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Comrades True

1994 grad’s film takes on poverty, gang life

January 25, 2016

Arturo1Today is a big day for actor and film producer Arturo Muyshondt ’94. His new film “The Pastor” debuts at 400 theaters nationwide, including two in Fort Worth — Ridgmar 13 and Hulen Movie Tavern — and four in Dallas.

The film is billed as “a gritty, strong-messaged, gang thriller,” and it has personal meaning for Muyshondt, who grew up amid a violent civil war in El Salvador. He also conducted much of his research for the film in United States cities with gang activity and jails in the U.S. and Central America.

The movie draws from his own life. Muyshondt plays the title character who is a former gang leader in Brooklyn who survives a knife attack in prison and then discovers his faith in God while in solitary confinement. Upon his release, he becomes a pastor, finding his true purpose, and seeks to serve underprivileged youth of the community to steer them away from the gang life he once led.

Turf wars ignite between two prominent gangs, and the new-found pastor finds himself and his growing community targets. Will he maintain his faith or turn back to the cold-blooded killer he once was.

“The film and my character have taken a life of its own as they relate to my personal story,” said Muyshondt, who also wrote and produced the film.

He’s also a global spokesman. Earlier this month, the United Nations invited him to speak at its conference on Poverty, Inequality and Social Violence. Afterward, he showed the film to audiences in his native El Salvador.

Muyshondt’s interest in acting and filmmaking dates back as far as 12 years old, when he created short films in El Salvador.

But it wasn’t until 2003 when he really tried his hand at acting after a successful but tiring career as an investment banker in Miami, where he worked for Dresdner Bank AG, a German financial conglomerate. After advising governments, banks and corporations in Latin America and structuring investment products for wealthy clients, he wanted something new and began acting training at Coconut Grove Playhouse.

By 2007, he launched his own production company WolfGang Cinema and went to Los Angeles to intensify his new career at The Joanne Baron Studio. His goal: Establish himself as a leading Hispanic producer in Hollywood.

Today, Muyshondt has turned WGC into a cross-cultural enterprise, producing films that focus on a multicultural audience.

Hiking the Pacific Coast Trail

October 20, 2015

Hike

TCU alums Bradley Lovell ’10 and David Smart ’13 were reppin’ the Horned Frogs this week at the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. The 2,658-mile route follows a continuous hiking trail from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border. “It took us nearly six months,” Smart wrote us just three days after completing the journey. “We started the journey on April 23 and completed on October 17. We’re so glad we had the opportunity to represent such an amazing school!” Smart and Lovell are graduates of the Neeley School of Business and hail from Dallas.

TCU spirit at L.D. Bell High School

September 15, 2015

Bell-faculty2This week for College Colors Day, Teresa Baker ’87 and her fellow Horned Frog alums at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, Texas, proudly showed their school spirit.

Baker is in her 8th year as a counselor at Bell after teaching English for 20 years. She is one of six TCU graduates spanning three generations in her family.

“We like to say we’ve been through the good, the bad and the ugly, and it’s nice to be around for the awesome,” she wrote us.

At Bell, TCU alums are a strong and loyal following and enjoy sharing the excitement of football season, Baker said.

In an effort to promote the school’s annual college fair and to generate excitement for preparing for college in general, Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district sponsors a College Colors Day when employees are encouraged to wear college gear from their alma maters.

“I thought it would be fun to get a picture to the magazine. I’m pretty sure the alumni from the different universities were jealous,” she wrote.

Bell High School faculty wearing TCU gear included (top row, left to right): Eric Oglesby ’83, Kathleen (Chapman) Chase ’97, Louis (Harris) Woodruff ’82, Natalie (Rodriguez) Caruso ’06, Lee (Anderson) McGuire ’71, Sandra Honc ’85.  Bottom row left to right:  Holly (Lewis) Gregg ’02, Teresa Baker ’87, Amy (Lester) Stach ’95, Bobbi (Brack) Choe ’07.

