The house that Frogs built
Katherine Niederer ’07 may have been sore the
next day, but it was the type of pain she could feel
The finance/accounting double major from Argyle helped
build FrogHouse, a Habitat for Humanity project headed
up by the class of 2007.
Her specific task: hammering nails.
“It’s a lot of work,” said Niederer,
who also played a lead role in the fund-raising aspect
of the project. “But it’s totally worth
the effort to get that kind of physical reward —
building an actual house.”
Acting on the University’s mission statement,
the junior class is playing the role of “responsible
citizens.” The class raised more than $51,000
for the project in the fall, securing donations from
campus groups — not alumni donors.
This spring, 300 volunteers from the student body
and TCU community, including about 50 alumni, worked
on the five-bedroom house on South Grove Street. A
dedication ceremony was held in early March, though
weather pushed back the finish date to early April.
The 1,546-square-foot house will be home to a family
of eight political refugees from Burundi when complete.
This is the first time a TCU class has built a Habitat
house as a class project, said Sumer Jordan of TCU
Transitions, adviser to the FrogHouse project, who
would like it to become an annual junior tradition.
“The mission that we have as students and faculty
is to impact students’ lives,” Jordan
said. “This project promotes excellence and
serves the mission of responsible citizenship within
a global community. I think the most important thing
is that these students are living the TCU mission.”
Changes in store
Update: After we went to press, the TCU
Bookstore burned in a fire in the early morning
hours of March 29. As new plans for the bookstore
are made, we will pass along the information.
The TCU Bookstore is undergoing the first major renovation
since the Barnes & Noble-owned store opened in
1997. The most noticeable addition will be a 5,000-square-foot
second-story mezzanine that houses textbooks and other
features will include covered seating out back, an
expanded café, a wider, tiled center aisle
and new decorative flourishes, including large wall
murals throughout the store celebrating TCU’s
history as an academic, cultural and athletic institution.
During the remodeling phase, the building will remain
closed. But the bookstore will still be open for business.
An air-conditioned 5,000-square-foot modular building
in the front parking lot will carry a limited inventory,
including textbooks for summer classes and some general
The project will be completed by the end of July
and a grand reopening is planned for August.
Commencement returns to
Graduating students planning to walk at spring commencement
ceremonies won’t have to walk very far.
After holding graduation off-campus at the Tarrant
County Convention Center the last four years, TCU
is bringing graduation back to campus. Two commencement
ceremonies are planned for May 13 at Daniel-Meyer
This spring’s commencement will be split into
two ceremonies to accommodate all the visitors —
a 10 a.m. ceremony and a 3 p.m. ceremony with a two-hour
reception at the Dee J. Kelly Center sandwiched between.
Graduates from the Neeley School of Business, the
School of Education, the College of Science and Engineering
and the Master of Liberal Arts program will graduate
in the morning ceremony.
The afternoon ceremony will consist of graduates
from AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Brite Divinity School, the College of Communication,
the College of Fine Arts and the Harris College of
Nursing and Health Sciences.
Officials note that graduating students must attend
the ceremony their college is assigned to, though
they are welcome to sit in the audience for either
Festival brings artists
Piano Texas, the festival formerly
known as the TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute, still maintains
many of the same elements you’ve seen before,
as both professional and amateur pianists converge
on campus to tickle the ivories. Here’s a rundown
of who’s doing what in the month of June:
Young Artists June 2-25
Only 20 artists up to age 30 are admitted, and six
will compete to play in one of two concerto performances
with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The competition
is open to the public.
Amateurs June 2-11
Anyone can submit audition tapes for one of 21 slots
to participate in master classes, private lessons
and public recitals. A competition will select six
to eight amateur performers to play along side the
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Teachers June 18-25 and June 22-25
This offers a chance for piano teachers to step in
to a student role and work on their own craft. They’ll
hear daily lectures from professional legends like
Seymour Bernstein, Christopher O’Riley and TCU’s
John Owings, and get a chance to step on stage to
perform in their own recitals.
