Through the development of TCU Frog Camp and Orientation, John Mark Day, the director of the first-year experience, has impacted the lives of incoming Horned Frogs for more than 13 years.
Now, Day is leaving TCU to become the director of leadership and campus life at Oklahoma State University.
Caleb Ashbrook, a Frog Camp director for the Paris and Summit camps, said, “You can’t really quantify how much of an effect he has because in some way, shape, or form, he has essentially touched every single person that has come through TCU in the past 13 years.”
Ashbrook said that Day taught him how to use his strengths as a leader when they were leading Frog Camp Paris, the Frog Camp offered for honors students.
Day’s colleagues in Student Development Services agreed.
“I know I’m supposed to say I’m happy for him, but I’m super bummed because this is a huge loss for TCU,” Lindsay Knight, assistant director of the first-year experience, said.
Knight said that Day was a staple of the TCU community through his impact on other people.
“He kind of is TCU,” Knight said.
Day’s charge is to develop students’ leadership skills outside of the classroom. At TCU, Day focused on the first-year experience and helped develop incoming students through Frog Camp and Orientation. At OSU, Day will be working for a campus that has 20,453 students enrolled.
“The first thing I’m going to do when I get up there is ask a lot of questions and spend a lot of time meeting people,” Day said. “I’m going to really learn who the students are, what their values are, and what the values of the university are. Then I’m going to ask myself, ‘How do we meet these goals? How do we keep pushing the OSU student experience forward?’”
Day said he took the job at OSU because it’s time for him to grow and move somewhere new.
“It’s going to be a big change, obviously,” Day said. “I’ll get to be really hands-on with their Student Government Association, which is a new thing for me. I don’t work with SGA here directly. I’m excited to work with their campus activities and arts programming and see how all of that comes together.”
Knight and Trung Nguyen, the other assistant director of the first-year experience, are splitting Day’s responsibilities until his successor is named. The search for an interim director is in its final stages. A search for a permanent successor is expected to begin in the spring semester.
Dr. Barbara Brown Herman, the associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of student development, said that she wanted to be intentional with the search for a permanent replacement.
Herman said, “I think it’s important to take our time and be intentional about searches. I also think it’s important for our existing staff to have an opportunity for input and contribution.”
Day graduated from TCU with bachelor’s degrees in religion and news-editorial journalism. He also holds a master’s degree from TCU and Dallas Theological Seminary, and recently graduated from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College with a Doctorate of Education. He accomplished all these things while working for TCU.
Day began his TCU career as an admissions counselor before moving to Student Development Services.
John Mark Day and Victor Boschini gave speeches at Day’s farewell reception on August 26.