Friday, December 31, 2010

A shout out from Boston.

A couple of proud Horned Frogs are shining their light for their team as the boys prepare for the Rose Bowl.

Bryan Koop ’80, senior vice president, regional marketing at the Prudential Center in Boston, Mass., along with his wife Susan ’81, (above) are lighting Boston’s iconic Predential Tower purple tonight to welcome TCU to the Big East and support the Horned Frogs as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2011 Rose Bowl.

The Prudential Tower is an internationally recognized Boston icon and became infamous for being lit up during the Boston Red Sox’s “Reverse the Curse” World Series in 2004. The Tower has, quickly since then, become the Beacon of Boston and Red Sox Nation.

"Tonight this Beacon will shine on Frog‐Nation and hopefully bring about the same luck," the Koops say.

Northern exposure

Caroline Wiersgalla, academic affairs chair for the Student Government Association and Neeley school student, wanted to share her Horned Frog pride and cheer on the Frogs from enemy ground — her hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin — home of the dreaded Badger.

Caroline writes: “Here is a quick snapshot of a very cold afternoon that involved my little brothers and I trying to get to the Wisconsin sign. We were facing treacherous highway traffic and unforgiving Badger horns while trekking through 4-feet of snow and ice to get this photo! Have a very Happy New Year while celebrating with the Horned Frogs! GO FROGS”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It Never Rains in Southern California.....Wrong!!!!

Heavy rains moved into LA overnight and had made for a wet Wednesday as the Frogs prepare for Wisconsin and the 2011 Rose Bowl. There's no indoor facility at the Home Depot Center, so the Frogs practiced in the rain today. An early morning press conference featured Co-Offensive Coordinators Jarrett Anderson and Justin Fuente and QB Andy Dalton, WR/KR Jeremy Kerley, Remington Award Winner Jake Kirkpatrick, WR Jimmy Young and OT Marcus Cannon. Immediately after Wisconsin's Defensive stars showed up with nothing but good things to say about the Frogs' offense and the way they play.

More later from LA!

John Denton
Color Analyst
TCU Sports Network

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Frogs have Spirited practice, "Rudy" Visits the Frogs!

Tuesday meant a full-pads practice for the Frogs as they start to sharpen their preparation for Saturdays 97th Annual Rose Bowl Game. Lots of full-speed hitting was punctuated with several visitors including ESPN's TV crew of Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit (who apparently is a believer in the Frogs!). Also on-board for today's practice was former Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon and Fresno St. Head Coach Pat Hill. The big visitor today was "Rudy"...that's right Rudy Ruettiger, the famous former walk-on at Notre Dame upon whom the movie "RUDY" was based. Rudy addressed the Frogs after practice and told them to make the most of their "moment" in the Rose Bowl. It was a thrill for all the Frogs to meet him and especially for your reporter, who's a big fan of the movie.

More from Pasadena later.

John Denton
Color Analyst
TCU Sports Network

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Insider Look at the Rose Bowl

Monday morning, I took a trip with the Frogs out to the Rose Bowl to do a walk-through and get a look at the most famous stadium in college football. Here's a look at what the Frogs will see when they go from locker room out to the field....are you ready?? Get those chin straps buckled!

John Denton

Color Analyst

TCU Sports Network

Frogs Get Royal Welcome at Disneyland

Sunday afternoon, TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson and players Andy Dalton, Tank Carder, Tejay Johnson and Jake Kirkpatrick recieved a Rose Bowl-sized welcome from Mickey Mouse and the folks at Disneyland. Players, coaches and families enjoyed the day at Disneyland!
John Denton
Color Analyst
TCU Sports Network

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just back from a visit to Pasadena and the Stadium

A late lunch today with the family at Pie 'N Burger in Pasadena and then a quick visit to the center of the college football universe....THE ROSE BOWL. Although I've been there before for Super Bowl XXVII, college football games and even been on the field with ABC's Keith Jackson, let me tell you there was something extra special this day about coming over the hill into the Arroyo Seco and seeing that stadium in a different light....a PURPLE light.
No doubt in my mind that this week will be special and will forever stake a new path for Frog fans everywhere. Let me be the first to welcome you to the Rose Bowl...."The Granddaddy of Them All!!!"

