Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private Christian university in Fort Worth, Texas. It was established in 1873 by brothers Addison and Randolph Clark as the Add-Ran Male & Female College.|
Texas Christian University was founded by East Texas brothers Addison and Randolph Clark, together with the support of their father Joseph A. Clark. The Clarks were scholar-preacher/teachers associated with the Restoration Movement. These early leaders of the Restoration Movement were the spiritual ancestors of the modern Disciples of Christ, as well as major proponents of education.
But from 1867–1872, the character of Fort Worth changed substantially due to the commercial influence of the Chisholm Trail, the principal route for moving Texas cattle to the Kansas rail heads. A huge influx of cattle, men, and money transformed the sleepy frontier village into a booming, brawling cowtown. The area around the property purchased by the Clarks for their college soon became the town's vice district, an unrelieved stretch of saloons, gambling halls, dance parlors, and bawdy houses catering to the rough tastes of the Chisholm Trail cowboys. Its rough and rowdy reputation had, by 1872, acquired it the nickname of "Hell's Half Acre" (the heart of which is today occupied by the Fort Worth Convention Center and the Fort Worth Water Gardens).
In 1889 Add-Ran College formed an official partnership with what would become the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This relationship with the church was a partnership of heritage and values, though the church never enjoyed any administrative role at TCU. Later that year the Clark brothers handed over all land, buildings, and assets and allowed the growing university to continue as a private institution; their only compensation was a request that their descendants should have free tuition (though this stipulation was never enforced).
The university received its first and a huge charitable endowment in 1923, from Mary Couts Burnett, the recent widow of Samuel Burk Burnett, a legendary rancher, banker, and oilman. Married in 1892, Mary Couts came to believe that her husband was trying to kill her and she sought a divorce. Instead, Burk Burnett had his wife committed to a mental asylum, where she struggled for more than 10 years to regain her freedom. With the help of her physician, she eventually succeeded and was released in 1922, only to find that her husband had recently died and left her nothing.
A notable exception to this rule is Robert Carr Chapel, which was the first building on campus to be constructed of bricks other than TCU buff. The chapel is built of a distinctive salmon-colored brick, a deviation that caused alumni to protest when the building opened in 1953.
TCU is currently (2019) ranked by U.S. News & World Report as No. 80 among National Universities. TCU is classified by U.S. News and World Report as a Tier 1 University and a Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The Carnegie Foundation classifies TCU's undergraduate profile as "More Selective", its most selective admissions category.
The Neeley School of Business is among the nation's most respected business schools. The Neeley School was recently ranked as the No. 28 best undergraduate business school in the country by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. It continues to expand following a $500,000 donation from Alumni Abe Issa for the construction the Abe Issa Field Sales Lab which will be located within the future Neeley Sales and Consumer Insights Center in the Spencer and Marlene Hays Business Commons.
Many students involve themselves in various campus ministries, such as Disciples on Campus, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) student group. Other groups include Ignite, a nondenominational campus ministry; Catholic Community, a large and active group; TCU Wesley, a Methodist group; the Latter-Day Saint Student Association (LDSSA); and Cru, a nondenominational evangelical student ministry. Most religious groups on campus are Christian-based, although TCU also sponsors Hillel, a Jewish student group, and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). Additionally, each year TCU Housing and Residential Life allows students to apply to live in the Interfaith Living Learning Community (LLC), in which the residents spend the year living alongside neighbors of various religious beliefs.
In recent years the university has made significant upgrades to its athletics facilities, including construction of the $13 million Abe-Martin Academic Enhancement Center, which was completed in August 2008. The university finished reconstruction of the entire Amon G. Carter Football Stadium in September 2012 at cost of approximately $160 million. The Daniel Meyer Coliseum is currently undergoing a $55 million reconstruction and is scheduled to be completed for the 2014-15 basketball season with expanded seating, concessions, office and locker room space, better sight lines, and luxury fan facilities.