As Chief Financial Officer for Athletics, Jack Hesselbrock knows the process of matching endowed scholarships to a student-athlete can be detailed and personal.
As a father whose daughter’s memory is honored with an endowed scholarship, he also understands the importance of picking someone who will represent the university well and become a constructive citizen on campus and in life.
“It’s not just names into a hat then pull them out,” Hesselbrock said.
He said the donor sets parameters on what type of person the scholarship is presented to based on what their passion is and what is close to their heart.
“It can range from a baseball player in the business school who has a 3.0 and indicates team spirit, character and dedication to the sport,” he said. “Or it can be a top tennis player who takes academics seriously and wants to pursue a professional career in tennis.”
About half of all TCU student-athletes receive some sort of financial aid, Jeremiah Donati, associate athletic director for development and associate vice chancellor, said.
In the 2012-13 fiscal year, Frog Club fundraising covered the cost for all athletic scholarships at TCU for the first time ever, Donati said.
One way donors contribute to fundraising is through endowed scholarship gifts. Donati said people give to endowed scholarships for many different reasons.
“For every endowed scholarship there is a different story,” he said.
Including the story of Hesselbrock’s daughter.
Molly Hesselbrock was a freshman in high school when she was diagnosed with cancer.
“It was totally out of the blue. She was just a blowing-and-going 14 year old. She kept going into remission and then relapsing,” Hesselbrock said. “She passed eight months after she was diagnosed. It was that quick.”
Hesselbrock said the scholarship in his daughter’s memory was endowed by a letterman who he went to school with.
When deciding parameters for the Molly Hesselbrock scholarship, Hesselbrock said the family recalled when Molly was in treatment and how she loved the day-to-day encounters with the nurses more than anything.
The family agreed the scholarship needed to go to a upperclassman nursing major who is an athlete or a TCU Showgirl because Molly liked to dance, and she had been a cheerleader.
“We thought this would be a good way to honor Molly, by honoring the nurses,” Hesselbrock said.
Recipients of the Molly Hesselbrock scholarship have all been recommended by either coaches, faculty or the dean of the Harris College of Nursing, Hesselbrock said.
Women’s soccer head coach Eric Bell recommended the athlete who currently has the Molly Hesselbrock scholarship.
Bell’s choice for the scholarship was women’s soccer forward and senior nursing major Brittany Slyman.
Slyman said she appreciates that Hesselbrock understands the challenge of tackling nursing school while also playing soccer. She said it is not about her, but about him and his family.
“Molly’s story has inspired me,” she said. “It sounds like she was a beautiful girl, amazing dancer, really smart, and the fact that my name is tied to her is really just an honor.”
Hesselbrock said endowed scholarships are very special. They are forever and have a name attached to it.
“I think each and every one of them have a special story and a truly deep meaning for family members or for fellow alumni and friends of the individuals honored,” Hesselbrock said.