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TCU Magazine

Related Articles:
Muddle in the Middle: The "C" in TCU | C is for Choice | C is for Church Affiliation | C is for Challenging Perceptions | C is for Christian Beliefs | C is for Critical Thinking

C is for community

By Don Mills '72
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs


My understanding of the "C" in TCU has changed over time. The first time I became aware of TCU was in the 1957 Cotton Bowl. My 11-year-old mind knew a lot more about football than religion. I assumed Christian was a description of what everybody believed and how everyone behaved (or should behave). In fact, I only learned differently when I was deciding where to attend seminary.

TCU came across my radar screen again during the selection process. This time I assumed that "Christian" was a statement of our relationship to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I guess that statement of relationship is still pretty close to the official meaning.

But after being here for three decades, the "C" means more. It is a reflection of a spirit that pervades our campus. That sense of TCU that is really inexplicable. We do adopt an open approach of rational discussion about faith, will, theology. We embrace a tradition of ecumenism. We seek understanding and respect across religious lines.

These ideals and ideas are very dear to me. But TCU is not a church. It is a university. Over my 30-plus years at TCU, I have come to believe that the "C" may perhaps describe the community at TCU. Community of character. Community of conscience. Community of charity. Community of concern. So while I well understand and appreciate and love the "Christian" in our name, the "C" in our everyday life on the campus can best be seen in an environment shaped by the quality of faculty, staff and students on the campus.

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