Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office

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Admission Update: Meet our Student Foundation Members of the Month!

wadeCaroline Wade

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Major: Spanish, Pre-Med Track

High School attended: Hutchison

Why you chose TCU: I love that everyone is so involved in academics and other activities and can excel in both.

Favorite Class taken at TCU: Intro to Social Work with Dr. Moore

Favorite Professor at TCU: Mark Demarest

Extracurricular Activities on Campus: STUFO, Ambassadors, Chi Omega, Honors College, Hall Crew, AED, Global Medical Training, RUF

Favorite Memory at TCU: Definitely attending the Christmas Tree Lighting with my friends. I loved the fireworks, singing, and decorations.  I really felt the Christmas spirit even though I wasn’t home with my family yet.

Why students should want to be on your Tour: I like to make the tours fun and interactive by sharing my personality and personal experience with the group. I have a serious and goofy side, and I think students appreciate seeing both sides of me in a tour.  I also love to chat; parents love that because they always have questions and want to talk to real, down-to-earth students.


leachLexee Leach 

Hometown: Colleyville, Texas

Major: Theatre

High School attended: Grapevine High School

Why you chose TCU: I was looking for the school with a competitive program for my major, but also where every student is really passionate about attending the school, and TCU showed that from my first tour my junior year of high school. The Admissions staff also really blew me away with how personal they are! (Fun fact, my tour guide was Connor Vaccarro for my first college tour ever)

Favorite Class taken at TCU: Movement & Voice and Speech

Favorite Professor at TCU: Krista Scott, Jennifer Engler, and Penny Ayn Maas

Extracurricular Activities on Campus: Gamma Phi Beta officer, StuMo, StuFo (duh), Ambassadors, Theatre TCU, Connections, featured in the “Unite for the Fight” Football Intro video

Favorite Memory at TCU: When Dean Ray Brown hand delivered me the first acceptance letter of the class of 2019 to my house! There were some very happy tears, let me tell ya.

Why students should want to be on your Tour: I have a ridiculous amount of school spirit, and if nothing else, you’ll leave my tour knowing “I just really love TCU,” which I think I unknowingly say at least 100 times.


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LIGHTS….CAMERA….ACTION!!!……..ALL EYES ON WELL-DESERVING STUDENTS through the lens of the TCU Community Scholar Program


 Once again, TCU laid out the “purple” carpet for a great group of admitted students who endured the six-month TCU Community Scholar process.  Yes, six months of dedication and hard work.

vic4At Texas Christian University, we believe a diverse community is essential to a quality education. The TCU Community Scholars Program was created to meet this goal. This elite program has grown to include eleven underrepresented public high schools where top students are recruited for full-ride scholarships to TCU.  Scholarship award recipients are also provided with the necessary support to be successful members and leaders of the TCU community.  Our long-term goal is to help them attain their full potential, including advanced degrees, and to help them become the next generation of community and business leaders.vic3

It’s not just the student candidates who work through each phase of the six-month process; we also have help from TCU Admission staff, the Intercultural & Inclusiveness office, members of the TCU campus community, members of the DFW community and, of course, staff and administrators within each participating high school and district.  Wow, lots of behind the scenes work and planning takes place each year…but it’s all worth it!! Why?…See for yourself! Watch this video and you’ll understand exactly why we love this program so much- worthy students earning great opportunities.vic2


vic5Victoria Herrera is a Senior Assistant Director of Admission and the Director of Minority Recruitment. She has worked at TCU for 15 years, earned her TCU MLA in 2003, and cheered on both of her sons as they graduated from TCU as well. She loves horned frog football and Rod Stewart.

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Admission Update: A perspective from the other side of the desk

campus_visitWe write about what we, as college admission counselors, think about TCU. But in the grand scheme of things our opinions matter very little. We work here, and we’re members of the Frog family – so we’re pretty biased.

When we hear someone else (who doesn’t have TCU on their paycheck) gush about TCU, it really means something. Recently, a multitude of high school counselors visited four private schools in the DFW metroplex – including little old TCU. After that visit, one of the counselors wrote a blog about his experience.

And we love it.

Like love it so much we want you to read it.

Joseph D. Korfmacher, Coordinator of College Counseling, Xavier High School (NY) wrote some pretty spectacular words about his visit on our campus. So here is real proof that TCU is great – from someone who doesn’t get paid to say that TCU is great.


