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In 1957, after a vigorous lobbying effort by the Denton Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation chose Denton
as the site for the state school because of the city's proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth and because of its universities-Texas Woman's University, which at that time had the largest nursing program in the state, and North Texas State Teachers College (now the University of North Texas), which had the largest teacher-training facility in Texas. Another influence on the department's decision was the city's pledge to donate land for the school. In thirty-four days during November and December of 1957, 2,000 Denton residents contributed $102,000 to a Mental School Cash Campaign conducted by the city's chamber of commerce.