John Denton
Color Analyst
TCU Sports Network

Frogs land in LA for Rose Bowl Prep

Friday morning the TCU Horned Frogs and their travel party arrived at LAX to start the week-long run up to the 2011 Rose Bowl. We landed at 10:30 a.m. PST. Sunny, clear skies met the Frogs, along with an escort by the California Highway Patrol (CHIPS for those old enough to remember the hit NBC TV show from the 1970's) to the Frogs' hotel. I'm off to the Rose Bowl this afternoon to get a look at the stadium and find my way around Pasadena. And, oh, by the way -- speaking of CHIPS - I couldn't help myself - had to get a photo with em! Those standing around were encouraging the officers to take me in!!

More later from LA!

Merry Christmas and Go Frogs!

John Denton

Color Analyst

TCU Sports Network

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bowl tickets on the way to Frog Fans!

If you were among those Frog fans who gobbled up 20,000+ Rose Bowl tickets, be watching your front door because your tickets were sent out today via FedEx! We're only 16 days away. Wear Purple, Be Froggish!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jay Leno tied up for TCU

Lynn Miller ’03 (MSN ’10) and her husband Matt are currently in California during her Nurse Anesthesia clinical rotation and decided to attend a live taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

By making an online reservation, they received free tickets to the show – but that is only the beginning. Next, they had to drive through L.A. traffic to arrive four hours early, lining up behind sixty other people who arrived slightly earlier. After sitting, eating and chatting their time away, the group was escorted into the studio.

Although free ticket holders don’t get to choose their seats, Lynn and Matt made it in the first row of grandstand seating near the stage for the guest musician of the night. The show was full of laughs, the guests were interesting and the music was a surprisingly good live performance.

And yet, the most interesting part of the night happened before the cameras started rolling. Along with several other announcements and warm ups, Jay has a tradition of coming out to greet the audience prior to the show and answering a few questions. It’s said that it loosens him up, and he enjoys hearing from his fans — some of whom have traveled many miles to be there.

The first question of the night was from a school teacher, and Jay cleverly responded with quips and amusing faces that made the group laugh. Next, Lynn’s husband got Jay’s attention and asked the following question, “Jay, since your alma mater Emerson College doesn’t have a football team, would you consider rooting for TCU’s Horned Frogs this season?”

Without a pause, Jay enthusiastically said, “Sure”! They sat down satisfied and awaited the start of the show.

Ten minutes later, he came out to deliver his monologue, and what did Lynn see, but Jay was wearing a purple tie!

She leaned forward and asked the staffer whether this was a color he normally wore. He said, “Frankly, no. He’s more of a straight red or blue guy. Purple is a little unusual.”

So, fellow Horned Frogs, not a coincidence!

We hope everyone (Jay Leno included) keep rooting our Frogs on to a BCS Championship this year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carmen Castro '05 gets unexpected hello from new Frog friend

“Randomness!” wrote Carmen Castro ’05. “What a small world!”
Castro was referring to the letter above, which she found on her windshield last summer in Washington, D.C.

“While doing my graduate work at American University, I found this note from a fellow Horned Frog in the most unexpected of places: my car windshield! It was a pleasant surprise considering I was dealing with a big move to NY.

“The note was from Judy Eierdam '89, now living in Greenwich, CT, who just happened to be visiting a friend in the Alexandria, VA. area! She recognized the TCU logo on the back of my car.

“It made my day and proved to my fellow graduate program colleagues at American University just how close my alum network is at TCU.”

Castro has been back in Fort Worth since late September and is working for Catholic Charities of Fort Worth and serving as a freelancer for the community weekly publication The Informador. She hopes to find work in the broadcast editorial field.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping the tradition going

TCU alumni Dan Michalek '86, Tom Fireoved '85 and Ross Landmen '87 reconnected on Oct. 16, when the three were there for the BYU game, which was during Parent's Weekend.

