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Joseph Addison Clark
As a descendent
of Joseph Addison Clark, I was very pleased to read your recent article
in The TCU Magazine, "Muddle in the Middle: The 'C' in TCU."
I cannot recall having seen in print anyone mentioning that my great great
grandfather had anything to do with the founding of TCU. My grandmother,
Modena Frank Rogers Spitler, was always saddened by this.
(our line, of course) has it that one of the reasons that J.A. Clark was
not mentioned as one of the founding fathers in Colby Hall's book or Joseph
Lynn Clark's book, Thank God We Made It, has to do with the split
in the Christian Church/Church of Christ denominations over the musical
instrument issue. I can well remember my grandmother telling me about
the Sunday that they were gathered in the little town of Thorp Spring
for worship, and a piano was brought in. She told that her grandfather
quietly took her hand and walked out of the church, never to return. His
sons, Addison and Randolph, remained in their pews. Because my grandmother
loved music so much and played both the piano and violin, she came back
to the Christian Church with her parents. This whole issue caused a very
painful rift in the family for years to come.
older brother (a TCU and Brite graduate) and I were very pleased to see
that the cornerstone from old Thorp Spring had been placed underneath
the statues of Addison and Randolph with our great great grandfather's
name also listed as a founder.
Joseph Campbell Spitler '67
I was puzzled
by Professor Sodiq's defense of Islam in the Winter 2000 issue of the
TCU Magazine. In the article he states "Islam is a religion of peace,
mercy, and love that should not be associated with any act of violence."
Defenders of Islam these days are often heard to denounce any connection
between Islam and violence, but to paraphrase Hamlet, "it seems perhaps
they protesteth too much."
at history shows that Islam has not always been so nonviolent as he claims.
Muhammed himself -- the penultimate prophet of Allah and the revealer
of God's will on Earth -- commanded armies in bloody battles and attacked
and plundered peaceful trade caravans as part of an economic war. He slew
enemies and dispensed capital punishment with his own hands. The "Apostolic
Age" of Islam was dominated by the spread of their beliefs through
an almost unbroken series of violent military conflicts -- waged not in
self-defense, but in conquest to acquire a vast empire -- all in the name
of course, has had its own share of violence such as the Crusades, Inquisitions,
and violent conquests (lest you blame religion alone for such violence,
non-religious movements have their own violent histories -- Nazis, Nationalists,
and the proudly-atheist Communists have spilled plenty of innocent blood).
Both Christian and Islamic scriptures can (and have) been used to justify
violence as well as peace.
the first three centuries of Christianity, starting with Jesus himself,
Christians not only talked peace, they also lived it. For the most part,
the first generations of Christians lived out the teachings of their faith
by harming no one. Consequently, modern Christians can and do legitimately
reject violence in the name of Christ as perversions of the original teachings
of Jesus and his followers. Muslims do not have this luxury.
hope that the vast majority of Muslims today are only interested in "peace,
mercy and love" as Professor Sodiq says. The religion of Islam is
many things, but please do not tell us that it "should not be associated
with any act of violence." Its founder and early adherents demolished
that myth long ago.
Matney, Ph.D. '85
I just received
the Winter 2001 issue of The TCU Magazine today. It does take a
long time to get out here in the middle of the "big pond". The
memories were stimulated when I saw Ken Jones, cheerleader on page 15.
Ken and Betty Rollings were the first couple to be married in Robert Carr
Chapel, August 21, 1954. I remember the date because I was the second
groom of that wonderful place August 28, 1954. I was the chair of a steering
committee to organize a new-church-start in Lubbock called Westmont Christian
Church and we called Ken as our founding pastor. Ken has been gone too
many years now but the memory of him linger on.
at its best
enjoy reading The TCU Magazine, but the Winter 2001 issue was unusually
fine. The thorough discussion of the "C" in TCU; responses to
9-11, especially Anisa Dhanani's account of her experience in Pakistan;
the short piece about the "Lost Boys of Sudan" -- these represent
journalism at its best. I even enjoyed the irate letters in response to
Jennifer Klein's delightful reporting of her student experience in London!
Whitwell Laine '71
to let you know how much I enjoyed the story about the history of the
Horned Frog as the mascot in your last issue. The pictures were especially
good. As the story pointed out, this lizard has had a very dramatic decline
over the years and continues to puzzle scientists who investigate this
trend. Other than the obvious loss to nature, there would also be a great
blow to the pride of alums everywhere if Phrynosoma were to completely
disappear. Like any animal in Texas, the majority of horned lizards still
around live on privately owned land. This is why it is essential to educate
not only the public in general but particularly those with a specific
interest in the horned lizard.
the accompanying story "Baptism by Frog" was a bit disconcerting
because of the supposed love these women have for the school and their
little friends. Obviously they have never heard of the concept of federal
protection of an endangered species. Essentially this means you can look
but not touch the Texas horned lizards they each have clinging to their
shirts in the picture. That story was the equivalent of someone writing
about how they played with a nest full of cute little fluffy bald eaglets
or peregrine falcons back when they were at the height of their threatened
states. These creatures (horned lizards) are surely fascinating and they
are definitely disappearing at an alarming rate.
citizens and ESPECIALLY concerned friends of TCU should do is educate
themselves regarding appropriate interaction with these animals. That
is the best way to enjoy them and also the best way to preserve them for
as long as possible.
About that "C"
recent issue reminded me of an editorial I wrote for the Skiff
25 years ago titled "What happened to the 'C' in TCU?"
