Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office


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The Life of an Admit Packet

It is the last week of the semester at TCU and it is evident that the year is coming to a close. Students are holed up in their favorite study spots to prepare for finals, Housing and Residence Life is ready to move students out for the semester, Student Development Services is winding down its various programs, and TCU Dining Services is preparing its final meals for the year. However, the Mary Wright Admission Center is as abuzz as ever. With all Early Action applications reviewed, the staff within the Office of Admission is ready to sign, seal, and deliver, each admit packet to potential new members of the class of 2019. From beginning to end, take a look at the life of an admit packet and how it goes from our printer to your mailbox!

TCU BlogAfter each application is reviewed, a letter is printed by Kathryn Schruba, the mastermind of the admit packet process.

TCU BlogDean Ray Brown then personally signs each letter with, of course, a purple pen.

TCU BlogAfter printing, various members of the staff adorn each letter with a gold TCU seal and purple (you can’t have enough purple) ribbon.

TCU BlogThe letters are then compiled with other admission-specific information into one of our custom “Congratulations” envelopes. If you see one of these, it is probably good news!

TCU BlogThe letters are then packed up and taken down to the TCU Post Office in nothing other than the back of a pickup – the Texas way! The Post Office then processes and mails the letters all over the world!

With admit packets arriving soon, comment with a picture of you receiving yours! If you have a special TCU celebration, we would love to hear about it!


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Ask the Counselors: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to parents? (Part 1)

The college decision process goes far beyond the student. Many stakeholders, especially parents and family members, play a huge role in facilitating the search process, empowering their students, and supporting them throughout the four years in more ways than one. Here is some advice that our office gives to parents as they tread through the college decision alongside their student.

Kyle Cochran
Empower your student to facilitate this process. Not only do they need to make the decision that is best for them, but researching and choosing a school can be a fantastic learning opportunity in itself.

Heath Einstein
Have a conversation early on in the college search about the financial commitment you are willing to make.

Caitlin Provost
Let your child do the work during the application/admission process. It’s great practice for the college experience and also adulthood! Letting go can be hard, but offering support and help will be better for the long run for your child instead of you simply doing the work and asking the questions for them.

Victoria Herrera

Kay Higgins is the Director of Parent and Family Programs at TCU. She always emphasizes how pivotal of a role parents play in their student’s university experience.

Kay Higgins is the Director of Parent and Family Programs at TCU. She always emphasizes how pivotal of a role parents play in their student’s university experience.

Let your students learn for themselves during the good experiences and how to handle difficult situations. As a parent, you can always be supportive and provide guidance, but the best learning tool you can provide is to let them make some decisions and learn from the experience.

Sara Sorenson
Encourage your students in the process, but also don’t pester them to go a certain way. You have raised amazing kids who are learning to become their own person, so trust them and advise them where you see fit.

Beatriz Gutierrez
Have an open mind and know that we are here to help.


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Student Submission: Ready or Not…

When I graduated high school, I felt incredibly depressed.  The place I had come to know over the past four years, my stomping grounds, my high school was something of the past.  I felt uneasy, unsure, and I wasn’t ready to move on from high school. I wasn’t ready to leave California for Texas. I wasn’t ready for TCU.

TCU BlogFast forward to this semester, fall 2014, and I look back at these past few years and smile at how dreadful and unsatisfying I thought my college experience would be.  Why? Well, not only has TCU I exceeded my expectations, but I could never dream of going to college anywhere but here! Over the years, TCU has provided me with so many opportunities to get involved, to challenge myself, and to be more than a random face in a crowd.

While I have enjoyed time spent in class, at athletic events, at social mixers, and in the wonderful places that Fort Worth has to offer, I have particularly thrived in my involvement in various organizations. Some of my greatest accomplishments include being a Resident Assistant (also known as an RA), being a part of TCU Ambassadors, and serving as an Orientation Leader.

TCU BlogAs an RA, I have been able to meet some of the most fantastic people in my life. In addition, I have been able to hone my people skills (pretty important when you’re dealing with people!).  By planning programs, such as PB&J with the RA (it’s delicious!), conducting hall meetings, and learning about the ins and outs of housing, I feel that I have grown so much as a person. Above all, I have a greater appreciation for diversity and for what I can learn from others. This, in turn, helps me to relay these lessons to the rest of the world and to be a part of something important.

With TCU Ambassadors, I am fortunate to reach out to prospective students (one of you may even be reading this right now!).  Writing letters and participating in special events, such as Mondays at TCU and Experience TCU, are just a couple of ways in which TCU goes above and beyond to make all of its students (including the future ones!) feel important and cared for. The TCU Ambassadors organization holds a special place in my heart, as I remember all too well the stressful process of applying to schools. Ambassadors helps me to communicate with prospective students and hopefully share some wise and comforting words with them and their families; it lets me pay it forward.