Two are now purple parents as well: Dan has a freshman, Conner '14; Ross's daughter Madelyn '13 is a sophomore.Add Image

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yard painted with giant TCU in Bay Area

Michael Magbuhat of Fremont, Calif., surprised his daughter Nicolette who is a freshman at TCU with this design in his yard. A house painter by trade, Magbuhat laid out the letters to scale in his front yard. Then, he mowed the grass in two different heights - one very low for the TCU letters and a taller length for the white surrounding the letters. Then using environmentally friendly paint, he sprayed the letters and the white border.

Magbuhat writes: "I was at Family Weekend and have followed TCU football for sometime and got all excited when the baseball team went to the College World Series. The experience at a TCU home football game was exhilarating. I thought this would be a surprise for my daughter when she visited home. I was ecstatic the way it came out. GO FROGS!!!!!!!!!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One day old and wearing Frog gear

On November 5, 2010, Brian '99 and Michelle Bonjour '01 of Phoenix, Ariz., welcomed a new Horned Frog into their family - Camden, who was born at 2:45 p.m. The next day, little Camden was wearing TCU clothing to cheer the Frogs on to victory in the TCU-Utah football game with siblings Kendal and Beckett and grandparents Karen and Tom Bonjour '72.

Brian writes that "Mommy, baby and family are doing great. GO FROGS!!!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Horned Frog Halloween for son of Katy '03 and James Winter '02

Beckham Winter, age 2 1/2, was right at home in his custom Halloween costume when he and his parents, Katy Reichenstein Winter '03 and James Winter '02, were on campus for homecoming festivities.

The Winters live in Lubbock, where James is in medical sales and Katy enjoys being home with Beckham.

Monday, November 1, 2010

David Alan Hall ’87 and Jo Anna Grant ’88 have laser focus

Author David Alan Hall ’87 writes that wife Jo Anna Grant ’88 is trying to ensure that The Force will be with the Frogs always with her working, custom made, Star Wars light saber with a blazing purple laser blade.

Grant, who earned her PhD from the University of Oklahoma in 1996, was recently promoted to full professor at Cal State San Bernardino. Hall writes of her recent work: “In the face of critics, she developed with a partner an online public speaking course. It has been a huge success. She is sought after for her expertise in teaching it. Recently she was asked to start offering it to students overseas.”

Hall is now working on his ninth book, a novel about a father who comes to better understand himself through a commitment to better understanding his daughter, who suffers from autism.

His most recent book, Raw Talent: Nurturing the Creative Seed, an autobiography, was the No. 1 bestseller in December and January 2010 on the Kindle in the “Artists Memoir” category. In addition, one of his novels is under consideration at Paramount Pictures for adaptation to the big screen.

In his spare time, Hall makes short, personal videos, including one about his days at TCU and his life in general.

Hall and Grant live in Redlands, Calif., where they just bought their first house. They met at TCU in 1986. “In 2001 I arranged to meet her in the very spot I first saw her in Reed Hall, and surprised her by proposing. We have been married for 7 years,” Hall writes.

Books by David Alan Hall:

The Three-Pound Universe (1993)
Distant Connections (1995)
The Paradise Vendor (1998) (being considered for movie)
Toward Higher Ground (2001)
Perpetual Motion (2007)
The Great Crossing (2008)
Raw Talent (2009)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kelsie Johnson '10 is putting her T-shirts to good use

Kelsie Johnson ’10 shared her Horned Frog pride — and her extensive collection of TCU shirts — with her class of second graders at the Houston-area school where she is teaching for Teach for America.

Kelsie writes: My classroom theme is the "Fantastic Frogs," allowing me to put all my Frog paraphernalia to good use. Today was College T-shirt Day at my school and my college-bound second graders didn't have T-shirts to wear. Naturally, I put my millions of free TCU shirts to good use and brought all 25 of my students a shirt to wear today.

Kelsie was the TCU student body president last year.

According to the organization’s website, Teach For America's network has grown to over 28,000 individuals. They are one of the nation’s largest providers of teachers for low-income communities, and have been recognized for building a pipeline of leaders committed to educational equity and excellence.

The 2010 corps is made up of more than 4,500 recent college graduates, graduate students, and professionals from all 50 states, over 500 colleges and universities, and a variety of career backgrounds.

