Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Emeritus professor Bill Watson active in art world.

From time to time in the late 1990s, Emeritus Chemistry Professor Bill Watson and I shared an elevator as we headed to our respective offices in the Sid Richardson building. By day, the highly respected Watson guided students through the mental maze of chemistry and conducted research on x-ray crystallography, among other areas of chemical interest.

But, as I eventually discovered, Bill Watson is quite the Renaissance man, with many interests, including art. While still at TCU, he painted an outdoor-scene on one wall of his crowded office, turned old CDs into a mobile and added graffiti-like cartoon faces to a row of gray filing cabinets.

Retired for several years, Watson — who lives in Santa Fe — is now enjoying the art scene full time. Check out his work and activities at

Here’s what Joyce Asper with the Agora Gallery recently said about Watson’s creations on display at their gallery:

“Drawing inspiration from science, shamanistic ritual and medicine and native art, Bill Watson creates dreamscapes of exploration and connectivity. Highly stylized, many compositions feature animal or spirit forms and illustrate variations on folk tales and Native American beliefs.

Watson’s themes are emphasized by the intense, joyous colors he uses, running through a wide range of bright earth tones juxtaposed so as to create high impact and luminous draw. The various elements of the paintings are linked — often by lines or strings of abstracted shapes — and fill the canvas organically.

Watson employs deftly blended brushstrokes that give his surfaces a warm dappled feeling and leave a light surface texture that adds depth to the otherwise linear represented forms. The overall effect is of a narrative journey — a mysterious one, but one which arouses intense curiosity, pleasure, and sometimes even amusement.”

Check out Watson’s Website— Nancy

Monday, August 24, 2009

TCU offers Web page on swine flu preparedness

As school begins here and across the country, reports of a predicted new wave of H1N1 (swine) flu this fall have begun.

In response, TCU has announced an information and resource Web page related to the virus, which includes news updates, information links and fact sheets about symptoms and ways to prevent getting sick.

TCU will work with local health authorities to monitor H1N1 in the Fort Worth-Dallas area and its impact on the university. The university also will monitor the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization for information about the progression of the flu.


The Office of Student Affairs informed the campus late Monday afternoon, that officials have confirmed that 10 students have been identified as having H1N1/swine flu. All the cases appear to be mild and all are being treated with Tamiflu.

"Because more is now known about H1N1/swine flu, the CDC recently issued new guidelines for schools and colleges on how to handle H1N1/swine flu cases," said Don Mills, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. "Unlike last spring, the CDC does not recommend closure of institutions but rather recommends that each ill student avoid interaction with the general campus population and not attend classes until fever-free for 24 hours without the assistance of fever reduction medication. Additionally, students who are ill and live in the local area may go home if they wish. In the future, any student confirmed with Influenza Type A will receive medical treatment for H1N1/swine flu. "

The university is reminding faculty, staff and students to practice good hygiene and seek medical attention for any flu-like symptoms. If faculty, staff or students become ill, they are encouraged to seek medical attention as soon as possible and avoid contact with others, Mills said. Students may go to the Brown-Lupton Health Center during clinic hours. Faculty, staff and students also may seek medical attention through private physicians or local hospitals.

Mills also noted that TCU cleans general residence hall areas with hospital grade chemicals on a daily basis.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1,822 new students at Freshmen Assembly

They sat in the air-conditioned comfort of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in their purple Class of 2013 shirts - all 1,822 (or so) of them - future lawyers, doctors, editors, entrepreneurs, artists and who knows what else, clutching candles, belting out the alma mater and taking the first step toward their destinies.

As for the rest of the TCU Community, as English professor and keynote speaker Richard Enos put it, "We have the privilege of watching what you will become right before our very eyes."

With feelings of hope and promise and potential, a feel-good Freshmen Assembly adjourned. The school year has officially begun.

Enos, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr., Provost Nowell Donovan, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills and others spent the hour encouraging and inspiring the group with the simple charge of beginning their college careers being smart and successful.

And they're not the same thing.

"The world is filled with talented individuals who have done nothing," Enos preached. "Don't fall victim to the notion that quickness equals brilliance. Writing an A paper just before deadline or cramming the night before an exam might make you smart. But it is not a pattern for success. The cure for cancer will not be discovered in this way."

Using examples of Victor Hugo, Jean Francios Champollion and Isocrates, Enos urged students to embody three traits of individuals who can outsmart those smarter than they: talent, practice and experience.

"You are all talented," he said. "But talented unrealized is talent wasted. My hope is that as partners in the TCU learning community that we will help one another mature and teach the passion to be great and work hard."

Scharbauer Hall nearing completion

The 74,000-square-foot Scharbauer Hall is still a few months away from its December 2009 estimated completion date, but it's hard to tell from across the Campus Commons.

The behemoth structure, which looms over the east side of the Commons in front of a bubbling Frog Fountain, will house the John V. Roach Honors College and AddRan College of Liberal Arts, starting in the Spring 2010 semester in January. It will have LEED certification as a "green" building.

Construction crews have completed the brick work around the perimeter and are working on the top stone harness piece the rest of August, said Harold Leeman, major projects director for the TCU Physical Plant.

Many of the interior details are being checked off the list too. The insides are all painted, save for the fourth floor. Even the ceiling tiles are in place on the first floor. No fixtures or furniture are installed yet, but that will come toward the end of the fall semester. Weather-appropriate landscaping around the building will be planted in December.

Meanwhile, the courtyard between Scharbauer and Reed Hall will be the final items completed, Leeman said. Reed's west side has new windows, but the sidewalks, garden circle and landscaping remain. Reed Hall itself will close for the Spring 2010 semester and open again in August.

In other construction efforts:
- Milton-Daniel Residence Hall, which closed in May for renovation, has gotten a new storm drain in recent weeks, and a new electrical system will be tied in possibly as soon as next week. Milton-Daniel is being renovated to house students of the Honors College. It is estimated to reopen in August 2010.
- Colby Hall will likely follow Milton-Daniel in renovations, and Sadler Hall may be in line for future upgrades.
- The Physical Plant will pursue existing building LEED certification for the Brown-Lupton University Union in September, essentially earning the "green" status on the back end, rather than prior to completion. "We're collecting data from some the meters in the kitchen and air conditioning units and what "green" chemicals are used to clean it," Leeman said. "Basically, it will get LEED status based on how the building operates, as opposed to how it was constructed."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

TCU Football scrimmages after two weeks of fall camp

The TCU football team is 17th in the preseason Associated Press poll released this morning, matching its ranking in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll unveiled earlier this month.

The Horned Frogs have their highest preseason ranking since 1960, when they were 11th. It's the fifth time since 2000 that TCU has been ranked in the preseason. The previous four occasions saw the Frogs no higher than 20th.