TCU BlogLastly, being an Orientation Leader has pretty much made me a TCU Encyclopedia! I learned more than I ever thought I would about TCU, and I was able to help incoming students along the way! Performing an orientation skit, aiding in the schedule-building process, and even holding up a small purple sign were just some of the activities that composed quite a memorable summer for me.  Again, this was another way in which I could reach out to others and make them feel at home in this TCU community, in this Horned Frog family.

TCU BlogNow, bringing all of this back to the present, it is my senior year, and I am feeling exactly how I did four years ago.  But, this time, I don’t want to leave TCU.  Whether I’m ready or not to leave this amazing institution, I will forever be grateful for all that TCU has given me. So, while I can spend all the time I want to reminiscing on my aforementioned experiences and involvement and while I can feel depressed about the seemingly uncertain and scary future, I can also cherish the fact that I will always be a TCU Horned Frog.

TCU BlogMackie Moreno is a senior Communication Studies and Psychology double major with a Spanish minor from Trabuco Canyon, California. She is involved in TCU Ambassadors, Lambda Pi Eta the Communication Honors Society, the John V. Roach Honors College, and serves as an Orientation Leader and a Resident Assistant.


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Academic Preview – ENGL 30473: Wilde Years: Oscar Wilde and the 1890s (Spring 2015)

Fun fact: Oscar Wilde’s American tour included a lecture in Fort Worth on June 17, 1882! He probably wasn’t wearing his fur-trimmed overcoat in Texas in June. Perhaps he donned the famous knee breeches and velvet jacket he wore while lecturing in the U.S. on the “House Beautiful” and “The English Renaissance.” He had been hired to promote Patience, a new Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera running in New York. But Wilde made the tour all his own.

Oscar Wilde, 1882

Oscar Wilde, 1882

A showman during the tour, he was also honing skills that produced such witticisms as “I can resist everything but temptation” in the play Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892). There were many Oscar Wildes, however, and “Wilde Years” seeks to explore them while also placing his work in the wider context of shifting attitudes toward gender and sexuality in the 1890s (the course counts towards the minor in Women and Gender Studies as well as the English major and minor). These changing attitudes were reflected not only in Wilde’s plays, fiction, and essays but also in the fiction, essays, and poetry of “New Woman” writers Sarah Grand and others—so called because they were seeking to define women and their roles in new ways as universities, employment opportunities, and mobility (via the underground or bicycles) opened up for them.
Our course readings explore a number of issues that many societies, including our own, still struggle with. If women go to work and have careers, what is the future of the family? If women’s roles are changing, how will men’s roles change as well? How do language and art (whether visual, written, or acted) reflect excitement and anxieties about more fluid gender roles or expressions of sexuality? What effects does the representation of diverse sexualities have on audiences and social attitudes?

Wilde in knee breeches, velvet jacket, silk stockings, 1882

Wilde in knee breeches, velvet jacket, silk stockings, 1882

If women were at the center of these questions, so was Oscar Wilde, the once-happily married man and father of two who became a gay martyr after he was arrested for “indecency” with another man, put on trial, and sentenced to two years’ hard labor in prison, after which he lost his family, his income and library, even his copyrights.

Constance and Cyril Wilde, 1889

Constance and Cyril Wilde, 1889

In the course we read a wide range of works that make us think and make us laugh. Students also learn how to do original research on 1880s and 1890s periodicals that reacted to the social upheavals and amusements of the time. (The course also counts as a historical traditions class.) Students select an image in a periodical dating from the 1880s or 1890s and analyze its relation to changing concepts of gender in the works we have read. The cover of Savoy Magazine, 1896, was one image recently chosen by a student. You can read more about this, because the images and research of two students are featured in a scholarly article I published after teaching the course (“Wilde Pedagogy: Digitized Resources and Gender Analysis of Periodical Visuality,” in Victorian Periodicals Review 45.2 [Summer 2012]: 228-38).  In this case, students first undertook original research, and their work inspired my own research on what difference it makes if students search historical copies or digitized databases for their projects.

I close with a favorite moment from a 2008 section of “Wilde Years.” In the spirit of Wildean wit and showmanship, students Justin Avery Anderson and Daniel Roberts-Witschey came to the final exam dressed as Wilde and “Bosie,” Lord Alfred Douglas. We all laughed, then students sat down and took their finals. Justin was dressed in a fur-trimmed overcoat very much like the one Wilde wore in 1882.

hughesDr. Linda K. Hughes is the Addie Levy Professor of English at TCU.


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Student Submission: Jumbotrons and Grimy Games

When I think of TCU, I think of a family. I think of smiling faces, unique opportunities and Horned Frog spirit. I think of people that are accepting, loving and passionate. I think of a campus where fellowship fills every classroom and relationships flourish. I think of a beautiful place that I am blessed to be able to call home. TCU is not just a school in Fort Worth or a place on a map, but it is a true community. It is a community that unconditionally supports one another and provides an endless amount of opportunities to succeed. My role in this Horned Frog family began the first time I stepped onto the campus.