For more information, go to www.pianotexas.org
The second annual Schieffer Symposium
boasts a panel of journalism industry experts and
decision makers whose primary influence comes behind
the scenes. Featuring Schieffer School of Journalism
namesake Bob Schieffer ‘59, interim anchor of
“CBS Evening News” and moderator of “Face
the Nation,” the symposium is scheduled for
7 p.m. April 5 in the Brown-Lupton Student Center
The panel, which will discuss the changing communications
landscape, includes Jill Abramson, managing editor
of The New York Times; Larry Kramer, founder of Marketwatch.com
and president of CBS Digital Media; Judy Woodruff,
former anchor of “Inside Politics” on
CNN and a correspondent for “The NewsHour with
Jim Lehrer;” and Len Downie, executive editor
of The Washington Post.
Tickets are $15 for the public, and students are admitted
free. For more information, call 817-257-5976.
Let your ears travel south of the
border in April with the return of the TCU Latin American
Music Festival, running April 24-29.
The highlight is the Friday premiere of Mexican composer
Samuel Zyman’s “Triple Concerto for Violin,
Cello and Piano” by the TCU Symphony Orchestra.
The performance will feature solo performances by
School of Music faculty Curt Thompson, Jesus Castro-Balbi
and Jose Feghali.
Other events during the week include panel discussions
with Caribbean composers, a TCU faculty concert and
performances by the TCU Jazz Ensemble and Percussion
Notable performances include:
April 27: TCU faculty concert
of the works of Caribbean composers, $10 admission,
7:30 p.m., PepsiCo Recital Hall.
April 28: TCU Symphony Orchestra
premiere of Samuel Zyman’s “Triple Concerto
for Violin, Cello and Piano” and TCU choirs
perform “St. Francis in the Americas: A Caribbean
Mass” for voices, steel band and percussion,
$10 admission, 7:30 p.m, Ed Landreth Auditorium.
April 29: TCU Symphony Orchestra
will perform “Kabbalah” by Brazilian composer
Marlos Nobre, as well as “The South American
Suite for Harp and Orchestra” with Uruguayan
harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, $10 admission, 3 p.m.,
Ed Landreth Auditorium.
Tickets are available at the door or in advance by
calling 817-257-7143. For a complete schedule, visit
Recipe for a cause
Take a little pineapple juice, add coconut, rum extract,
cherries and ice, then splash in some sorority spirit,
and you’ll have the winning recipe at the 6th
annual Alpha Delta Pi Mardi Gras Mocktail Blend-Off
winning concoction, called Jamaican Me Crazy, belonged
to Alexis Foster, Bethany Turner, Corinne Croucher
and Courtney Tighe of Delta Gamma, who decorated their
booth in Caribbean festivity, including palm trees,
island music and umbrella straws. By taking first
place, the quartet earned a trip for four to Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico, for spring break. Not a bad way
to remind students that alcohol-free partying is still
a recipe for a good time.
The biggest winner, however, was the Ronald McDonald
House for terminally ill children, which received
$7,000 from the event. Participating students also
contributed more than 74 units of blood during a blood
Jamaican Me Crazy
2 cups Pineapple Juice
1 piece sliced pineapple
1/3 cup Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
1 1/2 cups rum extract
1/2 cup ice
Blend together. Makes about four servings.
Leadership at home and
Juan Hernandez ’78 (MA) (PhD
’81), a former top adviser to Mexican President
Vicente Fox, told TCU students in February to pursue
their passions in life and to realize the importance
Hernandez, the featured speaker at the Leadership
Council and Leadership Center’s 12th annual
Leadership Institute Dinner, was chosen to speak at
the event because of his leadership in the campaign
and administration of Fox. Audience members included
students from TCU’s sister university, Universidad
de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico.
Even though Hernandez wanted to become a writer and
poet from an early age and had little interest in
earning a college degree, he eventually learned the
importance of education. His time at TCU studying
English and Spanish provided a foundation for his
literary and political accomplishments. In addition
to working with Fox, Hernandez has authored several
books of poetry.
“My father told me you might consider studying
anything — psychology, history, law —
because it will give you material to write about,”
After his address, Hernandez signed copies of his
new book, The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid
of Mexican Immigrants?
Following her remarks at the 2006 Creative Writing
Award’s program in March, author Kate Staples
Lehrer ‘59 sat at a small table and carefully
penned a short inscription inside a copy of her newest
novel Confessions of a Bigamist.
serenely for the book was Betsy Colquitt, emeritus
professor of English.