This school year, more than 8,200 first- and second-year corps members are working to raise the achievement and change the life trajectories of over 500,000 students in low-income communities.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Smoke signals for Jacob Nussrallah ’07

When 1st Lt. Jacob Nussrallah ’07, a platoon leader with the 118th Military Police Company (Airborne), was in Afghanistan this year for a re-deployment as a mentor and evaluator, he had the Horned Frogs on his mind.

“At the end of the training, I had extra purple smoke and wanted a picture showing my support to Texas Christian University,” he says.

Nussrallah is now an operations officer for the 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., The smoke was used as simulators for artillery and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“It is certainly an interesting life choice when you decide to go into the Army and commission as an officer,” Nussrullah says. “I want to thank all the Horned Frogs that sent care packages to me and my troops while we were down range and I look forward to visiting TCU again.”

Nussrullah says you may write to him at

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adam Marr '06 flying Apaches, cheering the Frogs

U.S. Army Capt. Adam Marr ’06 exchanged emails with us from his deployment in Taji, Iraq, where he is an AH64-D Apache helicopter pilot in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn — and a proud TCU Horned Frog fan. (That’s Marr with his ride and TCU flag.)

An ROTC cadet at TCU, Marr is now an aviation captain with the 1-1 Attack Reconnassaince Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infintry Division out of Fort Riley Kan.

He took some time to answer some questions with the magazine via email.

What duties do you have in Iraq? Briefly describe your day-to-day service?
I just finished up my time as a Platoon Leader in Alpha Company. I have since moved on to work as the Battalion S4 or Supply and Logistics Officer in addition to my pilot duties. We have currently been deployed to Taji, Iraq, since March 15th. A typical day involves waking up an hour or two prior to our Operations and Intelligence briefing, where I find out what mission I will be supporting that day. Then I grab a quick bite to eat and head down to the flight line to prepare, go through preflight and posture myself for the mission. We then go out and fly a multitude of missions that include (but are not limited to) route reconnasiance, Convoy Security, aerial escort, counter-IED, counter-indirect fire, special ops missions, and humanitarian aid drops. It’s typically about six hours in the sky. Then we return to Taji and do our post-mission debrief, maintain the aircraft, fill out the logbooks and maintenance trackers. After that, it’s time to eat again at the dinning facility, where the food is pretty good but certainly doesn’t compare to a good ol’ Texas steak.

Obviously, you're a Frog fan. Do you get to follow the team over there? Listen to games? See highlights online?
I attended TCU from 2002-2006 where I participated in ROTC as well as being a Lambda Chi Alpha. I have an enormous amount of school spirit. My favorite pen that is always on my uniform is a plastic TCU pen that I bought at the TCU bookstore last summer, and I use it every day. Ed Adams ’03 is stationed with my unit as well. He was a senior in ROTC when I was a freshman and now flies UH60s (Blackhawks). He currently Commands Alpha Company 3-1,1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley Kan. We are both huge Frog fans and talk almost every other day about the Frogs’ recent wins and upcoming opponents, as well as how much we hope Boise State loses each week.

What made you decide to serve your country in the Army?
When I was a senior at Grapevine High School, I applied to one school and one school only — TCU. It was the only place I wanted to go. When I found out about the ROTC Program I couldn’t believe what an amazing opportunity was in front of me. I managed to get school paid for at one of the finest most prestigious private schools, while growing and developing in preparation for my time in the Army. What initially started as a way to fund my education turned into a profound desire and sense of obligation to our Armed Forces. The true reward for me is the soldiers I work with — the sons and daughters of America. Everyday they show me something new and great, that they are capable of anything. I am truly humbled to serve and cannot think of a more rewarding more personally gratifying occupation than helping to protect our families, freedoms and way of life. Flying the Apache isn’t that bad either. Go Frogs!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Premier Frogs rub elbows with Coach P

It's always tailgating time somewhere!

Back in May, Karen Pfeifer Mullins '96 and Stephanie Mills Matthews '00 stole a few minutes for a photo with football coach Gary Patterson, who spoke to a new alumni group called Premier Frogs (30s and 40s). Patterson talked up the team and the surging season ticket sales.

