The Legend of the Eagle Feather

by Samuel E. Matteson, Professor, University of North Texas

Eagles soar and from great heights see vistas less majestic creatures never know. Thus, from antiquity, these noble birds have been sacred to Native Americans, who mark rites of passage of their young toward maturity and wisdom with the symbolic gift of an eagle feather. With this highest honor, the recipient knows he must thereafter adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards. Undergraduate scholars, who are completing their first major research projects, are likewise honored by their mentors with publication of their work in The Eagle Feather. To them we say, “Go forth, and ever soar on eagle wings!”


The Eagle Feather is an interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal for students at the University of North Texas. The mission of TEF is to promote high quality research among undergraduates. Research can be in any basic or applied field of study, including the physical and life sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, education, engineering, and the arts. Types of articles may include reports on empirical quantitative and qualitative research, policy analysis, historical analysis, case studies, critical reviews of literature in an area, theoretical articles, methodological articles, and critical literary or artistic analysis. Publication in TEF gives public recognition to students who excel in research, and to their faculty mentors, who excel in teaching research to new generations of scholars.