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Student Submission: Redefining Home

“Hello, my name is Crichelle, and I am a junior anthropology and social work major from…”

OSAAs soon as I speak, most people can tell that I’m not from Texas. Last summer, I was an Orientation Leader here at TCU, and I had to memorize what we call an “intro.” It’s a fairly simple statement: name, year, major, hometown. But for me, it was kind of difficult to create one, because I really don’t know where my hometown is.

My mother was born in Houston, and raised in Missouri. She met my father when she was studying abroad at Oxford. He is from the South of England, just north of the River Thames. As a result, I am “half-and-half”. With this combination, I suppose I was destined to be confused. I spent the first sixteen years of my life living in and around London, in England. But just before my junior year of high school, I moved to Aspen, Colorado.   In America, I am “English.” This is weird, honestly, because in England, everyone considered me to be American. I mean, it’s nice to finally be called “English”, but it has made me wonder what my identity really is. Americans don’t claim me, and neither do Brits, so what am I?

When senior year of high school came around, I felt as if I were behind. I didn’t know to schedule senior photos, I had no idea what graduation parties were, and I didn’t know anything about American colleges. I learned that there were more than 4000 to choose from, and I couldn’t find the right place to start. We had these meetings at my school on Wednesday nights called “senior round tables.” My classmates and I would write essays, and help each other review. One of my friends was filling out the TCU application, so I checked it out. The website looked interesting, and they had the major I wanted, so I decided to add it to my Common App. I had never been to Texas. It seemed too hot and too big for me, but my college counselor encouraged me to go see the campus. In fact, she told me that she would not allow me to make a final college decision until I had visited TCU. Reluctantly, I agreed, and during spring break, I boarded a plane to Texas with my mother, doubtful that it was a trip worth making. But when I stepped onto TCU’s campus, I knew: this place was something I could live for.

The summer before my freshman year, I had received a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered, and spoke to an excited girl called Alex. She told me to sign up for something called “Hall Crew”. This organization was involved in creating weekly events within residence halls. I signed up, without knowing what I was getting myself into.

TedTalkWhen I arrived in the fall, I fell in even more in love with TCU. My professors were amazing, my classes fascinated me, and my residence hall was full of fantastic people. I immediately got caught up in making friends in my hall. But when the first weekend of school rolled around, I realized I was signed up to go on the Hall Crew retreat. This meant that the in-hall-friend-making had to take a break, and I left for an overnight trip to a campsite. There, I met some of the most committed leaders on campus, and I came back from the retreat with a new sense of purpose: I was determined to make this campus feel like home for anyone who came here.

I am now half way through my TCU career, and I have received so much more than just an education here. I have received vast and genuine support through many health challenges; I have received invaluable leadership training and experience; I have received a new, huge, Horned Frog family. TCU is unlike anywhere else on earth. It is so unique to be in this environment, where almost everyone around you wants what is best for you. When people ask where I am from, I have learned to tell them that I am from TCU. And I still don’t know if I am English or American, but I do know that I am a Horned Frog.

BriceCrichelle Brice is an anthropology and social work double major. She is involved with the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, TedXTCU, and the Phonathon.

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Admission Update: The Voice – an admission allegory

For the first time ever, I watched The Voice last night (gasp). And yes, I have been living under a rock.

I loved it! I loved the nervous contestants. I loved the playfulness and banter between the judges. I loved the way the judges first choose the singer, and then if there’s more than one judge who wants a singer – the singer then chooses which judge they prefer.

And then it hit me – this is just like the uber-competitive college application process at highly-selective schools.

The singers are the applicants – and for the most part, they are like the top 10% of their high school class. Or the star athlete, or mathlete, or student body president. Everyone expects great things from these applicants.

The judges are the college admission counselors. They pay close attention to the applicants, searching for a compelling reason to choose each one. They don’t get to catch an actual glimpse of the applicant – only allowing the talent to speak for itself.

thevoiceAnd the buttons are the admission letters. The buttons literally initiate bright lights that scream “I WANT YOU!” The counselors are excited about every admit letter that goes out. The applicant breathes a huge sigh of relief and shines a toothy grin when the admission letter arrives. Finally – all the hard work has paid off.

Lastly, when more than one judge chooses the same singer, it’s up to the singer to determine the judge who will ultimately be their coach. In higher ed, we call this yield. Which judge will yield their singer? Which school will the applicant choose to enroll? The colleges promote their best assets and differentiation that will appeal to the admitted applicants. And the admitted student must quickly choose the school that will coach them through college.