After Colquitt left with book in hand, a woman in
line asked Lehrer what it felt like to autograph her
own novel for one of her most significant mentors.
“Oh, it’s so humbling,” Lehrer
responded quietly, her face showing the emotional
enormity of the moment.
It was an apt example of the underlying theme is
Lehrer’s book: The concept of identity.
After reading excerpts from Confessions, and sharing
her thoughts on juggling our many identities, Lehrer
told students that in her role as a writer, she “gambles,”
and that they should too.
“Writing is like jumping off a high dive,”
she said. “You never know if you’re going
to fly like a swan or crawl off like an idiot. But
when we commit ourselves to anything, we invest in
it. So every time I write, I’m gambling on a
More than $3,000 in prize money was awarded to students
in this year’s 25 writing contests, which covered
poetry, fiction, non-fiction and research.
Winning a Ferrari
While serving as TCU’s chancellor, Michael
Ferrari guided the university through a period of
major growth and development. Now there’s an
award that pays tribute to his legacy.
former chancellor was on hand at commencement in December
to present the first Michael R. Ferrari Award for
Distinguished Service and Leadership to economics
Professor Ed McNertney. The $5,000 award, which is
open to faculty and staff members, will be awarded
McNertney was recognized for heading up the development
of the new TCU Core Curriculum. McNertney chaired
the committee responsible for finalizing the requirements
and policies of the new core, which was implemented
International Week tradition
Performers from Ballet Folklorico
Azteca de Fort Worth, a dance troupe of local teens,
set the festive tone at the International Week banquet
March 4. International students donned their garb
and showed off the moves of traditional dancers from
Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. More than 250
people attended the banquet, which is a 20-year TCU
It's going to cost a little
more to be a Horned Frog
TCU’s Board of Trustees at its February meeting
approved an 8 percent increase in tuition and fees
for the 2006-07 academic year. Full-time undergraduates
taking 12-18 hours will pay tuition and fees of $22,980,
compared to the current $21,280.
“TCU continues to offer an excellent education
in a personalized setting,” Chancellor Victor
J. Boschini Jr. said. “This increase, while
keeping us comparable in tuition and fees to other
private universities, will enable us to proceed implementing
goals from Vision in Action, which include creating
a dynamic learning environment where students’
individual strengths are developed by a challenging
core curriculum and imparted by faculty who mentor
There will also be a 5 percent increase in room and
board rates, which places TCU near the national average
price for room and board at private universities.
To help students adjust to the increased costs, trustees
voted for an 8 percent increase in the amount students
can request in financial aid.
The 6th annual exhibition of work
by members of the TCU Honor Society of Artists &
Designers, ran through March 23 in the University
The first graduating class of the
School of Nurse Anesthesia crossed the stage in December.
The 53 graduates began the program in fall 2003 and
all are now working in the nursing field.
The program is vital to the healthcare industry because
of a shortage in hospitals of nurse anesthetists,
especially in rural areas. The graduates spent their
final year of the program in clinical residencies
at hospitals in Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana,
Oklahoma and Texas under the supervision of doctors
and certified nurse anesthetists.
The 28-month Nurse Anesthesia program requires applicants
to have a bachelor of science degree, be a licensed
registered nurse and have at least a year of critical
For more information, go to www.crna.tcu.edu.
Oration Iraqi Freedom
You might say L. Paul Bremer had
the weight of the free world on his shoulders. Bremer,
former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, was on campus in late
January to speak about his time as a lead administrator
of the U.S.-led coalition responsible for rebuilding
that country after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s
He shared his optimism about the new democratic government
in Iraq and admonished audience members not to be
discouraged over the continuing insurgency.
Bremer, whose visit was sponsored by the World Affairs
Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and TCU, was promoting
his new book, “My Year in Iraq: The Struggle
to Build a Future of Hope.”
On the high voter turnout in Iraq’s recent
election, Bremer commented: “We take elections
for granted in this country. Every Iraqi who voted
was taking their life in their hands.”
