Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Don Whelan gave an in-depth presentation at the Faculty Senate meeting Thursday to discuss an on-going campaign focused on making academics, rather than athletics, more visible on campus.
Since the last campaign, $90.5 million of $250 million has gone to funding athletics.
“We get that giving to athletics is exciting, and we see tangible results because it can be measured in wins and losses,” Whelan said. “How can we make giving to academics more exciting?”
Whelan said the focus of the campaign isn’t directed at doubling the university’s endowment but on the future impact it will have on the institution.
“Talk to us about the impact it will have on this institution,” Whelan said. “What will TCU look like in 2022 when this campaign is over?”
Whelan stressed that the highest institutional priority today is to increase the university’s academic profile and reputation.
Jesus Castro-Balbi, an associate professor of cello at TCU, said the community doesn’t recognize key events that certain organizations are hosting.
“It seems like what’s inside, stays inside,” he said. “When our students travel to national competitions, it needs to be known because that’s something that all institutions around us do not have.”
David Jenkins, professor and chair of the university’s Department of Social Work, said it is hard to sell what you’re doing until you make it personal and give it a story.
“Unless you know people are doing exciting things on homelessness, domestic violence or developmental disabilities, it doesn’t get there to the donors it seems like,” Jenkins said. “I don’t know that they know our stories very well.”
Billy Farmer, Faculty Senate representative from the College of Science and Engineering, focused his opinion on the impact that former TCU students have in the community after graduation.
“What we need to do is find stories of what’s happened to our students 10 years after,” Farmer said.
Alumni and friends have helped contribute $109 million since the start of last campaign.