Meanwhile, alumni munched on Frog-themed cookies and sampled food from nearly a dozen high-end vendors. Other guests toured the Meyer-Martin Complex, including its suites, and sampled gourmet morsels from Fort Worth Chefs.

Music was provided by the TCU Steel Drum Band and Trey and the Tritones.

"We had a frog-filled fun night with fellow alumni," said Karen. "We're ready for football season and tailgating!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jordan Richardson '03, Steve Steward '00 jam in Fort Worth

Jordan Richardson ‘03 spent the summer jamming all over Europe with his band Relentless7. But Richardson is also part of another band — Epic Ruins — that was born and bred right here in Fort Worth, and they are playing in town on Friday, Sept. 17.

Epic Ruins, wildly acclaimed as one of the hottest new local bands, will debut their first album at Lola's this Friday night. Richardson and fellow alum Steve Steward '00 started the band three years ago, riffing off their desire to make a banging, synthy, sexy, spacey, '70's sound. They've even stitched their songs together, like all good albums from that era, with the silvery thread of narrative.

The four band members either live in or are originally from Fort Worth, with Richardson on drums, guitars, and synth, Steve Steward on bass and synth, Sam Anderson on vocals and guitars and Jeff Dazey on sax. The music has such a rich psychedelic groove that one listen hurls you back to your spot on the purple shag with Hendrix and Trower, with a little Parsons Project and Yes thrown in for good measure.

Richardson says Epic Ruins "is maybe something like Pink Floyd if they were from East Texas." But come on out to Lola's and judge for yourself, as Epic Ruins release The Void Mariner and the Mystic Boogie of the Sacred Line to the world. As Richardson warned us via e-mail: "Be there or be in the void. ;)”

Lola’s Saloon, 3726 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666 on Fri., Sept. 17. Show starts at 10 p.m. Epic Ruins play at midnight.

On the Web:
Have sticks, will travel — How Jordan Richardson started at TCU

TCU send-off - Chicago style

Dan '86 and Tracie Michalek along with Cynthia (Banas) '84 and Mike Nack hosted the Chicago area send-off party for the class of 2014 on July 25. Over 40 freshmen, alumni and parents attended.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First-generation Frog

Five-month-old Adam Taylor, son of Derek and Ashley Taylor is decked out in his TCU garb, ready to attend his first football game when TCU faces BYU. But unlike other adorable TCU-attired babies, Adam will be a first-generation Frog, if he parents have their way.

Derek, a University of Texas-Dallas grad, writes: “My wife and I have decided that we will be sending Adam to TCU when he is of age since we are both huge fans of the Horned Frogs. I always wanted to go to TCU because I am Christian and the reputation of your school, but unfortunately the cost was out of my range due to supporting myself through college. But both my wife Ashley (a Stephen F. Austin grad) and I agree that TCU would have been our first choice of colleges.”

Before attending UTD, Derek served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division. They live in Addison but soon will move to Plano.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coloring the rainbow TCU purple

Tiffany (Gardiner) Stewart '01 wrote us to share a story about her 9-year-old son, Nicholas, who has a heart for helping others:

"I'm a very proud TCU alum! My son, Nicholas, is following in my footsteps when it comes to charity and service to others.

"While at TCU, I was part of the band's service sorority, Tau Beta Sigma, which focused on serving others and the band. I held the position as Service chair, coming up with ideas to help serve others and the band.

"Well, Nick has already shared this passion at the young age of 9. This year, he collected more than 520 boxes of crayons, markers and paints for the children at Dallas Children's Medical Center. His endeavors brought the attention of Channel 11, which named him a Texan with Character.

"Selena Hernandez '99 was one of the Channel 11 anchors that contacted us! From this, my sister, Amanda and I have started Nick's Colors of the Rainbows, a non-profit, to continue Nick's dream of sharing God's love with children who are sick.

"Nicholas is one of TCU's biggest fans! We rarely miss a TCU game!!"

Read more TCU People stories at The TCU Magazine

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Reunion at Landmen conference

The 56th Annual Meeting and Dinner Dance for the Fort-Worth based American Association of Professional Landmen was in Vail, Colo., this summer. It was a good time for these four Frogs to catch up.

