individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens
in the global community
the ages, mankind has rallied to words that represent something so meaningful
they are willing to give their lives. Think: 'We the people.' 'Remember
the Alamo.' 'I have a dream.'
Until 2000, TCU's mission statement consumed
a couple of pages and was virtually unknown. Chancellor emeritus Michael
Ferrari knew that clarifying TCU's mission was essential to the University's
future. He imagined a solitary purpose sentence that would be equally
appropriate on office stationery or a billboard on Interstate 30.
He assembled a diverse cadre of campus
leaders and challenged them to craft a mission that would "fit on
a coffee cup." A sentence that people could easily remember and rally
Today that statement is everywhere: on
formal napkins, classroom bulletin boards, even student election campaign
posters. It is incorporated into class syllabi and is beginning to seep
into the fabric of students' everyday lives.
As an honor to the retiring Ferrari, the
Student Government Association asked students last year to submit essays
answering the question: How does one embody the University's mission
statement about being an ethical leader and responsible citizen?
Nearly 40 students responded. Following
are excerpts from the four winning essays:
Jeremy Burge Business
As suggested in the opening words of TCU's
mission statement, participation in the global marketplace of ideas is
made possible by the thirst for education. Perhaps the greatest education
of all comes with the realization that human interaction and responsibility
drive the many forces of society. Furthermore, the development of skills
pertaining to those functions requires a stimulating and enriching environment,
one I am proud to say that I find at my alma mater.
Beyond mere deliberation, however, comes
execution. Herbert Spencer, the great
English philosopher, articulated what is perhaps one of the greatest notions
of higher learning by stating, "The great aim of education is not knowledge,
but action." There is no substitute for intellectual breadth, but there
also exists no justification for allowing great ideas to fade into obscurity.
Just as thinking and acting are coupled
in TCU's mission statement, so too are they merged in the pragmatic settings
of the everyday world. When I leave
TCU, I will take with me the spirit of encouragement and initiative that
inspired my actions and enriched my college experience.
A large part of one's life is spent continuously
learning, and sharing that knowledge with others. During my years at TCU,
I have had extraordinary professors in the classroom and opportunities
brought in to learn. More importantly, I have been given the privilege
to share my knowledge with others in many ways. As an Orientation Student
Assistant and Connections Mentor, I have been given the chance to share
my knowledge and love for TCU, and more importantly my love for people.
Being a mentor has given me the opportunity
to help fellow Horned Frogs succeed in college and in life. I have also
helped to educate my peers and faculty about disabilities, through sharing
with classes about my own personal disability. For the last three semesters,
I have facilitated discussion in the Social Work Diversity class about
Political Science/Speech communication
For me, the words of the TCU mission statement
are so much more than words, and the meaning extends far beyond the boundary
of Stadium Drive. Yes, I could recite my resume and fill your head with
all the documented ways I "embody" the mission of the University.
But I am not there yet. Embodiment implies
that you have it down, but I would never claim to be completely developed
as a leader, as a citizen, and especially as a sister. The statement begins,
"To educate individualsÉ," so, instead of being satisfied with
where I am or what I have done, I strive to be a lifelong learner.
Terrell Cline Carter
I spent one summer as an intern for Congressman
Jim Turner, two summers on medical mission trips to Nicaragua and South
Africa and will now be spending this May touring the western states in
a TCU biology course. From the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.,
to the grass huts on the plains of South Africa, and the jungles of South
America, I have developed a unique and important sense of how government
can both help people and destroy people.
I have learned to take my place in a world
very much unlike what I call my home and have served as a representative
of not only the U.S. but also of TCU. I have learned to treat all persons,
no matter the color, the politics, or the religious beliefs with respect
and understanding. Through these experiences, I have developed deep understanding
of people very different than myself.
I have learned that the world is a small
place holding people of very differing cultures and conflicting views,
each of which must be respected.