Summer 2002
Conversations with a tide pool
Recollections of Ol' South
The Oxygen of Terrorism
Alma Matters
Memīries Sweet
Riff Ram
Class Notes
Back Cover
Back Issues

TCU Magazine Class Notes


Producer of the year

After graduating from Fort Worth's Paschal High School in 1965, Joseph Henry "T-Bone" Burnett followed some of his friends to TCU where he joined the ROTC. When he wasn't marching, he was perfecting his guitar skills at local blues clubs.

"He started playing guitar when he was 12 years old," recalls his mother, Hazel Vernon of Fort Worth. "One year I went to Mexico and bought him an $8 guitar. He never put it down."

Burnett's stint as a Horned Frog was short-lived. His passion for music and his flare as a record producer helped him march straight from campus to the music industry. Now, he's on top.

Burnett won three Grammy Awards in 2002 -- Producer of the Year, producer of the best compilation soundtrack album O Brother, Where Art Thou? and producer of the best tradition folk album. He also picked up a 2002 Country Music Award.

Burnett recorded his first solo album in 1972, shortly after opening his own recording studio in Fort Worth. He later toured with the B-52 Band and the Skylarks and was invited to play guitar for Bob Dylan on his Rock 'n' Roll Revue tour. Commercial acclaim eluded him as a performer and solo artist, but Burnett is known as one of the music industry's top producers. He has collaborated with artists from Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello and the Counting Crows to Christian pop singer and wife Sam Phillips.

Excellent educator

Ellen Young Swain '70 (MLA '79, MA '85), an English and drama teacher at Cimarron High School in New Mexico, understands that teaching is about making connections. This spring her creative ways to connect students to their studies earned her TCU's School of Education Excellence in Education Award.

For example, when her junior-level British Lit class seemed too far away from the moors of England, she hosted Sunday afternoon tea in her backyard. Music and theater students learned a Bach fugue on her organ to better understand the German composer.

At Cimarron, she developed pre-advanced placement and advanced placement curricula and organized the school's English Expo. She established learning expeditions to theaters and museums in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and has been a sponsor of the school's drama team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for years. During her 30-year career, she's been awarded New Mexico's Teacher of Tomorrow, Golden Apple and Quality in Education awards.

A field of dreams

Brad Horn '98 has had some great sports jobs in his young career, but his latest move was a hall of fame opportunity.

In February, Horn became the director of public relations for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., where he manages the institution's promotional events and writes for the quarterly magazine and annual yearbook.

"It's great to be at the place where baseball was started and be surrounded by all the history of the game," said Horn, who got his own start in professional sports as an intern with the now-defunct minor league hockey team Fort Worth Fire while still a student at TCU. Later, he handled media relations and promotions for the Texas Rangers and Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Rubbing elbows with living legends is all in a day's work. He's now gearing up for the annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in late July, which will honor St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith. In his first month he joked around with all-time home run king Hank Aaron and St. Louis slugger Stan Musial at the opening of the Baseball as America National Museum Tour, a 500-item showcase of the national pastime's most cherished memorabilia and artifacts.

The art of coordinating art

Judy Tkac-Sager '63 likes knowing that 86 percent of everything we encounter in a day -- from the wallpaper in our kitchens to the sculptures and paintings we buy to decorate the office -- is created either by, or in collaboration with an artist.

Eighteen years as the administrator for cultural projects for the University of North Texas Health Science Center has taught Sager, an educator and working artist, never to underestimate the power of art. Sager coordinates the art shows that rotate through UNT's gallery as well as the hallways and offices of the campus.

She also heads the 12-County High School Art Competition each year, an event that offers North Texas juniors and seniors a showcase in the UNT Health Science Center's three-story Atrium Gallery. The competition features more than 1,500 entries from some 120 school districts.

Coloring by numbers

Kurt Thomas '95 had quite a 2001-02 season for the New York Knicks. The 6-9 power forward had career high averages in points (13.9) and rebounds (9.1) and maintained his reputation as one of the NBA's meanest muscle men.

Off the court, underneath that nasty disposition, Thomas is a pretty charitable guy it turns out. In December he received the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame's "2001 Beyond the Game Award," which salutes a professional sports player's compassion in the community.

Over the past two years, Thomas has published two coloring books titled "Playing With Heart" for New York City children and has made numerous visits to "color within the lines" with first- and second-graders in the Bronx. More than 10,000 books have been distributed to the Knicks' Cheering for Children After School Program.

Thomas also knows about points on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Last season, he launched "The Kurt Thomas Investment Challenge," which gave 500 students from five New York City high schools a hypothetical $100,000 to invest in the market over a 10-week period. Through the program, inner city youths learn the art of investing and compete for internships at Merrill Lynch, which sponsors the contest.

Cooking up faster recipes

Susan Hawthorne Nash Gilpin '73 (MEd '79) knows these are changing times at the Southern Living Cooking School.

Twenty-five years ago the culinary academy was a traveling two-hour stage production, a live-action version of the magazine that prepared every pastry and casserole from scratch.

But who has time for that now? Today, the school's winning recipes begin with some kind of head start -- such as a Betty Crocker cake mix or Pillsbury pie crust.

"It's not cheating. It's realistic," said Gilpin, who is now food marketing director for the magazine. "Our lifestyles have changed. Time is a major concern."

The cooking school is now an interactive, advertising-rich convention in a supermarket parking lot. Get a few pointers, taste a new dish and get the kids to practice.

The magazine's contests are still as popular as ever. In fact, Gilpin is currently promoting a national recipes contest in which the winner receives a $100,000 prize at a cook-off event in Orlando emceed by Al Roker. More than 20,000 entries have been submitted so far.

An update: Our numbers on the Corbin Small-cap Value Fund, started and managed by David A. Corbin '89 in 1992, were dated when we went to press last issue. So we wanted to note that the fund is currently up 2.5 percent in 2002 after increasing a whopping 53.66 percent the year before. Its total assets are currently about $25 million. It was ranked No. 3 by Morningstar and No. 1 by Lipper among all equity funds at the end of 2001.