New program aims to increase student donations


    Every student can now be a part of TCU's gift-giving society.

    Count Me In, a new program, aims to be the equivalent of the Senior Class Legacy program, Harmonie Farrow, director of student and young alumni programs, said. The Senior Class Legacy program, which started in 1993, is responsible for the bricks outside the Mary Couts Burnett Library.


Count Me In includes membership into the Junior Clark Society and will grant students access to a special breakfast with Chancellor Victor Boschini on April 4. 

    The Junior Clark Society is TCU’s leadership giving society, said Farrow. Membership allows students access to special networking events with alumni. 

    The program is designed to get students to start giving back to the university before they graduate in hopes they will continue to give after they have left, Farrow said.


"I think it’s great," said Brianna Ortbals, a senior nursing major. "I’m kind of disappointed they didn’t start that my freshman year."

    First-year students are recognized for a contribution of $5, sophomores $15 and juniors $25. 

    For a gift of $50, seniors receive an engraved brick outside the library, are listed in the commencement program, are inducted in the Junior Clark Society and can honor up to three couples or individuals in a mailed certificate.


All students can designate what they want their money to go toward, whether it be scholarships, a specific college such as the College of Communications or the Harris College or TCU’s general fund, Farrow said. 


In the past, the unspecified money was used to purchase an ultrasound machine for the Harris College of Nursing and to help fund a cross-college production of a Broadway play, Farrow said.


Ortbals said she gave her money to the nursing school because of the construction currently underway on the Bass Building.


So far, there are 86 non-senior student donors and 237 senior student donors, Farrow said.


The senior program had a record-breaking 485 senior student donors last year and anticipates over 500 student donors this year, Farrow said. The class of 2013 has already raised just under $12,000 through participation in the Senior Class Legacy program.


As of Feb. 15, 237 seniors purchased their bricks, as compared to the 172 seniors who had purchased bricks by this time last year, Farrow said. 

    Farrow credits the increase in student donors to changes in marketing strategy since she came to TCU three years ago, and help from Student Foundation, the group that leads campus tours and helps with alumni events. The seniors in Student Foundation were asked to talk to groups they are involved with about why it is important to participate. 

    Ortbals, a member of Student Foundation, said the presentations with different organizations had a positive impact on the program.

    Ortbals said, 

“My friends and peers said they had no reason before to get a brick, and now, once they heard my speech, they definitely wanted to get it and they heard how important it was to give back to TCU.

    “The university needs the feedback and support from recent graduates and the cool things that go along with getting a brick: the Junior Clark Society and being able to honor people at graduation,” she said.


Andrea Hein, also a member of Student Foundation, said the presentations went well.


“I think a lot people didn’t know about the program or why it exists, so I think it’s been really successful,” Hein, a senior strategic communication and speech language pathology double major, said.


The class of 2013 bricks will be placed in front of the bike rack by the library steps steps, Farrow said. Because of construction, part of the class of 2012 bricks had to be stored but will be replaced upon completion. 

    The deadline to purchase a brick is March 1 so the bricks can be ordered and laid in time for graduation, Farrow said.