Bremer also said it’s important for the American
presence in Iraq to continue for the foreseeable future
because of security concerns and the need to help
the country continue implementing its new political
and economic system. “I think we’re on
the right track in Iraq, but the American people need
to be patient,” he said. “We ought to
be a little patient in realizing how far we’ve
TCU Press recently announced the
winner of its “You Be the Author” writing
contest, co-sponsored by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
which turns an aspiring novelist into a collaborator
on a serial Western novel that TCU Press will publish
The winner, Mary Dittoe Kelly of Colleyville, who
has never been published, gets to write a chapter
in the novel, working in concert with established
authors such Elmer Kelton, Dan Jenkins ‘53,
Star-Telegram books editor Jeff Guinn, TCU Press Director
Judy Alter and others.
The public chose three finalists by voting on submissions
on the Star-Telegram Web site. The TCU Press editorial
staff then selected the winner.
The book’s plot line involves a freed slave
who fights for the Union Army in the Civil War but
eventually settles in Texas. Because it is a serial
novel, the writer of each chapter can alter the course
of the story as they go.
TCU Press will publish the work, titled Noah’s
Ride next fall, and Kelly and the other authors will
make several publicity appearances, including a gala
night at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth
Sept. 11 crushed Michelle Peluso’s
business. Back in 2001, Peluso was leading a small-but-up-and-coming
New York City-based travel business called Site59.
Displaced from their office near Ground Zero and crippled
by the near-shutdown of the airline industry, Peluso
and company forged exclusive partnerships with airlines
and hotels to get back up and running again. The success
caught the eye of Travelocity execs, who bought them
Now Peluso is Travelocity brass — president
and CEO to be exact — and has helped the travel
giant redefine itself. Rather than fight with competitors
over low prices, the company that brings you the Roamin’
Gnome focuses on experience guarantees. The result
has been eight consecutive quarters of organic (25
percent or higher) growth.
In February, Peluso shared some stories of her re-ignited
passion for the industry at the Charles Tandy Executive
Speaker Series, as well as some positive-thinking
business aphorisms. Here are a few of the best:
• Put other people first. It’s
the most important thing in leading a business. Your
customers matter more than your business plan.
• Take risks. That means facing doubters.
And invariably overcoming failures. Creating a culture
of creativity means tolerating missteps and learning
• Be passionate about winning. It’s
the greatest indicator of success. And life is too
short to be stuck and unhappy.
• Dream big and be fearless. Too often
we’re content to settle for the status quo and
stay in our comfort zones. When we push ourselves,
we see what we’re capable of.
• Check your ego at the door. Being
humble encourages teamwork and produces results.
The Schieffer School of Journalism recently received
The Advertising Club of Fort Worth’s annual
Dateline Award at the organization’s February
The honor recognizes people or businesses that have
brought the most positive publicity and attention
to Fort Worth or Tarrant County in the past year.
TCU made headlines across the nation when it named
the journalism department after Bob Schieffer ‘59,
anchor of CBS News.
The Dateline Award has been handed out since 1958.
Past winners include the Tandy Corporation, the Bass
brothers, Pier 1 Imports, Texas Motor Speedway and
the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art.
Two of the nation’s premier investment firms,
Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings,
have assigned ratings of Aa3 and AA-, respectively,
to the University’s $80 million variable rate
demand revenue bonds, Series 2006. The ratings also
apply to the $20 million the University plans to issue
in 2007 as part of its construction project.
The ratings represent a strong and stable financial
outlook for the University, said Brian Gutierrez,
vice chancellor for finance and administration.
“TCU is an excellent institution, and the thorough
review of our finances and subsequent high quality
ratings by these well-known agencies confirms the
financial integrity and fortitude of this University,”
The TCU Board of Trustees recently conferred honorary
titles on Anne W. Marion and R. Denny Alexander. Marion,
who served on the board from 1979 to 1992 and has
been an emeritus trustee since 1992, was named an
Alexander, a trustee from 1972 to 2005, was named
Students coming, staying
TCU has received 7,519 admission applications this
year compared with 7,211 this time last year, a 5
Another impressive stat is that nearly all of the
2004-05 freshmen returned to TCU this year. Of last
year’s freshman class, 84 percent returned for
their sophomore year, and 91 percent of those in the
Honors Program returned. Also, 94 percent of freshmen
that began at TCU in the fall returned for the spring
John L. “Chip” Merrill, director emeritus
of Ranch Management, was recently awarded the National
Golden Spur Award, the ranching and livestock industry’s
highest honor, by the Ranching Heritage Association.