Shown here, left to right, are Teresa Lippert Schardt '76, Le'Ann Pembroke Callihan ’90, Stephanie Wentworth Byers ’02 and Keleigh Wentworth '07. Le'Ann is the director of publications for the organization.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A little lunch. A little conversation.

Libby Wilson '06, Judy O. Smith '61, Catha Hall '75, Emmet Smith '54 MM and Becky Rambin '75 met in Fort Worth in the fall to tour the campus, have lunch and discuss organ music.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Frogs found Glass Half Full

Over the summer a group of concerned TCU students decided to help Africans struggling to find clean drinking water.

The result is the new student organization Glass Half Full, lead by co-founders Dalton Goodier, pictured above, and Lauren Enyart. They have paired up with LifeWater International, a non-profit dedicated to providing wells and other clean water sources to Africans across the continent. LifeWater identified the need for a new well in Ogette, a village in northern Uganda, home to about 130 families. 

“There is an unprotected spring that the village uses when possible, but when it dries up in the dry season, the community has no other alternative except a nearby swamp about three kilometers away,” Goodier, a sophomore from Lufkin, wrote on the group’s blog. “Those who have bicycles can ride to the swamp but others must walk.”

Glass Half Full is now working to raise awareness of the project and asking for donations of as little as $1 towards its initial goal of $5,500, the amount needed to build the well in Ogette.

“We want to get TCU really involved,” Enyart says in the group’s introductory video. “We think it’s a good project for everyone to get on board with. We’re going to be doing lots of cool stuff, concerts and events. It’s not just for people who are really into it like me, it’s for everyone.”

The group is already planning a fund-raising concert with recent TCU alum and musician Tim Halperin ’10 at the Aardvark on Sept. 10, with more events on the way.

“This is another way for TCU to continue reaching out to the global community,” says member Shane Constable, a senior from Houston. “There are people who don’t have clean, safe drinking water. This is something that’s important for us to help provide to other people.”

“Here in Texas the big crisis is getting the right brand of bottled water,” says Enyart, a sophomore from Kingwood. “But in Ogette, they don’t even have clean water to drink. The TCU community is very service oriented already. Once they hear what’s going on, the facts and figures behind it, I hope the campus rallies behind it like I know they can.”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crystal bedecked horned frog

Linda Moss Motley ’86 invited a special “guest” to the great big Purple Party she’s hosting Thursday at her stationary and gift store, P.S. The Letter — Addy the horned frog.

Addy, who was created exclusively for P.S. The Letter by artist Jay Strongwater, is handcrafted, hand-painted and bedecked with 150 hand-set Swarovski crystals.

Motley said sales for Addy have already been stellar: The first order of 50 has already been sold. In two weeks, the second 50 will arrive, and already half of those have sold. So you’ll need to get your name on the list quickly if you want one.

There will also be plenty of fun purple items for sale at the party, including TCU stationery, towel wraps, frog pins and grilling accessories; and lots and lots of purple things, such as leather items, ornaments, pictures frames, trays, wine glasses, handbags, key chains, pillows, and much more!

The party runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 26, at P.S. The Letter, 5136 Camp Bowie Boulevard, at Merrick Ave. in Fort Worth. Call 817-731-2032, or go to P.S. The Letter online.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Brothers cross the country for worthy cause

What did you do on your summer vacation? Did it occur to you to ride your bicycle all the way across America?

Two TCU students who are also blood brothers and fraternity brothers of Pi Kappa Phi did just that. Last summer Adam Wilson started from San Francisco and completed a 4,000-mile cross-country trek to Washington D.C. and this summer his brother, Kyle, began his journey from Seattle to the nation's capital. He is joined by T.J. Howard and Rudy Granaghan. (pictured together in photo). The team is currently in Kentucky, with plans to arrive in Washington on August 14.

Their goal is raising awareness and to money for people with disabilities.

Pi Kappa Phi, a national Greek fraternity with a chapter at TCU, has a full time philanthropic arm founded in 1977, Push America, whose mission is serving people with disabilities. They organize and sponsor many events throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for their cause. The “Journey of Hope” is their largest annual effort and this is the 23rd consecutive year for as many as 75 cyclists and 25 crews to cross America on their own power.