With an 11-2 record in 2008, the Frogs were ranked seventh in last year's final Associated Press and USA Today polls. It was the fifth time in the last seven seasons the Frogs won at least 10 games, including four 11-win campaigns.

TCU opens the 2009 season on Sept. 12 at Virginia.

The AP ranking did not cheer up an upset head coach Gary Patterson, who labeled the defensive effort as "bad."

Pressed to elaborate, Patterson rattled off a list including "enthusiasm, tackling, accountability and heart," then, when pressed more, responded to Star-Telegram beat writer Stefan Stevenson, "Just write 'bad' with a period."

Dealing with a depleted unit, Patterson has been forced to give more reps to third-, fourth-, and fifth-string players. Solid performances from defensive end Jerry Hughes, Daryl Washington and Tejay Johnson did little to temper his mood.

Patterson was complimentary of the offense, saying that the group "played well" and "showed they wanted it more."

Highlights of the day:

- Jeremy Kerley had two long punt returns, one for a touchdown, that drew oohs and ahhs, but were nullified by penalties.

- Kickers Ross Evans and Kevin Sharples were sharp on their field goal attempts. Evans closed practice with a 52-yard effort that cleared the crossbar with a few yards to spare.

- Under good coverage, wide receiver Antoine Hicks hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andy Dalton.

- Running backs Chris Smith, Matthew Tucker and Andre Dean had touchdown runs.

2009 Preseason Associated Press Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses and total points received)

1. Florida (58) - 1,498
2. Texas (2) - 1,424
3. Oklahoma - 1,370
4. USC - 1,313
5. Alabama - 1,156
6. Ohio State - 1,113
7. Virginia Tech - 1,054
8. Mississippi - 1,047
T9. Oklahoma State - 989
T9. Penn State - 989
11. LSU - 914
12. California - 746
13. Georgia - 714
14. Boise State - 659
15. Georgia Tech - 593
16. Oregon - 587
17. TCU - 521
18. Florida State - 307
19. Utah - 289
20. BYU - 267
21. North Carolina - 261
22. Iowa - 229
23. Notre Dame - 225
24. Nebraska - 207
25. Kansas - 134

Friday, August 21, 2009

2009-10 Faculty/Staff Opening Luncheon

Let the record show that Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. was joking.

In a breezy, humor-filled pep talk to the university’s faculty and staff this afternoon, Boschini playfully attempted to extinguish any potential grumbling about inconveniences associated with welcoming the largest incoming freshmen class in TCU history, estimated at 1,866. (Now, it appears the number is closer to 1,822. Official numbers will be available on the 12th day of class.)

“I don’t want to hear any complaints. Be nice to these kids,” joked Boschini, who frequently went off script and showed much of his personality. “If you like having a job, a good job, if you like health care, raises, then make sure those ... kids feel like they’re appreciated and welcome.”

The crowd roared with laughter.

As TCU officially began its 137th academic year with the annual Faculty/Staff Opening Luncheon, held in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, the chancellor addressed the blessings and challenges TCU will see in 2009-10, especially in light of the troubled economy.

With an estimated 8,696 students enrolled for Fall 2009, TCU has its largest student body in history, with residence halls at approximately 109 percent of capacity.

The endowment has eclipsed the $1 billion mark again, the chancellor said, showing a steadiness that is far outpacing what most institutions are experiencing.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for TCU now totals more than $205 million and continues to support scholarships, academic programs and faculty research.

The university has seen the completion or near-completion of three updated facilities: The Mabee Foundation Education Complex, which opened last year; Scharbauer Hall, which will be home of the John V. Roach Honors College, when it opens in January 2010; and dormitory Sherley Hall, which opened this week to freshmen men and women.

“I heard one dad comment that it’s nicer than the Hyatt. It’s also more expensive,” Boschini joked.

The Board of Trustees, in April, did set tuition at $28,250 for the academic year, but Boschini was quick to add that the university has also administered its greatest-ever portion of financial aid – $150 million in scholarships, grants and loans. Much of it comes directly from the university, which increased institutionally funded financial aid to $73 million this year, in part to help students affected by the economic downturn. The university also set aside $350,000 to help students who have been most affected by the economy.

The chancellor also noted that TCU had welcomed some 150,000 visitors to campus during the summer, from a record 392 freshmen at Frog Camps to orientation sessions to various workshops and institutes. Then he stepped aside as other summer highlights were shown on a video slideshow, comically narrated by Frog Club President John Denton ’85.

The crowd also heard briefly from Faculty Senate Chair Art Busby, associate professor of geology, who announced that the panel would organize a first-ever All-Faculty Picnic in late March to promote community across disciplines. The group will also continue its focus on peer-to-peer exchanges, tenure issues and the economic downturn.

The Rev. Angela Kaufman ’95, chair of the Staff Assembly, said she and staff representatives would take their monthly meetings “on the road” to various locations on campus to encourage greater participation and community.

Student Government Association President Kelsie Johnson encouraged faculty and staff to join students in living up to the university reputation of family friendliness.

“As the campus changes and the faces around it change, one thing remains: the spirit of the Horned Frog family, even if we’re having an Octo-mom experience,” Johnson quipped.

At the end of the hour, Boschini announced Susan B. Adams, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs and dean of Campus Life, as the recipient of the Chancellor’s Staff Award for Outstanding Service.

“Kelsie [Johnson] was right: None of us could do all of the jobs around the campus alone, but collectively, we can make TCU an exceptional place,” Adams said.

Other finalists included: Mary Kincannon, associate registrar; Ross Bailey, associate athletics director for facilities; Stan Hagadone, associate director of admission for Brite Divinity School; Cheryl Wilson, controller for Finance and Administration; Henri Etta Kilgore, budget manager for Marketing and Communication; and Sondra Harris, executive assistant in the Alumni Office.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

TCU ranked 110 in U.S. News rankings

School may not start until Monday, but the country's eyes are on colleges today. The controversial, but highly visible U.S. News & World Report College Rankings hit the news this morning. TCU was ranked 110th, within the top 2 tiers.

The ranking's methodology is based on 15 indicators, from a reputation survey to admission statistics, faculty numbers, financial resources, alumni participation data, giving, graduation and retention rates and others.

"Certainly, TCU has a very positive story to be told," said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. "Simply put: We offer a very high quality major university education in a newly revitalized and intellectually stimulating campus environment. For the type of leader-potential student we admit, we believe TCU is the best choice they can make for their own personal development. The university is making significant strides forward, even in these hard economic times."

Recent news stories in Inside Higher Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education have suggested that the primary ranking problem for many institutions is with the peer review portion of the survey. Many opponents of the rankings claim that established institutional CEOs rank their own institution at the very top every year and also tend to list the same other institutions in roughly the same spots as in previous years, thus suggesting that they don't have enough information or time to fairly assess institutions they don't know.

