Thursday, October 25, 2012

Award for Excellence at the Colored Pencil Society of America

In August, Lisa Miller Mills '88 of Colleyville, Texas, received the Award for Excellence at the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) International Exhibition in Covington, Ky. The award was for her artwork titled "Reflections in Heavy Metal," shown above. The piece appeared in the exhibition at the Carnegie Center for about six weeks.

"Just being juried into the show would be a HUGE deal for me, as I failed to make the cut last year," she wrote on her Color Me Here blog,

The piece, which depicts her son's Fender Stratocaster, was done in colored pencil and drawn on Art Spectrum Colorfix Suede paper. "I loved how the paper, which has a velvety surface, combined with the wax and clay in the pencils creating a very painterly effect," she wrote.

The piece also went on to win Best in Category (Professional Artist) at the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of CPSA earlier this month.

Lisa owns Lisa Mills Fine Art - Color Me Here Studio in Colleyville.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

TCU alum moderating Virginia Senate race debate

Jay Warren '94, anchor at WSLS 10, the NBC affiliate in Roanoke, Va., will moderate the final U.S. Senate Debate tonight between Tim Kaine and George Allen at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va. The seat is open after the surprising retirement of Sen. Jim Webb, a democrat.

A journalism and political science graduate and former TCU Daily Skiff editor, Warren has worked at the station since 1998 and co-anchors its 5, 5:30, 6, and 11 p.m. newscasts, plus FOX 21/27's 10 p.m. newscast.

Horned Frogs can watch Warren moderate the event live tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. CST on CSPAN. Here's a promo for the debate.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Four generations of Horned Frogs

When TCU gets in a person's blood, it often gets passed on to family members. There may be no greater example of this than the McKnight family of Texas, which has an amazing four generations of Horned Frogs!

It started with Ewell McKnight '15, who was a football letterman not long after Texas Christian University moved to its present location in 1911. His brother Tom McKnight would not attend TCU but would be a TCU donor much of his life. But Ewell's two children, Robert McKnight '52 and JoAnn McKnight Magruder '55, would become Horned Frogs, as would 10 of his 11 grandchildren, with five of them graduating. This year, one of his great granddaughters earned a TCU diploma, and another is on track to graduate in 2013 — 98 years after Ewell!

Ewell's children Robert and JoAnn followed their father to TCU, where JoAnn met her husband Hal B. Lambert '54, a football letterman like his father-in-law. They all represent the second generation of McKnights at TCU.

Hal and JoAnn had three children who would become Horned Frogs — Blake Lambert '79, who would play football for the Frogs like his father and grandfather; Louis Lambert '81, a TCU Phi Delt, who many know as famous Fort Worth chef and restauranteur; and Liz Lambert, a TCU Pi Phi and now successful hotelier.

Robert's family produced five Horned Frogs — Cathy McKnight '77, a TCU Tri Delt who later transferred to the University of Texas; Marci McKnight Stocker '78, a TCU Tri Delt; Sue McKnight Ivey, a TCU Tri Delt; Bob McKnight '82, a TCU Kappa Sig; and John McKnight '83, also a TCU Kappa Sig. Bobby and John would marry TCU alums Lynda Howard '67, a TCU Tri Delt, and Susie Chilton '83, a TCU Kappa Kappa Gamma, respectively.

They all make up the family's third generation of Horned Frogs.

The fourth generation is at TCU now. John McKnight's daughter, Mary Katherine McKnight '12, a TCU Kappa Kappa Gamma, just graduated in May, and Cathy McKnight's daughter, Jacqueline Meacham '13, a TCU Tri Delt, will graduate in the spring.

Together, the family purchased 19 bricks in the TCU Athletics Legacy Brick Program outside the east side of Amon G. Carter Stadium.

"I am not sure how many four-generation families TCU has, but we are certainly proud to be part of one," wrote Marci McKnight Stocker.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Football and movie stars for L.A. chapter

The Los Angeles TCU Alumni chapter has had a busy fall so far, organizing two mixers with great turnouts.