 

The Curt Wilson Alumni Jazz Band Tours Italy

July 27, 2015

 

TCU jazz, Perugia, Umbria
The Curt Wilson Alumni Jazz Band poses before playing the Umbria Jazz Festival

Dr. Skip Dolt ’89 writes:

The Curt Wilson Alumni Jazz Band performed July 12, at the prestigious Umbria Jazz festival in Perugia, Italy. This 19-piece band is a group of TCU alumni who all played under the direction of professor emeritus of the TCU School of Music, Mr. Curt Wilson, over his 35+ year tenure. The band is comprised of musicians both professional and amateur, graduating from TCU in four different decades, who still have a passion for playing jazz music. (L-R: Dr. Skip Dolt, Rich Dahl, Tyler Windle, Todd Burrer, Dr. Andy Dollahite, Sammy Tork, Micah Bell, Tony Yarbrough, Professor Emeritus of the TCU School of Music Curt Wilson, Steve Williams, Dr. John McDonald, Drew Ruiz, Harry Tschoerner, Rene Ozuna,Alan Burton, Marc Bellomy, Kevin Love, Tom Laney, Chike Okaro, Dr. David Williams.)

Curt Wilson, TCU alumni jazz band
The Curt Wilson Alumni Jazz band with a big “Go Frogs”

Curt Wilson writes, “It’s the smartest band I’ve ever conducted — doctors, dentists, college professors, business executives, teachers and some pro players. Former students range from my first year (1976) to my last years (2011) with every decade represented.”

TCU spirit with Neil DeGrasse Tyson

July 2, 2015

deGrasse

In June, former student Matthew Brown met renown astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson after his lecture at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. The Hayden Planetarium director gave an off-camera star talk called “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies,” and pointed out astronomy’s influence on Hollywood, even if television and movies occasionally get it wrong.

Afterward, Brown approached Tyson for a handshake and Horned Frog greeting. “I told him, ‘I know you’re a UT grad, but I’m about to travel to Omaha to watch the TCU Horned Frogs play in the College World Series. It would be a good omen if I could get you to flash the Frog sign.’ And he did it!” Brown shared.

Tyson earned a master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. He also holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia.

“As I was leaving, he said, ‘Hey, you want to know a fun fact about horned frogs?’ ” Brown recalled. “I said, ‘They’re actually horned lizards.’ And he smiled.”

Brown attended TCU from 2008 to 2010 and is a managing director at Tamra-Tacoma Capital Partners in Dallas.

 

Horned Frogs teaching at West Point

June 22, 2015

West PointFrogs

Three TCU alumni are teaching at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Maj. Chad Fitzgerald ’04 (left) is an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences and teaches international relations. Lt. Col. Laura Bozeman ’92 (center) and Maj. Barrett Ward ’04 teach in the Department of English.

Reminiscing about TCU in Prague

June 9, 2015

prague

Dr. Raymond Blanton ’99 (center) received his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2015 and celebrated with a trip to Europe with TCU buddies. Joining him in Prague, Czech Republic, for a day of sightseeing and reminiscing about TCU days were Aaron Buck ’99 (left) and Brian Kleager ’98.

50-yard-line engagement

May 19, 2015

CT_Blog_AndreaHein2

Proposals don’t get much more memorable than Andrea Hein’s. In April, her fiancé Daryl Stafford ’11 popped the question on the 50 yard line of Amon G. Carter Stadium. Hein ’13 said yes. They’re getting married in April.

Frogs cross bridge in Selma

March 16, 2015

TCU students and staff on spring break walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday on March 7. On that date in 1965, armed policemen attacked civil rights demonstrators who were attempting to march to the Alabama state capital in Montgomery.

Twenty-two Horned Frog students took part in the observance, which was part of a six-day, five night bus tour covering the civil rights movement for a class taught by TCU history professor Max Krochmal. Students kept a journal of the trip, which counts for 10 percent of the grade for the course HIST 40873 The Civil Rights Movement in America. Pictured above are (left to right) Adam Powell, Christy Smith, Timeka Gordon, Samantha Koehler, Rochelle Harris, Jarrod McClendon, John Cogswell and Mitchell Simmons.

Students also visited Medgar Evers home, Emmett Till Historic Intrepid Center and other civil rights movement sites in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. The group also spoke with veterans of the civil rights movement at each stop.

The tour was sponsored by the TCU Center for Community Involvement and Service Learning and TCU Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services.

Follow the class’s journey on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tcucrbt

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TCU snowman in Roanoke

March 6, 2015

Future Horned Frogs Elijah (age 10) and Emma Canafax (age 8) show their TCU spirit with the snowman they built in front of their home in Roanoke, Texas. They are the children of Matt ’01 and Rachel Canafax.

Excellent job! Love the TCU stocking cap!

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