Boschini's response: "Indeed. a very few institutions do seem to break the mold and get recognized each year. Our plan at TCU is to keep on track with our top quality programs and campus experience, and to keep telling our story as aggressively as we can. We believe that over time our story will be heard by those who ranks colleges and universities, just as it is now being heard by our prospective students and other constituents.

(Photo by Jon Uzzel)

Campus move-in

This week brought thousands of families to campus for residence hall move-in, and for the fourth year, faculty and staff volunteers were there to help. Lugging suitcases, laundry hampers, guitar cases and more, approximately 150 helpers lent a hand over four days in one the best shows of the genuine friendliness found at TCU, said Dave Cooper, associate director of Residential Services.

I helped out at a very slow Brachman Hall. With classes starting Monday, most students seemed to already be here. Here's a look at Campus Move-In 2009 by the numbers:

1,860: Number of new students moving into housing on Aug. 12, 14, 17 and 19. ( That's up from the earlier estimate of 1,750 in the press release.)

150: Number of faculty, staff and students volunteered to help new students move in. Only about 30 of the 150 are students.

450-500: Number of volunteer hours expected to be contributed by people helping freshmen move in.

3,900: Number of freshmen and upper classmen living in campus housing this fall.

600: Number of fraternity and sorority members living in Greek housing.

2,003: Number of rooms in campus housing, including Greek housing.

1,713: Number of rooms in campus housing, excluding Greek housing.

350: Number of rooms in Milton Daniel that are not in use during renovation. (Colby Hall will be next, by the way. Look for it to close in Summer 2010 and reopen by August 2011.)

7: Residence halls designated exclusively for freshmen - Colby (All freshmen women); Clark (co-ed and freshmen Honors housing); Foster (co-ed housing and Freshmen Interest Groups); Waits, Brachman and Moncrief also house co-ed freshmen.

4: Semesters that freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, which includes TCU-affiliated housing at the privately owned The GrandMarc at West Berry.

3,900: Beds on campus, including in fraternity and sorority houses.

25: Percent of students living on campus who are juniors or seniors.

(Photo by Glen E. Ellman)

New TCU Football Web video is out

The latest TCU Football Web video is out, and it features junior quarterback Andy Dalton.

If you missed the first one, it highlighted senior defensive end and consensus All-American Jerry Hughes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baseball coach throws out first pitch

Baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Texas Rangers' home game with the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

A crowd of 40,311 was on hand at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

TCU has won conference championships all six seasons Schlossnagle has been in the Horned Frog dugout. During that span, TCU has posted the six-highest single-season win totals in its history.

Schlossnagle has been named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year all four years TCU has been in the league. Including the 2003 campaign, when he was head coach at UNLV, Schlossnagle is a five-time conference coach of the year.

The 2009 Horned Frogs (40-18) won the Fort Worth Regional before falling in the deciding game of the Super Regional to Texas, leaving TCU just one game short of the College World Series.

(Photo courtesy TCU Athletics)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Football team ranked 17th in Coaches' Poll

The TCU football team is 17th in the preseason USA Today poll, representing
its highest preseason ranking since 1960 when it was 11th.

It's the fifth time since 2000 that TCU has been ranked in the preseason.
The previous four occasions saw the Frogs no higher than 20th.

TCU, with an 11-2 record, was ranked seventh in last year's final Associated
Press and USA Today polls. It was the fourth time in the last six seasons
the Frogs reached 11 wins.

TCU opens the 2009 campaign on Sept. 12 at Virginia. The Frogs are one of
just two teams in the nation to have an open date on Sept. 5.

Three Mountain West Conference teams are ranked. Utah is 17th with BYU at No. 24.

2009 Preseason USA Today Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses and total points received)

1. Florida (53) - 1,466
2. Texas (4) - 1,386
3. Oklahoma (1) - 1,358
4. USC (1) - 1,321
5. Alabama - 1,134
6. Ohio State - 1,126
7. Virginia Tech - 1,020
8. Penn State - 988
9. LSU - 917
10. Mississippi - 889
11. Oklahoma State - 861
12. California - 711
13. Georgia - 707
14. Oregon - 694
15. Georgia Tech - 559
16. Boise State - 542
17. TCU - 461
18. Utah - 404
19. Florida State - 371
20. North Carolina - 293
21. Iowa - 257
22. Nebraska - 236
23. Notre Dame - 194
24. BYU - 178
25. Oregon State - 165

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TCU commerical shoot on campus

TCU shot its upcoming television spot - the one that will air during football games in the fall - in front of Sadler Hall and Frog Fountain this afternoon. About 20 faculty, staff members and administrators lent a hand as extras during a scene depicting a political speech being covered by a student journalist.

With angry skies threatening to wash out the effort, Red Productions (founded by TCU alum Red Sanders '05) kept a nervous watch but continued filming until dusk, wrapping the session in front of Frog Fountain.

The video above shows a take from the public speech scene.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Changes at the Vice Chancellor level

Chancellor Victor Boschini, Jr. announced today the addition of a new vice chancellor and a new member of his senior cabinet.

Larry Lauer, (above) former Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication, moves to a new position - Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs. Tracy Syler-Jones, (below) former Associate Vice Chancellor, will begin serving as Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication.

The moves simply made official an arrangement that had been in place for months.

Lauer has spent the last two semesters focusing on building TCU's presence in Washington, D.C., among leaders of government and higher education lobbyists. He has successfully collaborated with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has also been actively involved in Texas legislative issues in Austin.

Syler-Jones has assumed oversight of the universities marketing and communcation operations, including media relations, publications, special projects, community and church relations and Web site management.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Media pick TCU Football as preseason favorite

The media covering the Mountain West Conference have picked the Frogs as the league's preseason favorite during MWC Media Days this week in Las Vegas.

The Horned Frogs closed last season with a No. 7 ranking by the Associated Press and the USA Today's Coaches Poll. It was the highest season-ending ranking for TCU Football since 1959. TCU's 11-2 season concluded with a 17-16 victory over No. 9 Boise State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The 11 wins are the fourth time in six seasons the Frogs have reached that mark and the fifth time in seven years to win double-digit games.

Led by concensus All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes, the nation's leader in sacks, the Frogs return four starters on a unit that ranked first in the country in total defense and run defense. It was second in scoring defense.

On offense, the Frogs welcome back seven starters from a group that set program records in points scored (437) and touchdowns (56).

MWC Pre-season Poll
(First Place votes are in parantheses)
1. TCU (15) - 207
2. BYU (6) - 190
3. Utah (3) - 179
4. Air Force - 130
5. UNLV - 108
6. Colorado State - 107
7. New Mexico - 60
8. San Diego State - 53
9. Wyoming - 46

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Statue of Charles Tandy moved to TCU this morning

Charles Tandy arrived early, about 8 a.m., wrapped like a corpse. His trademark stogie still dangled between two fingers. His other hand was shoved confidently in his pocket.