In August, the L.A. Horned Frogs brought together more than 150 alums from all the Big 12 Conference schools to meet and mingle at The Parlor Hollywood and celebrate TCU’s (and West Virginia’s) debut in the league.

“It was just one massive Big 12 mixer,” said Tricia Williamson ’09, vice president for communication for the TCU L.A. Chapter and daughter of TCU football offensive line coach Eddie Williamson. “All the chapter presidents spoke, and we had games as well as football highlight footage to get everyone excited for the season! We had an amazing turn out, and we are definitely planning on having more Big 12 Mixers in the future.”

The smack talk flowed and the Big 12ers battled it out for conference braggin’ rights in a flip cup tournament.

“We now have a Big 12 L.A. Alumni group on Facebook where all of the Big 12 schools keep in touch (and dish out friendly banter haha),” Williamson wrote us. “We've had requests to put on another Big 12 Mixer at the end of the season just to wrap things up and have an excuse for everyone to get together again. Many schools, including us, have now started to have joint football watching parties as a result of the mixer as well. We have had Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas all reach out to us and ask if they could come watch the game with us. The mixer actually made situations like that more comfortable, because instead of there being big rivalry tension, we end up shaking hands at the end of the game and giving each other a "hope to see you soon!"

In September, the chapter hosted the TCU L.A. Alumni Entertainment Panel, welcoming six Hollywood insiders for a night of networking and talking about the TV-film-entertainment industry.

About 100 Frogs and their friends crowded into Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world's biggest talent agency, which counts among its roster of clients Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock among others.

TV journalist and host Marc Istook ’98, whose credits include BBC, Yahoo!, TV Guide and,  moderated the event, interviewing on stage a group of six casting directors, producers and writers on their rise in the field and what it takes to make it in Hollywood.

The panel included:
Brent Morley - Talent Agent, William Morris Endeavor
Ron G. Smith - Independent Film Producer
Mike Heard - President, The Crowd Effect Production Company
Karina Walters - Casting Director and Partner, Mockrin/Walters Casting
Marqui Jackson - Television Writer
Lindsay Graham - Casting Director, Betty Mae, Inc.

We had many follow ups about the Networking Mixer of people thanking us for putting it on. For many people who came, it was the first TCU Alumni event they had gone to,” Williamson wrote us.

“Many of the first timers made it out to the football watching party that weekend and now attend on a regular basis! They just shared with us about how great they thought it was that we were encouraging a sense of community when it comes to working in the industry. It was a good opportunity to remind people to help a fellow Frog out if possible, and for people to keep an open line of communication about what they have going on so they can get the support of their fellow alumni.”

The night also featured an appearance by Neeley School of Business dean O. Homer Erekson ’74.  Sponsors La Fenetre and VeeV Spirits helped make it possible. 

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Science majors for a day

Earlier this month, elementary students at the Montessori Children's House Fort Worth mingled with members of the TCU Chemistry Club at the group's Science Major for a Day event. 

Students were treated to experiments involving liquid nitrogen and learned about polymers in lab exercises guided by the club. Dr. Tracy Hanna and Kayla Green facilitated the

"What a wonderful way to introduce students to a future at TCU!" said Amy Henderson '81 MEd, Head of School for Montessori Children's House Fort Worth. "The Chemistry Club was absolutely wonderful in relating to the children."

Students also toured the Monnig Meteorite Museum with Dr. Rhiannon Mayne and the Mary Couts Burnett Library and made ice cream on the lawn.  

"It was so much fun for me to see the students enjoying TCU and learning," Henderson said. "It was a fabulous day and TCU has some students who want to attend college there! I'm proud to be an alum of TCU and glad that we had this opportunity. We take several field trips each year and this was a standout."

See more images of Science Major for a Day here.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Frog "photobomb" goes viral

A vacation photo taken years ago went viral recently for three Horned Frogs, landing them in the media spotlight.

Kendall Harlan '10, Sarah Bourland '10 and Natalie Zaysoff '10 were on a 2008 spring break trip in Stingray City, a popular tourist destination in the Cayman Islands, when a tour guide in the water behind the women lifted the stingray onto their backs just as the photo was taken.

