John J. Kamerick was president of the University of North Texas for just two years, but he made those years count.
Kamerick, who served at what was then North Texas State University from 1968 to 1970, died April 13 at age 95 in Sarasota, Florida.
When he led the university in Denton, Kamerick pressed for historic reforms. He recruited faculty and students in writing academic and campus policies — moves that made way for a faculty senate and political speakers’ visits to campus.
Kamerick’s leadership finally allowed students to establish a chapter of civil rights organization the NAACP.
Under his leadership, the university also launched its first courses in black history and culture.
Before coming to Denton, Kamerick served as the vice president and provost of Kent State University.
He was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, and earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose University. Kamerick received his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Iowa.
Kamerick was president and a history professor at the University of Northern Iowa from 1970 to 1986 and was a member and leader in a number of educational associations. He was a decorated World War II veteran, having served on the USS Hogan.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sheila Kamerick. Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Elaine, as well as his son, Michael; four daughters, Eileen, Kathleen, Maureen and Megan; and four grandchildren.
Friends and family celebrated a funeral Mass for Kamerick on April 18.