It was moving day.

After the harnesses strapped around his head and groin were removed, the 8-foot bronze likeness of the late Tandy Corporation founder and Fort Worth philanthropist was secured in its new home on the west side of Tandy Hall early this afternoon. It took a forklift ride from the street and a four-hour, labor-intensive process to turn him into position, drill holes for his base and lower him onto his new perch.

Once he got situated, he stood with authority overseeing the lawn between Tandy Hall and the Tucker Technology Center, seemingly right at home. The statue will be officially dedicated in September.

"Great cities need great universities," said O. Homer Erekson, dean of the Neeley School of Business. "Charles Tandy was a giant who helped build this great community, and the Neeley School aspires to the kind of great institution that would honor Mr. Tandy's legacy. We're tremendously honored to have the statue of his likeness here on the TCU campus."

The statue had spent almost three decades of gazing northward across the Trinity River from its longtime vantage point in Paddock Park behind the Tarrant County Courthouse. On July 7, it was removed for restoration and cleaning before arriving on campus.

Artist Jim Reno sculpted the $300,000 statue 28 years ago; it was a gift to Fort Worth from the Burnett-Tandy Foundation, which Anne Burnett Tandy established after her husband’s death in 1978.

Though it has been moved, the statue remains in the Fort Worth Public Art collection and is owned by the city. A $30,000 grant from the Burnett-Tandy Foundation is paying for moving expenses and reinstallation. The foundation chipped in $3,000 more for maintenance and preservation work for its first years at TCU, according to Jenny Conn, collection manager for Fort Worth Public Art.

TCU and the city are still negotiating costs for ongoing maintenance, Conn said, amounting to about $700 every 12 to 16 months. Every seven years, the statue requires a coat of preservative for around $1,500.

The university is providing the design, engineering and fabrication of the new pedestal, as well as lighting and any landscaping or irrigation modifications needed after the installation.

This report contains material from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

See more photos at

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New name for Journalism news lab

The Schieffer School of Journalism is now referring to the new multimedia all-purpose room on the second floor of Moudy South as the “Convergence Center.”

Scheduled to open in mid-August, it has been described on architectural drawings in the past as the “Converged News Room” and elsewhere as the Convergence News Center or the Converged News Lab. "None quite fits its expansive mission – a lab for creating news content, a lab for creating Strategic Communication content, a learning center, a newsroom for student media, a broadcast facility for both radio and television and a showcase for the university," said John Lumpkin, director of the Schieffer School.

The contractor is scheduled to turn over the first phase of the construction on July 24, after it passes city inspection.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Power washing Sadler; bricking Scharbauer

Using power washers and brushes, utility crews worked today to clean up the outside of Sadler Hall. Built-up grime was not hard to see, as workers stood atop three cranes on the building's front, back and south sides. The work will be completed by week's end.

Meanwhile, crews have built a wood ramp on the north side of the front steps to make the building accessible to the disabled on side facing University Drive. Additionally, on the Sadler lobby steps, a lift has been installed, although it is not yet operational. The ramp in the back of Sadler which led to the old post office remains.

Other construction workers continued bricking the outside of Scharbauer Hall and adding the concrete seal adornments on the building's facade, which now mirrors the Brown-Lupton University Union. (And no, the magazine simply will not use the union's unfortunately common acronym.) Scharbauer Hall will open in January 2010 as the home to the John V. Roach Honors College.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shakespeare Festival ends

After three weeks and 20 performances, the first Trinity Shakespeare Festival at TCU ended Sunday night. The festival, which included productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet in repertory, will return in June 2010, thanks to a grant through the university's Vision In Action effort. The festival is currently seeking funding beyond that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

LaDainian Tomlinson back on campus

TCU football All-American and current San Diego Chargers All-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson was on campus yesterday for an appearance at his annual summer camp in Fort Worth. LT went to every age group, making hand-offs to every camper and frequently saluting the kids' good form and stance.

About an hour later, Tomlinson spent about 15 minutes taking questions from the media. Having been away from campus since last summer, he remarked about the new Dutch Meyer Athletics Complex and Abe Martin Academic Enhancement Center.

“It’s good to be back at TCU again. They’ve done a great job with this place, building suites and everything else. Now, just looking for that BCS game."

Asked what had changed about TCU since his senior season nine years ago, he commented on the pictures of old Horned Frog heroes.

“What I see more than anything is the history. That’s the way that it should be. I love to see what they’ve done to the place with all the academic centers and the other things that have changed since I’ve been here. I’m looking forward to being around a little bit more as I go into the twilight of my career and then retirement, to come back here and watch some football games and tailgate. I’ve never been able to do that, so maybe in another five years or so.”

And, of course, having turned 30 on Tuesday, he answered a few questions about his future in the NFL and if he was slowing down.

“One thing that happens to guys as they get older is their energy level starts to decrease. It’s just human nature. Guys can’t work out like they use to. I don’t necessarily think that’s how it’s been for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have any surgeries. My body still feels good and I work out just as hard as I use to. For me, that’s how I judge if I’m starting to slow down.”

Tomlinson also addressed the additional scrutiny he felt last season, in which he was injured.

“I can’t tell you how I feel inside, but I read the magazines. I’m just wondering what they’re going to say when I go out and lead the league again and win a Super Bowl. To me, that’s the number one goal. I haven’t won a championship yet and I said when I first got to San Diego that I wanted to bring a championship to the city, to the fans, and to the organization. I just have to finish what I started.”

He also teased a fun wrinkle the Chargers may have in store in the upcoming season.

“We’re doing the Wildcat [formation], but we’re calling it the ‘Frog.’ I’m lining up at quarterback. I’ve been getting on (head coach) Norv (Turner) about not letting me throw. He promised me that I’m going to throw two touchdowns this year.”

LT also gave a 20-minute Q and A with Frog Club Director John Denton at a meeting of the Committee to Back the Frogs. Invariably, the conversation turned to Tomlinson's NCAA-record 406-yard rushing game against UTEP in November 1999. But interestingly, it was a low point in that game that he remembers most.

"I remember late in the first half, we had the ball and I fumbled. They got the ball and went in and scored right before halftime to tie the game. In the locker room, Coach Fran got on my case, saying, 'Don't fumble the ball!' That got my focus back where it should have been, and I went out and got the record the second half."

He also joked with current head coach Gary Patterson, who was in the audience.

"We started getting good as we started getting depth. But I think Coach Patterson had 70 guys on defense, and we only got 30 for the offense. In practice, I think he was trying to put 12 or 13 guys out there."