Merrill, who directed the Ranch Management Program
for 33 years, is credited with expanding the Ranch
Management curriculum and solidifying the program’s
reputation for educating standout managers in ranching
and related agricultural industries.
Advancing Higher Education
in Uncertain Times
By Larry D. Lauer
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
TCU Vice Chancellor for Marketing
and Communication Larry Lauer examines the swift and
fundamental changes coming to the world’s colleges,
universities and schools. The changes will lead to
advancement professionals taking a more central role
in the academy. But with the greater prominence will
come higher expectations, greater accountability and
the need to practice advancement crafts with more
sophistication. To order go to www.case.org.
New from TCU Press: "Fort
By Leonard Sanders
This epic novel captures the history
of Cowtown by following the fortunes of one family,
the Spurlocks, through the Civil War, World War I
and II and the oil boom. Written by the late Leonard
Sanders, the historical novel is a reprint edition,
with a foreword by Jim Wright. For more information,
call 1.800.825.8911 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conversation with Donald
Donald Frischmann, associate professor
of Spanish at TCU, is co-editor of Words of the True
Peoples/Palabras de los Seres Verdaderos. The three
volume, multi-lingual anthology of contemporary Mexican
writing is the first of its kind published in the
United States. Using the 13 indigenous languages of
33 poets, dramatists and prose writers, the anthology
has been a six-year labor of love for Frischmann and
co-editor Carlos Montemayor.
Q: What was your impetus for compiling this collection?
A: I have dedicated the greater part of my professional
life to documenting and publishing on relatively unknown
areas of Mexican culture. Five centuries of racial
and cultural prejudice has had much to do with the
literary academy’s neglect of indigenous people’s
verbal creations. Anthropologists have documented
much of their oral tradition; however, our focus in
Words of the True Peoples is on written works. My
co-editor and I felt that the literary and cultural
traditions of the indigenous people of Mexico could
no longer be ignored. We are very happy that my funders
— TCU, the University of Texas Press, the Fulbright
Commission, the NEH and the International Bank of
Commerce — agreed.
Q: You have described Words of the True Peoples
as an opportunity for Indigenous writers to “say
who they are in their own words.” How difficult
was it to translate those words into English?
A: Those narrative pieces that were stylistically
closest to oral sources were the easiest to translate;
the original short stories were often more difficult,
due to the authors’ deliberate use of more complex
syntactic structures and the poetic nature of their
writing. The 94 poems we have published in Volume
2 also presented a broad range of difficulty due to
poetry’s intrinsic polysemic nature. Many poems
contain fascinating culture-specific references that
the writers often did not attempt to include in their
own Spanish-language translations. Where those translations
seemed vague, I sat down with the poets and examined
their compositions line by line to “recover”
important elements present in the Indigenous-language
texts; for that reason, some of my English versions
are more complete than the writers’ own translations
Q: In your Introduction to Volume I, you say
that your aim in translating indigenous Mexican writers
has been, “to encourage people to pay attention
to the contemporary voices that address from the depths
of time.” What do these writers have to teach
A: Traditional indigenous worldview might help Western
civilization save itself from natural disasters spurred
or intensified by human actions. If one views all
that exists as sacred, then one must be willing to
accept disaster as the just price for environmental
pollution and the destruction of other species. The
Tojolabal Mayans believe that everything that exists
— rocks, plants, animals and humans —
share one same living spirit they call yaltzil, “heart,”
capable of happiness or sadness, and belonging to
one community. The essence of life on Earth is not
the accumulation of possessions, but rather, sharing
the Earth’s gifts with the deities and ones
neighbors through community festivals. I feel that
the “Indigenous way” can be a pathway
of salvation for Western peoples, to at least counterbalance
the forces of ego and avarice that increasingly and
dangerously dominate and threaten our civilization
Q: What’s the next step?
A: First, to complete all revisions to Volume 3 (Theater)
so it may appear in late 2006. I’m also looking