And that’s the happy ending. Except a lot of the time, it’s not. A lot of the time, none of the judges hit the red button.

In The Voice, the singers are seen by their hometown as an amazing talent that belongs on the Billboard charts. And they are an amazing talent – but the problem is, every town has an amazing talent – a star athlete, a mathlete, a student body president. There are about 19,500 cities in America. Their best and brightest are applying to many of the same schools.

In admission, we judge these students based on their application. Suddenly, the valedictorian is competing for the same admission and scholarship as thousands of other valedictorians. The student who is accustomed to accolades may be experiencing rejection for the first time. Maybe they received admission letters and scholarship from good schools, but it’s not they one they wanted. A judge not hitting a button, or a college not admitting a student, doesn’t define the level of talent or potential that a person carries.

But it’s so great when Blake gets the country singer or the kid from Oklahoma, right? Or when Christina wins out against Adam! In the same way, we in admission celebrate with each deposit that is made. We really do! Counselors especially are thrilled when a student that they’ve grown close to over the application process decides to attend TCU. They literally poke their head into every office and share their excitement with each other. They playfully compete for the most enrollment. It’s a lot like the dynamic with The Voice judges.

College admission is nerve wracking – wrought with fear, excitement, and panic. But at least students don’t have to apply on a big stage in front of a national audience!

10426653_10101188058069084_1940167630411632055_n (2)Liz Rainwater is the Director of Admission Marketing & Communication and is celebrating her tenth year with TCU. Her purple dryer lint is evidence of her commitment to all things Horned Frog.


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Faculty Feature: Dr. Nadia Lahutsky, Religion

Please do try to do it all . . .

So many things to do.  Far from having to worry about boredom, as a TCU student you will be faced with a dizzying array of activities.  Find a student organization and join it!  Put all of your fraternity or sorority activities on your calendar so you don’t forget anything. Go to class. Friday evening time to hang out with your friends. Do your laundry. Prepare for class.  Work out. Get a ticket for this weekend’s football game. Update Facebook regularly.

What’s missing from this list is something that high school rarely prepares you to think about. You already pretty much know about student groups and classes and everyone has been warning you about the need to remember to do your laundry before you run out of you-know-what.  But college is not high school and here is one notable difference.

steepleThe TCU campus community presents us all with a breathtaking set of opportunities for outside-the-curriculum intellectual enrichment. Most every week you could—if you so chose—go to a lecture four nights of the week, from Monday through Thursday. Departments schedule Green Chair visiting professors. One faculty member invites a colleague from another institution to give a talk. Or one of the TCU colleges, such as AddRan my college, hosts a special lecture featuring one of its own faculty members. I highly recommend you keep Wednesday evenings open for Kinomonda, where food and world cinema meet a TCU/Fort Worth audience!

My field is Christian history. Over the last two years I have been to special talks on a wide range of topics: a rhino conservation program in South Africa, animals and consciousness, Shirley Chisholm the first black woman to run for president, fair trade issues in the clothing industry, the economics of philanthropy, creativity, Pope Francis (a topic close to my area of study), the people of Pakistan, Jewish contributions to Broadway, Jared Diamond on what we can learn from traditional societies, Muslims in America, the life of a National Geographic photographer, reformist Islam in Iran. (I could make an equally long list of lectures I posted to my calendar but could not, at the time, get myself to.)

Sometimes departments and faculty will bribe students into showing up for such lectures with the promise of extra credit. Feel free to take the offer of EC when it is presented to you. But, for goodness’ sake, surprise yourself (and maybe some of your high school teachers) by showing up at a talk that does not, on first glance, seem to intersect with your previously demonstrated interests. Maybe one of your professors has mentioned it in class. Or you saw an email about it.  (Don’t laugh; that could happen.) Maybe you glimpsed a poster on it as you passed through the BLUU. Perhaps a friend has indicated they’re going (for extra credit in their class). Offer to go along. You won’t be required to take notes or swipe your card at the Purple People Counter. You’re just along for the ride. Oh, and for the intellectual stimulation.

I will admit that I have on rare occasion been disappointed when a talk turned out not to be very interesting to me or was poorly delivered. This has been actually quite infrequent. However, there has never yet been the event from which I learn nothing. If you keep your ears and your mind open, you might have the same experience.