Uber Geek Kids Capture TCU

My son, Will, just finished Uber Geek Computer Camp offered this week through Extended Education. He and a dozen or so other 5th and 6th graders were assigned to take photos around campus then create a slideshow with music.
Will was very excited about his work - a budding Steven Spielberg I'm sure - and devised an elaborate script with the evil bird empire fighting the friendly kingdom of squirrels. The concept had to be partially scrapped when the birds refused to cooperate, but here's the final edit of his work titled "The Bad, the Good and the Cool Things of TCU."
See how have images around campus you recognize.

Friday, June 19, 2009

TCU Listening and Spoken Language Summer Institute

TCU welcomed a collection of speech-language educators, pathologists and audiologists to a Listening and Spoken Language Summer Institute to expand and enhance the listening and spoken language opportunities for children who are deaf or hard of hearing through professional education and mentorship. The TCU Listening and Spoken Language Summer Institute is a two-week lecture series, concluding with hands-on practice in Auditory-Verbal techniques. Coaching sessions help professionals develop new knowledge and hone skills in working with parents and deaf children. The focus of the Summer Institute is to expand professional education and mentorship for participants, including educators, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists who work with children with hearing loss and their families. There will be an emphasis on hearing technology, auditory functioning, spoken language development, and strategies for facilitating listening and spoken language skills.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tisdale named associate director of Schieffer School

Journalism professor John Tisdale has been named associate director of the Schieffer School of Journalism. Tisdale, who has been at TCU since 2002 and served as the school's interim director in 2008-09, began his new role in June. Tisdale also teaches media writing and media history classes.

“TCU and the Schieffer School are very fortunate to have John Tisdale ready and willing to take on a permanent position in the leadership of our school," said John Lumpkin, director of the Schieffer School.

Tisdale has also led the search committees that resulted in the appointments of Dr. David Whillock as dean of the College of Communications and Lumpkin as director of the Schieffer School.

"My role is to help our new director and the rest of our faculty achieve the goal of providing our students with an education that prepares them for the 21st century," said Tisdale. "I believe that we have a window of opportunity to make the Schieffer School competitive with the most prestigious journalism programs in the country."

Prior to joining TCU, Tisdale taught journalism at Lamar University and Baylor University. He worked as a reporter or copy editor at the Beaumont Enterprise, Columbus (Miss.) Commercial-Dispatch, Orange Leader, Temple Telegram, and the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Tisdale earned a master's and doctorate in American history while advising the student newspaper at Baylor. He has recently published articles in The Oral History Review, the Journal of Mississippi History, and the Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record. His research area focuses on Southern journalism in the civil rights era of the 1950s.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Shakespeare returns to Fort Worth tonight

When Fort Worth lost its summer Shakespeare festival several years ago it was a tragedy, but thanks to TCU’s theatre department, perhaps it’s now all’s well that ends well.

Summertime Shakespeare returns to Fort Worth tonight as the theatre department stages a preview performance of "Twelfth Night." (Tomorrow night is the preview performance of "Romeo and Juliet.") Shows will be performed in rotating repertory, running through June 28 in TCU's air-conditioned Buschman and Hays theaters. They'll use the same cast, so you can see the same actor playing Romeo one night and Sir Andrew Aguecheek the next, for instance.

The festival will use professional and student actors and designers. For the first two years, it is funded by a $250,000 Vision in Action grant from TCU. Organizers hope to be self-sufficient by 2011.

T.J. Walsh, associate professor of drama, said he and colleagues saw an opportunity when the university’s VIA effot promised to fund initiatives that embodied the university’s mission statement, including connecting TCU to the community.

“We wanted to bring together our students and area professionals to give something really special to the community — a Shakespeare festival that’s done right,” Walsh said, who is serving as artistic director. Harry Parker, chairman of the theatre department, is managing director.

Ticket prices are around $20 and available on the festival’s Web site

“I know some people will miss being outside like the old festival was, but they won’t when it starts pouring rain right after the opening scene,” Walsh said. “Besides, we’ll offer a more intimate setting of 200 or so people — it’s the way Shakespeare should be seen.”

Walsh says he's excited that the festival allows TCU students to work alongside professional actors. Of the 18 actors of the inaugural company, 10 are students and eight are professionals. Students also make up much of the 15-person production crew.

“For our students the benefits are enormous,” said Walsh. “For one thing, they’ll be paid. We’re paying 40 to 50 people through the festival and in this difficult economic time, that’s a big impact. Plus, our actors will have to go toe-to-toe with very talented professionals. It’s going to be a challenge for them to step up.”

Frogs fall in Game 3 of Super Regional

The TCU baseball team came up short in their bid for a trip to Omaha with a 5-2 loss at No. 4 Texas Monday night. The Frogs fell behind 5-0 and tried to rally late, but the rally fell short as the most successful season in school history came to an end. The Frogs finish the year with a 40-18 record.

The Longhorns stole the momentum in the bottom of the first inning and never let go as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Michael Torres singled on the first pitch he saw and scored on a long triple off the bat of Brandon Belt to put Texas on top. Russell Moldenhauer grounded out to make it a 2-0 game and Kevin Keyes homered to cap off the inning.

TCU says goodbye to seven seniors. Matt Carpenter, Matt Vern, Taylor Cragin, Hunt Woodruff, Chris Ellington, Corey Steglich and Ben Carruthers all completed a very successful four years at TCU.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Frogs win Game 2 of Super Regionals

Behind a stellar pitching performance by junior Paul Gerrish - and a couple of home runs from Matt Carpenter (shown above) and Matt Vern - the TCU baseball team beat the No. 1 ranked Texas Longhorns in Game 2 of the best-of-three Super Regionals in Austin.

TCU and Texas will square off again Monday night at 6 on ESPN2 with the winner earning a trip to the College World Series - a program first for the Horned Frogs.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baseball heads to Super Regionals

Approximately 50 fans helped send off the TCU baseball team this morning with a purple pep rally before it departed for the Super Regional in Austin. Frog supporters munched on donuts and juice as Coach Jim Schlossnagle and the players waved and sang the alma mater before boarding the buses at 9 a.m.

First pitch for Game 1 of the Super Regional starts Saturday afternoon at 5:05 on ESPNU.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An inside peek at the new Sherley Hall

A couple of the magazine staffers got to tour the newly renovated Sherley residence hall today, and we came away very impressed.

First some background: The all-female dorm, built in 1958, was closed in May 2008 for a complete remodeling. It will open in August as an all-freshmen hall for men and women.

Sherley will be TCU's first (silver-level) LEED-certified facility on campus, making it a verifiably "green" structure. (Scharbauer Hall, which comes online in January 2010, will also be designated at that level, too.) Just inside the door of Sherley's marble-tiled entryway, residents and guests will be able to follow a touch-screen display about the building's energy efficiency, "green" construction and more.

The lobby resembles the one in Clark Hall, although it is slightly larger. It will feature a large flat-screen television and soft seating. The entry also includes a front desk for on-duty resident assistants and the hall director.

