendell Nedderman, the former University of Texas at Arlington president who oversaw the largest growth in university's history, died Wednesday at the age of 97.
Nedderman served as the university president from 1972 to 1992, when he retired.
Current UTA President Vistasp Karbhari sent out an email to the university community Wednesday morning announcing Nedderman's demise.
"[Nedderman's] impact on our campus and on higher education in North Texas, and for that matter across our State, cannot be overstated," Karbhari said in the emai.
Nedderman joined the university as the founding dean of the College of Engineering in 1959. He then served as the vice president for research and graduate affairs, followed by the role as the graduate school administrator and vice president for academic affairs.
He became the acting president of UTA in 1972. Two years later, he began his stint as the president that lasted almost two decades.
During his time as the president, enrollment at UTA grew from less than 14,000 to over 25,000. The growth coupled with 24 new buildings and over 60 new programs.
“President Nedderman was an inspirational leader, far ahead of his times in his vision for the University of Texas at Arlington, and his passion and dedication to excellence and student success set the standard and bar high for all those who follow him,” Karbhari said in a statement. “Our University is where it is today—a national powerhouse and a leader in teaching, research and outreach—because of the path that he set and the battles he fought for UTA. His legacy will be felt for years to come and he will always be remembered as a giant among University leaders."
His wife had passed away several years ago. Nedderman was residing in Frisco with his son and his family.
Nedderman is survived by four children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.