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UNT announces it will receive largest bequest in school history from Voertman estate

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Staff report, Denton Record-Chronicle

The University of North Texas announced Tuesday that it will receive the largest bequest in its history from the estate of Paul R. Voertman, the former owner of Denton's iconic Voertman's Bookstore and a local patron of art and music.

Voertman died June 21 at the age of 88.

A celebration of his life and a concert to honor both him and his longtime partner, the late Richard Ardoin, will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday at UNT's Murchison Performing Arts Center. The public is invited to attend.

Voertman's gift to UNT, projected to be at least $10 million, is designated to the colleges of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Music, and Visual Arts and Design. The funds will primarily support scholarships and fellowships, as well as research and creative activities such as the Opera Production Fund.

"This gift will have a tremendous impact on UNT, our students and their opportunities for research and creative exploration today and for future generations to come," UNT President Neal Smatresk said. "Denton was Paul's home, and he was a community-minded business owner who gave back to UNT and this community in so many meaningful ways."

Voertman and Ardoin were extremely generous to UNT during their lifetimes, according to a UNT news release issued Tuesday.

Ardoin, who died in 2002, made a significant estate gift to UNT that includes a charitable trust. With Voertman's bequest, the couple's combined giving to the university totals more than $15 million, making them UNT's top donors.

FEATURED PHOTO: Paul Voertman is shown at his Denton home in 2011. (DRC file photo)