Men and women residents will be divided by wings over three floors with a common area in between each on every floor. Each wing shares a common bathroom, which appear to be nicer (and provide more privacy) than what many of us have at home. The bathrooms include nine separate mini-rooms, each equipped with a commode and shower stall. Thieves and pranksters beware! Each mini-room locks to add privacy and prevent theft of clothes and personal items.

Windows were enlarged in the hallways to bring more light in. "Sherley has long central hallways, and we wanted to add natural light so it would have a not-so-institutional look," said Craig Allen, director of residential services who conducted the tour.

There are 314 beds, adjustable for a traditional low setting or a high bunkbed style that is the most popular. (The beds were used last year in the Clark Hall renovation and were received positively by students, Allen said.) Each room will come with a desk and dresser for each resident and two data ports, although the whole building is wireless ready. There are also a walk-in closet and mini-fridge in every room.

Interestingly, every room is equipped with a phone jack, although Allen estimates that 90 percent of students don't use them. The age of cell phones reigns supreme.

On each floor in Sherley is a new wrinkle in TCU student housing: the 9-bed supersuite, with three double rooms, one triple and a large L-shaped common area.

At the corners of each hall will be large study lounges with soft seating, a table and six chairs and a dry erase board. Stairwells were pushed to the outside of the building to accommodate the lounges.

On all three floors, the east and west wings meet in a common area: lobby on the first floor, ping pong table on the second and billiards on the third. They'll also be a 48-inch flat-screen television and plentiful soft seating. Off the hall is a large room for quiet study.

The basement offers more amenities, including a baking kitchen with oven, microwave and oversized sink. "There's no stove top," Allen said. "When we surveyed students, many of them told us they just wanted a place to bake a frozen pizza or make cookies."

But the main attraction is the 36-seat mini-theatre with 10-foot screen and surround sound. Students will be able to bring their own DVDs and play them or it may be used for wing functions. Around a corner are three gaming stations with 42-inch monitors and a set up for Wii.

"We toured several of the new apartments around the campus perimeter, and we feel like we have nicer amenities than they do," Allen said. "Students are going to love living here."

At approximately $3,100 a semester, plus meal plan, they'll be getting their money's worth.

Residential Services will having a hard time topping Sherley when Milton Daniel Hall undergoes renovation during the 2009-10 school year and Colby Hall does the following year.

"We're going to have to look at balconies or skylights," Allen said. "I don't know what more we can do."

TCU baseball on to the Super Regionals

The Frogs' 3-0 run through the Fort Worth Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament this past weekend sets up another first for the program - the first appearance in the Super Regional Round.

TCU will face the Texas Longhorns in Austin this coming weekend for a best-of-three series. The winner advances to the College World Series. Here are the game times:

Game 1: TCU vs. Texas, 5 p.m. (televised on ESPNU)

Game 2: TCU vs. Texas, 2 p.m. (televised on ESPN)

Monday (if necessary)
Game 3: TCU vs. Texas, 6 p.m. (televised on ESPN2)

Friday, May 29, 2009

TCU helps PGA go green

Just a few months ago Michael Slattery got an unexpected phone call from the Crowne Plaza Invitation at Colonial.

Officials there and with the PGA tour were looking to green up their image and wondered if TCU’s Institute of Environmental Studies could help.

“They would provide a place for us to showcase the latest innovation in green design,” said Slattery, director of the institute.

He quickly called a meeting of his “Green Team,” including environmental studies professor Tony Burgess, graduate students Jon Kinder and David Williams and art professors Cameron Schoepp and Chris Powell.

“I said ‘this is an opportunity to show what we are doing and to how we can change things to create a more sustainable model for the future,” he said.

With little budget and lots of ideas, the team went to work.

The result: the Green Pavillion – a white modular structure where fresh breezes replace air conditioning from generators and native plants on the skydeck add to the natural habitat, drawing butterflies.

Sitting on a small hill by the first fairway at this week’s PGA stop in Fort Worth, the pavilion is already attracting lots of media exposure as well as curious onlookers who wonder, just what is that contraption?

The open air shelter has the typical amenities of an entertainment tent – there’s a bar and plenty of viewing spots to take in the golfing action, but with a much lower carbon footprint. Even the flooring, easily replenished bamboo, was chosen based on sustainability. 

Designed with the help of California architectural firm Anderson and Anderson, experts in modular design, the pavilion can be taken down and reassembled with relative ease.

“It’s really like a bunch of Legos,” said Williams.

He and Kinder spent most of this spring assembling the structure, which uses steel donated by Advantage Steel in Fort Worth and white shadecloth on eaves that will be able to move up and down depending on the sun’s position and time of day. Eventually, the structure will also have solar panels on the winged eaves, and will also integrate wind power from a turbine placed a dozen feet away.

Kinder and Williams graduated in May and now run Prairie Designs, a company that helps firms build greenroofs with plants designed to thrive in the hot Southwestern summer sun. They plan on continuing with this project as it evolves and takes their firm into new directions, Kinder said.

Plans are for the pavilion to travel to other PGA events and, further down the road, make appearances at NASCAR races, Slattery said.

“In order to have a healthier future, we have to design out way to that,” Slattery said. “We can’t just wait and hope something changes. This is one way to design something in a way that’s more sustainable for our planet’s future.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Henry's in the house

It was a sand box, not a sand trap where PGA Tour Professional J.J. Henry found himself Tuesday.

Surrounded by students in the KinderFrogs School at TCU, Henry passed out autographed golf hats, high fives and the occasional hug as his Henry House Foundation celebrated a $25,000 grant funding therapeutic play equipment with students, staff and parents. 

“It’s so special to be able bring a smile to their faces,” Henry said. “My wife and I are filled with gratitude to be here today. We’re just happy to be a small part of what’s being accomplished here.”

Henry, who played on the 2006 Ryder Cup team and won the Buick Championship that same year, founded the non-profit Henry House Foundation to generate public awareness and support for programs focusing on the welfare of children. The Foundation specifically targets children’s medical and support services in Fort Worth and Southern New England.

Much of the donated equipment has already been put to use including a padded balance beam, trampoline, mats and balls and more is on the way, said Marilyn Tolbert, Director and Jean W. Roach Chair of Laboratory Schools. She said the gift will enable the early-intervention educational preschool to stay current with the latest therapies on both an integrated and personal level.

 “What comes naturally to other kids, takes more time with Down Syndrome kids,” she said. “This enables them to get that extra work in to develop their gross motor skills, fine motor skills and their cognitive development as well.”

“Hey buddy, you look great in that hat,’ Henry said, giving five-year-old Travis Decker a high five after he donned the autographed cap.

“Who is your favorite baseball team – that Cats or the Frogs?” Henry asked.

“The Frogs!” Travis said and reached up his arms. Henry responded by picking him up and they two shared Frog hand signs.

