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TCU’s Kelly Center a place for pride

TCU’s past is captured in the new Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center.

In 1996, Chancellor William E. Tucker (left) and Midland oilman John L. Cox watch as Maurine Cox cuts the ribbon leading to the Cox Banquet Hall in the newly opened Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center. (Photo by Linda Kaye)

TCU’s Kelly Center a place for pride

TCU’s past is captured in the new Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center.

There are no stains on the carpet. The windows are sparkling clean. No cobwebs in the light fixtures. Indeed, the building is brand new.

However, upon entering the front doors, you are struck with an overwhelming sense of tradition and history: the 1890 home of TCU co-founder Randolph Clark; a black-and-white print of the 1910 Waco campus; the same campus a day later, on March 22, 1910, when the Main Building burned, leaving only a brick and mortar shell.

1996 TCU Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitor Center dedication
Thirty-two major donors helped finance the $6 million cost of the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center, but some 1,700 other Frogs purchase bricks to defray the center’s operating expenses. The engraved stones are laid in a curved walkway along the lower terrace of the center. (Photo by Linda Kaye)

Of course, I am referring to the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center, dedicated Homecoming weekend. Throughout the facility, TCU’s past is captured in pictures on display, significant events and some not so, each tracking a common theme: Something special has taken place over the years on this campus, building a rewarding and binding tie on the part of students and alumni to the university.

It’s called Horned Frog pride.

From the moment you enter the Joiner Lobby, you will begin to feel a renewal of your own feelings about TCU. And the Kelly Center now provides a way to bring you back to our campus for a diverse agenda of alumni-related events. But you do not have to wait for those invitations to see the Kelly Center. It is designed so you may stop by anytime to browse.

If you intended to spend only 10 minutes to “look around,” you will take 20 rediscovering all that is TCU. (And that includes horned frogs; the Ray Gallery, for instance, sports every form of horned frog known to man, or at least to Jerry Ray ’58 of Austin.)

Special gratitude should be directed to the foundations and individual donors who made the many areas of the center realities. And adjacent to the Blackmon-Mooring Fountain are the “bricks,” each personalized, each indicating an effort to defray the operating costs of the center.

Come visit the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center — and you’ll see what I mean about the place, about the pictures, and about the pride.