Day after day, week after week the team is peddling across America, averaging 75 miles a day. They've met governors, mayors, state and federal politicians, and many others educated and inspired by their efforts. They worked out with Olympic wheelchair basketball team and Rugby team. They visited with other Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chapters at universities throughout the entire trip. They were also introduced and honored at several major league baseball games where they were able to promote their story.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Head in the clouds

While sitting more than 9,000 feet above the world at the summit of the Haleakala Volcano on Maui, Hawaii, this summer, Julie Carter '10 flashed her Horned Frog pride. This "active" volcano, which hasn't erupted since the 16th century, was a great place to contemplate passage from student to career woman. Julie, who double majored in ad/PR and Spanish, is currently serving an internship with Spaeth Communications in Dallas and hopes to find work doing community relations at a non-profit organization.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ashley Aebersold '90 and her summer mission trip

For nearly three weeks this summer, a tiny orphanage in Khongor, Mongolia, flew a TCU flag, thanks to Ashley Aebersold '90.

Normally a deaf education teacher in Stokes County, N.C., Aebersold spent 20 days in June and July on a medical/mission trip handing out medicine, vitamins, eye glasses, even rubber tips to put at the base of walking canes.

"Patients would receive a month's worth of certain medications they needed," said Aebersold, who went on the trip with a group called LifeQwest and her father, who is a retired physician. "They were so happy to receive Motrin."

The group, which included two doctors, two nurses and support personnel also traveled to Baruunburen, Khutel, Orkhan, Dulaanxaan and Shaamar, passing out pamphlets in Mongolian about high blood pressure and prevention techniques. The team traveled to remote villages and set up "hospitals" for the day.

"People would line up for miles to see an American doctor, and we would have to turn some away due to time," she said. "We could only provide very limited medical services due to the availability of supplies in Mongolia. For example, there's only one magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI) in the whole country."

In addition to passing along some English to the children, Aebersold did manage to teach the TCU hand sign and left T-shirts behind for them. The orphanage compound flew the TCU flag.

She intends to return to Asia again.

"We as Americans need to be thankful for our medical care," she said. "This is a wonderful organization, and I am definitely traveling back next summer!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Preston Figley '55 shares a tennis memory

I was bragging to a friend about my son's tennis — Stefan (class of '95) was the No. 1 Texas junior, a college all-American, two trips with TCU to the NCAA Championships, beat Sampras and Agassi in the pros.

That last part I made up.

My friend said, "I think most of athleticism is in the genes. I imagine you must have been pretty good yourself."

Well, shucks, I do have something of a tennis record. I have never before made it public. Judge for yourself.

My career started in earnest when my Denver City High School principal got me out of study hall to play. That beat both studying and hitting a ball against the gym wall. My competitive highlight was a loss to the eventual state champion in the finals of our district tournament. Or maybe it was the semis. Come to think of it, maybe he lost at State. It was a long time ago.

My skills were such that I became the practice partner of a girl player whom I trained to such a keen edge that she won District and went on to State. I, however, did not accompany her as planned. She cut classes the last day of school and was punished by making me stay home. I'm still trying to figure that out.

At TCU, my equally accomplished doubles partner and I combined to post a defeated freshman season (as opposed to undefeated). Not only were freshmen not eligible to play on the varsity team, they actually wore beanies, though not usually during a match. Beanies, for you younger folks, are skullcaps. Skullcaps? Forget it.

At a summer tournament during college I snagged one game off the Southwest Conference champion after he double-faulted twice, missed a volley that would have decapitated me had I not fallen, and I mis-hit a winner. I also lost the Seminole Open that year. I choked. I admit it.

But I had my days. One was when I won the TCU intramural championship on the sand — the Athletic Department called it "clay" — over a field of four or five other students who also owned racquets. Another was when I did it again the next year, while my parents watched in our loaded car, waiting to drive me back to Denver City. Other than my opponent they were the only witnesses. I still have the two tiny medals, each about the size of a quarter.

I have saved the best for last. I am TCU's only undefeated varsity player. It's true. I played one match and won it. I remember it like it was today. We were scheduled to play St. Mary's of San Antonio at River Crest Country Club. Don't ask me why. Maybe it was because River Crest had real clay courts.