A native of Connecticut, Henry, ’98 and his wife, Lee ’99 met on a blind date when the two were at TCU. They have two sons – ages 4 and and 9 months - and make their home in Fort Worth where he’s also playing in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial this week.

 “We’ve been watching all the changes on campus,” Lee said. “It’s unbelievable. The campus just gets better and better.”


Monday, May 25, 2009

Baseball team to host NCAA Regional

The NCAA announced today that the TCU baseball team will be one of the 16 regional site hosts for this coming weekend's NCAA Regionals, which are slated to begin Friday. The No. 10 Horned Frogs have never hosted a regionals or been a No. 1 seed. They accomplish both with today's announcement. It will be the sixth consecutive appearance in the postseason for the program.

Each regional field features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. Paired with the Frogs is Wright State of the Horizon League as the No. 4 seed, whom TCU will face Friday night at 7. In the early game, No. 2 seed Texas A&M will face No. 3 seed Oregon State.

The Frogs (36-16) entered last weekend ranked as high as No. 10 and currently have a Ratings Percentage Index of eight, both program bests. With a 15-5 record, the Frogs won their fourth straight regular season conference title.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nursing student saves life at 30,000 feet

A post-finals vacation in Las Vegas turned into a life-saving event for TCU nursing student Leah Joslin this week.

The 21-year-old rising senior, shown here in her purple TCU Nursing scrubs in the school's lab, was on a flight back to DFW when another passenger suffered a medical emergency, losing consciousness.

Joslin jumped up to help, pushing a passenger sitting on the aisle out of the way.

The man’s lips turned blue, a sign Joslin recognized that he was oxygen deprived. She asked the flight crew for oxygen, a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff and started administering the oxygen and taking his vital signs. Within about 10 seconds, she detected a faint pulse that grew stronger.

“We finally did get a blood pressure reading that was within normal range,” she said.

The passenger and his wife were Italian and did not speak English, but after she revived him, she was able to stabilize him by mimicking what she wanted him to do. Joslin stayed with the man and his wife until the plane landed and paramedics arrived.

"He was so cute. He kept apologizing to me profusely," Joslin told WBAP-AM. "As I left, his wife took my hand, kissed it and said, 'grazie.'"

Her quick-thinking heroics also made the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and KTVT Channel 11 news.

“I feel proud of my education,” she told Channel 11. “I feel like, wow, I really do know something.”

Joslin followed a practice taught to everyone in the nursing program, Glen Raup, TCU assistant professor told the Star-Telegram. You respond to a medical emergency by initially evaluating airway, breathing and circulation problems, and then looking for other difficulties the person might be having, Raup said.

"Nurses are trained to assess the situation and then intervene when appropriate as based on their training," Raup said. "You hope that when it comes time to apply those skills that nurses will step up, as was the case with Leah."

Joslin is pursuing a double major: nursing and writing with a minor in religion.

Her career goals include working in a trauma intensive care unit, helping babies born premature, and participating in research dealing with genetic diseases such as autism and Down syndrome.

But she isn't the first Frog to respond during a recent in-flight emergency.

Kate Lunati of Atlanta, Ga., was returning from a mission trip to Central America when she helped start an IV for a young woman who was suffering from severe dehydration.

In an article written by TCU student writer Rachael Carranza, Lunati described how "my faculty had warned that we were now prepared to assist on airplanes on the rare occasion that there was no one else available."

"The experience on that flight inspired me to discover myself," she added. "It was tangible, and I could feel it move through me, erasing doubt and instilling confidence."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Graduation stories

Today, the university holds its Spring 2009 Commencement ceremonies. A total of 1,417 students are expected to graduate during split ceremonies, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The morning event will consist of 664 candidates receiving degrees from the Neeley School of Business, College of Education, College of Science & Engineering and the master of liberal arts graduate program. The 753 students who will graduate in the afternoon represent AddRan College of Liberal Arts, College of Communication, College of Fine Arts, and Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Brite Divinity School will graduate 26 students during the afternoon ceremony.

- The class of 1959 will be in attendance, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation. Fifty years ago, they received misprinted diplomas with the wrong date on them.

- For the first time in TCU history, the university will award quadruple degrees to one student (English, French, political science and fashion merchandising).

- The first Doctor of Nursing Practice class of 23 students earn diplomas.

- The Office of Web Management provided streaming video of both ceremonies for the first time.

- One man from the class of 1959 and his graddaughter from the class of 2009 are in the same commencement ceremony.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

TCU Virtual Experience

The campus tour has always been, perhaps, the influential moment for students and parents considering TCU.

Starting today, that quintessential look around the quad now can have guests in their pajamas. Admission has launched the TCU Virtual Experience, a digital trek around the buildings, programs and people that make Horned Frog Country unlike any other.

The site features an 11-minute overview of the university with 14 stops around campus. Users can skip to any section at any time, watching just the parts they want, or watch the full tour. The site also has six high-definition videos of different parts of the TCU experience, such as student life, academics and athletics.

More than a dozen students, some of whom graduate on Saturday, share personal accounts of their lives as Horned Frogs.
Read what the Office of Admission thinks about the Experience on the magazine Web site:

- Rick

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Frog Drummer on Letterman

You can catch the drummer Jordan Richardson '03 on all three major TV networks this week.
Jordan sharpened his skills as a drummer in the TCU Jazz Band from 1999-2003.
That work translated into a dream profession: drummer for the hot new rock band Ben Harper and Relentless 7.
Relentless 7 plays tonight on CBS’s Late Night with David Letterman.
The group performs tomorrow night on the ABC’s Michael J. Fox special "Adventures of an Incurable Optimist" and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The Relentless 7 “White Lies for Dark Times” album was released Monday in stores and on iTunes.
Check out Relentless 7 by clicking on over to

Monday, May 4, 2009

Golfer on a winning streak

She doesn't just beat the likes of Michelle Wei and Annika Sorenstam. She doesn't just have a pro golf career that has surpassed $3 million in earnings.

And golfing great Angela Stanford '00 didn't just take home the Frog O'Fame award at Saturday night's Alumni Awards banquet.

TCU Athletic Director Danny Morrison also handed Stanford the Carolyn Dixon Award Honorary Award for Distinguished Service to Girls and Women in Sport in front of the crowd of about 160 at the Brown-Lupton University Union.

The honor, named after the late long-time TCU associate athletic director, goes to a woman who helps support female athletes. The Carolyn Dixon award was established in 2006.

Stanford is a generous donor to TCU scholarship programs and recently she gave a new, customized van to the women's golf team, said Davis Babb, associate athletic director.

"She's just a giver," Babb says.

In November, Stanford's Let Your Light Shine tournament in Fort Worth not only raised $62,000 for Fort Worth charities but it also included a junior clinic and a chance for the public to golf with LPGA pros and the TCU women's golf team.