I came to
TCU in spite of its middle name, but I soon learned its true meaning through
the Christ-like love of some special people. They demonstrated biblical
Christianity to me in a way I had never seen before, and it changed me.
TCU had become for me.
By the time
I got to be a senior and the editor of the Skiff, I had grown disappointed
with the way TCU failed to live up to its name, at least at an institutional
certainly could stand for "community" or "conservative"
or "church-related" (fine sentiments all), but regrettably the
"Christian" it portrayed was a watered-down version I wasn't
But I guess
that was the point of your article.
isn't a part of the classrooms or offices or dorms. They merely house
even the administration or faculty or staff. They simply encourage it.
"C" there is in TCU is brought there, nurtured, and passed on
by the students who pass through. I was fortunate enough to be a part
of a great fellowship.
My hope is
that those fellowships continue for many students and for many years.
Class of '76
After reading the Winter 2001 TCU magazine, I agree with most of the contributors
that "Christian" should be dropped from Texas Christian University.
However, I do not propose this name change for the same reasons brought
that most fear the word "Christian" offends or turns off potential
students and other financial contributors. While that may be true, I agree
to a name change because, as a Christian, I object to my religious beliefs
tied to a college name that few, including the Chancellor, are proud to
are those that believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. I had understood
that TCU was financially supported by a group of Christians and that Christian
values were promoted. So, why not have an auction and sell the college
name to the highest bidder? Perhaps we could be called Coca-Cola University
or Microsoft College? At least then, there would be no doubt what our
hope that our actions will back up our words. In his "The 'C' in
TCU" in the winter issue, William E. Tucker attempts to give meaning
to the "Christian" part of Texas Christian University. Tucker
quotes former TCU president Waits: "TCU's supreme task is to furnish
Christian leadership, and to inculcate Christian idealism based upon ╔
the kingship and lordship of Jesus Christ."
good start. However, I recall Tucker, himself, in opposite action. I refer
to a Brite/TCU luncheon held a few years ago in connection with the Christian
Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly. Apartheid was still the
policy of South Africa, and corporations, institutions, individuals were
strongly encouraged to divest themselves of any stocks they held in South
African companies as an act of solidarity and support with those who were
suffering under apartheid.
What we got
at that luncheon however was a blast from Tucker that individuals and
congregations had no right to attempt to tell TCU what to do! In fact,
Tucker made a threat that if forced to, TCU might go the way of Butler
University. (Butler, in Indianapolis, had been a Disciple connected school.
It is now private.)
looking around at other Frogs at our table and noticed that they were
either shaking their head in a negative manner or simply looking at the
year, I was in a meeting where William Sloan Coffin, former chaplain at
Yale University, was speaking. He was asked about TCU's unwillingness
to divest their stocks. His response: "Goodness, I thought the 'C'
in that school stood for Christian!"
From a theological
perspective, one would call Tucker's speech at that luncheon as supporting
institutional sin. Yet, a major part of the Christian faith is forgiveness.
Maybe Tucker can incorporate that aspect into his next article on the
"C" in TCU.
W. McDermet III '60
Sunrise Beach, Mo.
Do not take the word "Christian" out of Texas Christian University.
Instead remove idolatry and worldly lust for gain out of TCU. Why don't
we treat people with love and compassion as true Christians do rather
than accepting practices which are contrary to Christ's principles. There
is a difference: either be in the world or of the world. We should not
be embarrassed of Christ but, we should fear Him being embarrassed of
us. Maybe some get bored having the same old identity but please TCU,
uphold the name of Christians by what we are on the inside, not by altering
the title of what others see on the outside. To improve for the good all
of us need to first fix what's within. Thank you.
Robert Berndt '86 (MBA)
Thank you for this article on what I feel to be the core identity of my
alma mater -- Christian. Without that designation, we could be just another
faceless university, of which there are so many, in the state of Texas.
As a freshman,
I was somewhat taken aback at the "liberal" way the University
presented this "Christianity" in its religion courses (coming
as I did from a small town dominated by those who believed in a literal
translation of the Bible). But my own faith journey has forever after
been enhanced by the broader interpretation of Christianity I first glimpsed
in Dr. Ambrose Eden's classroom.
As I have
followed the development of the University over the past 46 years, through
the alumni magazine, visits to the campus, and my son's attendance there,
I have seen Christianity in the most basic sense of the word, to quote
the Webster's definition offered by Dr. Tucker, "commendably decent
or generous," at the root of its every endeavor.
impressed I was when I first read the current mission statement and found
the words "ethical" and "responsible!" How proud I
have been at TCU athletic events that can be opened unabashedly with a
spoken prayer. What a lump comes in my throat during the singing of the
school song at the words "Light of faith, follow through╔.,,"
again showing what an integral part of our university is the belief in
a higher power and what that belief means to the living of life.
Most of us
alums would be outraged at the idea of changing the name of the university,
especially to keep from losing "a number of bright potential students
every year who do not even consider coming here because of their false
perception of us as a Bible college."
of enrollment trends through the years indicates that as long as the Horned
Frog football team is successful (note the current increase in applications
since LaDanian Tomlinson and company made national headlines -- thankfully
this year's team is keeping up the tradition), prospective students, who
might otherwise be thrown off by the word "Christian," will
investigate TCU as a place to receive their higher educations. Of course,
I realize that the breadth and depth of its academic offerings, plus the
quality of life on campus, is really what lures most applicants.
with the Internet and a plethora of information on universities available
to students and their parents, it doesn't take much research to see that
Texas Christian University is not a narrow, church-related school for
just the pious and dedicated, but a major, comprehensive university open
Boardman Rosson-Bond '56