Dr. Jonathan Walton

In Fall 2015 the Religion Department sponsored or co-sponsored lectures by Dr. Vincent Wimbush, distinguished scholar of New Testament and African-American religion, and Dr. Jonathan Walton, social ethicist and current Pusey minister at Harvard Chapel. Two months later a student I did not know addressed me familiarly; he had heard me introduce Dr. Walton. I still don’t know that student, but just thinking about him makes me smile. His is a great example of what we mean when we say that not all learning happens in a classroom.

So, get out there and do it all.  OK. Let’s be reasonable. Do a lot of listening to special talks. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

lahutskyDr. Nadia Lahutsky is the Chair of the Department of Religion. She teaches courses in World Religions, Christian Traditions, Contemporary Catholicism, and Women in Religion.

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Student Submission: Home is Where the Frogs Are

bootsThroughout my childhood, I moved around a lot, and it took me a while to find a place to really call home. The phrase “home is where the heart is” is a popular saying that I’ve always had various connections with and curiosities surrounding, but my time at TCU has allowed me to better understand how home has nothing to do with the place and everything to do with the heart.

I thought I knew where I was going to college throughout my childhood, following in the footsteps of my family and the majority of my extended family. It was a comfortable place that I was familiar with, so it was easy for me to envision that University as my possible home for four years. However, when I unexpectedly started looking into TCU, I was surprised by how a place so foreign to me could seem so appealing, attractive, and assuring for my future.

I visited TCU for the first time during March of my senior year of high school, on a rainy day during TCU’s spring break, and in the nine hours that I spent on its relatively empty campus, I could already feel a strong sense of home.

lineWith a leap of confident faith and hopeful expectation, I decided to simply make it my long-term destination, and instead, it became my forever home. TCU has brought out parts of my heart that I didn’t even know could use, and very much benefit from, some cultivating. The clubs, organizations, friendships, and communities that I have been plugged into have developed more than just my character, resume, and Facebook friend-list; this place has grown my heart. Maybe it’s hard to understand and personalize right now, but here are three simple yet profound ways TCU can change the status hearts, and therefore, become a home.

  1. COMMUNITY. I think this word has become overused and underappreciated in its intended meaning, but in the actual deep, communal unity (comm-unity) that it by definition describes is something that we all long for – and, in fact, are created to be a part of. I knew there was something special about the community of people at TCU with some of my first interactions surrounding it. There are more genuinely smiling faces, considerate care-givers, and unified spirits here than I have ever seen. Whether it is through a faith-based group; a Greek organization; a group of friends; or the broader TCU family of students, faculty/staff, and alumni, the community here is something that makes you feel welcomed and a part of something special. In the truest sense of the word, it’s the best community I’ve ever been a part of.
  2. CHALLENGE. One thing I did not expect from TCU was how much it would challenge me and stretch parts of my character that I didn’t know needed some healthy challenging. Through diverse classes, high academic integrity and expectation, time management, accountable friendships, and godly leaders challenging my faith, I have been stretched in ways that will have a lasting impact on me and the way I view the world. My heart has been challenged, grown, and strengthened here. Now I challenge you to accept that challenge as well.
  3. CHANGE. One thing you’ll learn quickly about TCU is that things are always changing: new buildings, renovations, organizations, and student life efforts. However, even when 90% of our exteriors are changing, the heart of TCU remains the same. TCU has taught me how to change, adapt, and grow with the world around me and to be aware of what is going on around me without necessarily changing the essence of who I am. Our infrastructures change, classes change (way too quickly), the amount of money in student accounts change (unfortunately, usually not for the better), but the mission statement and principle of our campus stays the same. Similarly, in my two and half years here, I have learned how to grow in awareness of my surroundings while maintaining, and even strengthening, my own mission and principle. Somehow a combination of external change and internal consistency has taught me the importance of change and integrity.

So, I CHALLENGE you; think about the CHANGE that has already taken place in your life and that will take place in the future, and go for the kind of real COMMUNITY that is going to actively grow you in both the ways you hope and could never imagine.

Whether you’ve lived in the same home your entire life and are worried about how a new city, school, and community can ever compare to what you consider home or, like me, you’ve lived a nomadic, unpredictable path of various homes, you will be amazed at how quickly and deeply TCU can take that place without replacing the other homes your heart has come to hold dear.

If home is where the heart is, then I think we can all find a home wherever we go – if the passions and desires of our hearts are with us – and I can promise you, you are welcome in this home.

hayobLindsey Hayob is a junior Child Development major and Educational Studies minor. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, a frog camp facilitator, a Young Life leader, and a leader for Delight Ministries.


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