They uploaded the photo to Facebook, where it was shared by friends. But the image of the three seemingly terrified women being "photobombed" by a man with a giant stingray did not achieve viral status until last week, when a former classmate posted it on

Zaysoff says a picture taken right before the now-famous photobomb shows them smiling while posing in the water with a stingray. The tour guide threw another stingray up behind them.

"We had No idea that this was going to happen," she said. "It is funny because on the boat, they give a five-minute safety speech about not picking up the sting rays or throwing them on people because it is dangerous and can lead to getting stung by one. Well, I guess those rules don't apply to the guys running the show!"

Now, more than four years, later, they're an Internet sensation.

"Our phones just started going off," Harlan, now a 24-year-old executive in Austin, told Yahoo! News. "Friends were texting us [things] like, 'Did you know you were just on 'Good Morning America'?'"

Zaysoff says that the most surprising thing is that people are so interested in it.
"We have been laughing at the picture for years because it is so funny and captures all of our personalities perfectly," she says. "We are all happy that other people are getting to see it and get a good laugh from it.
"Everything has just been so crazy, I don't even know what to say about it. One day it was on my Facebook and the next day it was on 'Good Morning America' and the homepage of I still can't believe how many Web pages were showing it and calling us for comments. The craziest thing so far is someone actually asked our permission to blow the picture up and make a canvas print of it for his wife!"

Bourland explained the amazing capture in an email to HuffPost Travel:

"I had no idea that this photo was going to become so huge! To be honest, I had no idea that it was even posted to until I started getting a slew of phone calls, texts, emails, photo messages [and] Facebook tags of people saying that they saw me on Reddit. I was so confused because I had no idea what was going on.

"People then started sending me memes of the photo and that's when it hit me, I have reached meme status in my life! How many people can say that?!

"This entire thing is hilarious to me! I'm a school teacher in Fort Worth, and all my kids think that I'm a celebrity and keep asking for my autograph and if I know Justin Beiber and other teen icons.

"This photo was taken five years ago in Cayman Island at Stingray Island. We were on a cruise for spring break. The photographer originally asked us to take a photo with the stingray in front of us, which we did, but then afterward as a joke he put it on our backs without us knowing!

"Our reactions are genuine, and the photographer snapped the photo at the perfect time! We had no idea that the photo was so brilliant until later when he showed us the proof. We immediately bought it. From left to right are Sarah Bourland, Natalie Zaysoff, Kendall Harlan.

"It was a huge hit back at Texas Christian University, where we were going to school at the time, and so we decided to try and send it to the Ellen show. For five years now she has been denying us, but now that it has gone viral we are hoping that this is our chance!"

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Monday, October 1, 2012

A ring fling

TCU Band mom Renee McNew emailed us a story with a happy ending from the waterlogged TCU-SMU game this weekend:

"My husband, Gary '84, and I were attending the rain-soaked TCU game in Dallas Saturday night to cheer on the Horned Frogs and watch our son, Jay, (a sophomore), in the band! As soon as TCU made its first touchdown, we were yelling and applauding when Gary's wedding ring went flying off his finger! 

"Several rows of great TCU fans helped us search the bleachers, but we never found it. About an hour later, Julie Carter '10, (pictured above) who was standing right below us, started to go to the concessions area and looked down. She saw something in the cuff of her jeans.

"She was so excited when she checked and found that it was my husband's lost ring! All of the fans that helped us look for the ring where excited for us, too! We've been married for 36 years, so we were thrilled that his wedding ring was found!"

Carter and friends Lauren and Kayla, who were with her at the game, are all TCU Band alumni. 

"We wanted to express our heartfelt thanks to Julie and all the great TCU fans who helped us search the bleachers for Gary's ring," Renee wrote.

Below is a photo of the McNew family with their daughter and son-in-law — (left to right) Gary McNew '84, Renee McNew, Jay McNew '15, Meredith McNew Parnell '07 and Sam Parnell '07.

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