Grimy Games are the highlight of Frog Camp Challenge!

Grimy Games are the highlight of Frog Camp Challenge!

My adventure and remarkable journey took off when I was deeply impacted by the welcoming community of TCU at Frog Camp. I felt like a valued member of the student body within minutes. Becoming a Frog Camp facilitator then became a dream of mine, for now it was my turn to spread the contagious joy and vigor for TCU to all those who had not experienced it yet. This drive is what keeps the community of TCU so alive and meaningful. Whether diving into a pile of oatmeal during grimy games or breaking it down on the dance floor in front of a new Horned Frog family, there is comfort and trust surrounding each moment.

I felt so loved as a first-year student and when I became a facilitator last year, I knew I needed to turn around and spread that love to other students. My community began at Frog Camp but as soon as the school year began, I experienced TCU’s incredible spirit in a whole other way.

Football season at TCU is an exciting and eclectic time. I experienced the communal aspects of TCU in a completely different light and I have been hooked ever since. It is amazing to see the stands filled, Horned Frog spirit seeping from every crevice and fans that are truly bleeding purple. Game day can bring us all together to not only cheer on our team but also to celebrate the incredible school that we all attend.

Even Jerry Jones's jumbotron couldn't contain the TCU spirit.

Even Jerry Jones’s jumbotron couldn’t contain the TCU spirit.

When TCU played at AT&T Stadium during the 2013 season, our whole Horned Frog community gathered together and traveled to cheer on the Frogs. This game was such a wonderful representation of the TCU spirit and to top it off, my friends and I made it on the jumbotron. We were filled with joy from head to toe and we even made it into the local newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in the fan photos from the game. This moment, this game and this claim to fame would not have been as meaningful or as memorable without an incredible reason to be proud. I am proud to be a Horned Frog because of the community that we have, something unique, special and truly incomparable. Football is only a mere representation of our school and the spirit we have, for our community extends further and deeper in an indescribable and beautiful way.

As a rising junior, I hope to continue to instill, pursue and develop the community at TCU. Frog Camp, Student Foundation, Chancellor’s Leadership Program and the other activities at TCU that I have developed a passion for have all shaped the role I play in this Horned Frog family. Every student is a valued member of this family and has a purpose at TCU. Whether showing their pride through utter mess and grime or on a jumbotron in front of thousands of fans, each student is meant to be at this incredible school and is undoubtedly loved by all other Horned Frogs.

TCU BlogAbbie Maynard is a junior Broadcast Journalism and Spanish double-major from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is involved in Frog Camp, Student Foundation, the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, and the John V. Roach Honors College.


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Ask the Counselors: When giving an information session, what are you most excited to share? (Part 2)

In our office, each admission counselor is responsible for giving information sessions to our guests on campus. Each of us craft our own presentation with stories, facts, and other tidbits that we feel make TCU special. In a previous post, some of the counselors shared their favorite pieces of information, but check out a few more!

David Stein
I love talking about the curriculum and the different classes offered. Obviously students will take their major classes, but to know that there are cool electives like “The Hunger Games and Civic Survival” or “Topics in Italian Cinema” makes for a lot more interesting set of classes.

Margaret McCarthy
When giving an information session, I’m most excited to share aspects of student life.  TCU has a very close-knit community, and there are many ways that our students build relationships with one another.  I also love talking about Fort Worth, since it’s the perfect location for our university.

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that nearly one third of TCU students enjoy!

Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that nearly one third of TCU students enjoy!

Beatriz Gutierrez
I always love sharing my study abroad experience because I believe TCU has great opportunities such as these for students to embrace the mission statement by engaging in the global community.

Alexis Olympia
I enjoy talking about the great relationship between TCU and the city of Fort Worth. There is no doubt TCU is the hometown team! Purple reigns throughout the city at the local grocery stores, and in the neighborhood homes that proudly display TCU flags in their yards. The Fort Worth community fully supports the university. In 2009, Mayor Moncrief declared “Go Purple Friday” as a way for city residents and employers to show their pride for TCU and our athletic programs. Dying the Trinity River purple was also quite a sight to see!

Purple lights on buildings is just one of the ways in which the city of Fort Worth shows its TCU pride.

Purple lights on buildings is just one of the ways in which the city of Fort Worth shows its TCU pride.

Karen Scott
I like to tell people that we have an internship scholarship program. It’s designed to help students who get internships that are unpaid or low-paid. TCU guarantees an internship to everyone who wants one. We’ve recently had interns at places like the World Health Organization in Switzerland and the Cannes Film Festival in France.

John Andrew Willis
TCU is the total package. We have big football and little classrooms. We love you like a family member, but of course expect you act like a maturing adult. Essentially, any idea a student presents that would mesh with our mission to create ethical leaders is one TCU will help make a reality if at all doable. The possibilities are, very truly, endless.

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