Her TCU coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin says Stanford is one of the best athletes in the world and one who still "bleeds purple."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

No swine flu cases reported at TCU

While the Fort Worth Independent School District has announced closings, TCU officials said yesterday that there are no reported swine flu cases on its campus. The university's Brown-Lupton Health Center is working with the Tarrant County Health Department, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organziation, to monitor cases in the area. As of yesterday, there were 16 confirmed cases in the state of Texas and 10 probable cases in Tarrant County.

Yesterday was the last day of classes for the semester. Today and Friday are dead days. Exam week begins Monday. Campus members are encouraged to follow good hygiene methods, including thorough hand-washing, using alcohol-based hand cleaners and properly discarding used facial tissues.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tarrant District Attorney Tim Curry '61 dead at 70

Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry ’61 died early Friday morning. Curry, one of the longest serving district attorneys in Texas history, was elected to the post in 1972 and was still in office, although he had been diagnosed with lung cancer last year. He never lost an election. He was 70.

The office he led was large. The district attorney’s office, with a staff of 320 people, has a conviction rate of 90 percent.

Read more about his amazing career in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,

New opportunity for TCU research in Costa Rica

TCU's Institute for Environmental Studies has a new opportunity to use a research facility located in a Costa Rican cloud forest for academic research. In 2006, TCU students wrote a Vision In Action proposal for a permanent biological research station at San Ramon, Costa Rica. The San Ramon Tropical Research Station is now being used to conduct long-term studies in biological and ecological research.

See a video overview of the project on TCU's YouTube page.

Read cover story on the project from The TCU Magazine's Winter 2008 issue.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AARP president addresses aging trends

AARP President Jennie Chin-Hansen spoke about "Current Realities and Future Trends in Population Aging" last night during the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences' Hogstel Symposium. Also sponsoring the event were JPS Hospital and TCU's Center for Healthy Aging.

Hawk Gawking

We’ve been a bit obsessed with a couple of new residents on fifth floor of Sid Rich –- a pair of red-tailed hawks.

The pair hangs out outside our window, checking out the Bowie Street scene and scanning the parking lots for prey.

“Earlier one was singing and the other got all puffed up which is always a good sign,” said art director Tracy Bristol. “I think they’re setting up house.”

This morning one of the hawks looked to be sunbathing and generally enjoying the recent warm-up. We grabbed our camera and took a few shots, feeling a bit like paparazzi working the bushes to get a shot of George Clooney poolside at the Beverly Wilshire.

According to Wikipedia, “the Red-tailed Hawk is carnivorous, and an opportunistic feeder. Its diet is mainly small mammals, but it also includes birds and reptiles. Prey varies with regional and seasonal availability, but usually centers on rodents, comprising up to 85% of a hawk's diet.

Additional prey (listed by descending likelihood of predation) include lagomorphs, shrews, bats, snakes, waterfowl, fish, crustaceans and insects. Prey range in size from beetles to White-tailed Jackrabbits, which are double the weight of most Red-tails.”

I guess lunchtime diners on the patio behind Dutch’s are safe – for now.

Have you spotted this hawk or others on campus? What about other campus creatures? Let us know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

TCU to review LLC housing concept

TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. today issued the following statement regarding campus living-learning communities:

TCU will not launch any new living-learning communities at this time. Instead, we will assess whether the concept of housing residential students based on themes supports the academic mission of the institution, as well as our objective to provide a total university experience.

Nowell Donovan, TCU academic vice chancellor and provost, will chair a committee of faculty, staff and students to review the concept and make recommendations for living-learning program guidelines. The recommendations will be forwarded to the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, who will forward them to the full Board. In the meantime, themed housing currently in existence will be allowed to continue until new guidelines have been determined.

The University will maintain its long-standing commitment to the inclusiveness of all people. To that end, our numerous and diverse support groups will continue to play a vital role on our campus.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Students help Fort Worth go green

It’s one thing to tell people to embrace sustainability, but Abby Schlipmann wants to give them the tools to actually do it.

A grad student in Environmental Science, she was one of the 12 TCU students who studied at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute last summer. The program is an intense three-week workshop that examines a variety of environmental issues including what Europeans are doing to lower their individual and nation’s carbon footprints.

They also began planning how to take what they learned back to TCU and Fort Worth. Now six members of the group have organized Urban Futures, a symposium bringing together a myriad of environmental experts to discuss ‘green’ issues in the local community. The Urban Futures: Utilizing Green Technologies symposium will be held on Thursday, April 9 from 4 - 7:30 p.m. at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

“We decided we wanted to showcase what Fort Worth is doing and what Fort Worth has to offer,” Schlipmann said. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from students, but mostly we’ve heard from a lot of businesses who are contacting us to participate and show off their products.”

The symposium will include local exhibitors from all sectors of ‘green’ technologies, including energy, ‘green’ design, environmental consulting and agriculture.

Following an introduction from Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, LEED-certified architect Peter Pfeiffer of Bailey and Pfeiffer Architecture Firm in Austin, TX will end the event with a keynote speech titled, Mainstreaming Green – Real, Relevant, and “Do-able” Green Building in an Urban Setting.

“Ninety percent of the most effective green building strategies you can employ are those that are implemented at the very start of the project design process,” said Pfeiffer. “Real green building is more about smart design decision than about the expensive techniques that you tack on.”

Tickets are $35 per person. TCU students with valid ID are admitted free. Admission includes complimentary valet parking and an assortment of hors d'oeuvres. For more information and to make online reservations visit the Urban Futures Web site,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Alumni Egg Hunt draws hundreds

The 15th annual Alumni Egg Hunt on Sadler Lawn drew more than 1,000 youngsters on Sunday. In addition to the scramble for eggs, kids aged 2 to 9 enjoyed an afternoon of facepainting, balloon animals and posing for pictures with SuperFrog. Children took home various non-candy loot, including stickers, toy figures, balloons and bubbles.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Purple-White Spring football game

Approximately 800 Frog fans attended the football team's Purple-White Spring Game on a sunny Saturday despite brisk winds and a chill in the air. The White squad won the informal scrimmage, 10-0, but the crowd seemed thankful just to see some football.

"I liked seeing how [quarterback] Andy Dalton has progressed," said season ticket holder Christian Ellis '95, who attended the game with his two sons. "He looks even more confident than last season, almost like he's more comfortable as the team's undisputed leader."

Jerry Dunn '76 was curious about what the defense would look like with the loss of Jason Phillips, Robert Henson, Stephen Hodge and Matt Panfil. "They actually looked better than I expected," he said. "The new linebackers Tank Carder and Daryl Washington are faster than last year's group. The safeties looked really good too. I'm leaving more relieved than I thought I would be."

The Athletics department also hosted a sale of uniforms and apparel worn by former varsity players and coaches.

"I'm always looking for good TCU gear. I just wish there was something that fit," said Liz Perkins '00.