I wasn't actually on the team, but I went over to watch. As match time approached, Coach Burch was frantic. "Where's Terry?! Where's Terry?!!" Terry was the No. 6 player and my erstwhile defeated freshman doubles partner, and he was nowhere to be seen.

"Where's Terry?" pleaded Coach. So I stepped forward and said: "Coach, put me in." Or words to that effect. So he did. And I won. In three sets, fighting back from an 0-6 first set. Or maybe I won it 6-0 and lost the second 0-6. Something like that, but whatever, I won against a tough St. Mary's guy. I'm certain it was a guy, although St. Mary's was all-girl at one point. It was before then.

Maybe my friend is right about talent being in the genes. But my son is adopted.

Preston Figley served as a U.S. Army lieutenant in Germany, held public relations jobs in Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Dallas, and came full circle back to Fort Worth to join Witherspoon & Associates, retiring as Executive Vice President after 24 years with the advertising and public relations firm. He and his wife, Petra, devote much of their time to their 35-year business, Old Maps and Prints (

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Race Frog

Psychology senior Tom Sutherland shares his Horned Frog pride each time he races. This photo, taken by his mom, Lani, is from American LeMans Series Monterey, a 6-hour race at Laguna Seca raceway. Tom finished 3rd in class, 4th overall.

For information about American Lemans, go to

Future Frogs

Andrea Denney Russell '98 sent this picture of her son Travis and friends when they graduated from pre-school in Wichita Falls. With Travis are Emma Kirk, daughter of Murphy Davis '97 MBA, who is an investment advisor for Sentry Management; and Kendall Davis, daughter of Lindsey Watson Kirk '99, who is a school teacher and expecting her third child in September. Russell is a stay-at-home mom who volunteers her time frequently to the community.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cheering the Frogs ... doggone it!

TCU parent Janet Blakely of Fort Worth enjoyed a cold beverage and followed the Frogs at the 2010 College World Series with her 7-month-old rescue dog Annie. "Yeah, a little spoiled," she writes. "But a Frog Fan!!" Blakely will have two daughters at TCU in the fall, Katie, a junior, and Mary, who will be a freshman. "We just had a chill TCU party, but as you can see, we had our TCU cups."

Young Frogs enjoying the CWS

Jonathan Denheyer celebrated his 11th birthday while watching the TCU-UCLA game with his younger brother, Drew, 4, and his dad, Ron Denheyer '90 at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium, site of the 2010 College World Series.

Three generations of Horned Frogs

After TCU's win over Florida State in Game 1 of the 2010 College World Series, these Frog Fans were celebrating in Fort Worth. Zoey Murzyn, second from the left, was in town from Denver for her TCU orientation. Joining her are Rita Lewis; Kay Reuter; Barry Lewis '87; and Frank Reuter, history professor emeritus. "Zoey is the Reuters' granddaughter and will be a third generation Horned Frog!" writes Barry.

Horned Frogs in Omaha's Old Market

Daniel Smith '02 and son Jacob found this horned frog in Omaha's Old Market. Daniel and his family saw the Frogs at Rosenblatt Stadium for the 2010 College World Series.

Watching the Frogs ... while on vacation

Rita Kay Stewart Driggers '60 and her grandchildren went to Horseshoe Bay, Texas, for vacation, but they took a break from the lake to watch the Horned Frogs on their laptop as TCU battled Florida State and UCLA at the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, Neb. "We stopped wakeboarding and tubing to watch the games," writes Driggers, who lives in San Antonio.

Sigma Chis rooting on the Frogs in Omaha

Sigma Chis Todd Gordon '90, Mark Livingston '89 and Rich Ledbetter '92 soak up the late evening sun during the TCU-UCLA game at the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, Neb. "We're having a great time in Omaha," writes Ledbetter. "We all went to the Clemson-TCU football game and had a blast."

Ledbetter says the trio took off work for a day and did a 24-hour road trip, including a stop at Famous Dave's.

Gordon is an insurance agent in Denver, while Livingston owns a Ben & Jerry's franchise in St. Louis and Ledbetter runs Castle Contracting in St. Louis.