Chancellor Boschini on Today’s Library

Mary Couts Burnett Library is befitting a great national university.

TCU art, Victor Boschini, great Chancellor's message

Chancellor Boschini on Today’s Library

Mary Couts Burnett Library is befitting a great national university.

Noted historian Shelby Foote defined a university as “just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” Affirming this point of view, the Mary Couts Burnett Library has been described as the heart and soul of Texas Christian University for nine decades.

The original library was made possible by an estate gift from Mary Couts Burnett of $3 million (more than $41.7 million in today’s dollars). On Dec. 2, 1923, President E.M. Waits learned that Mrs. Burnett’s fortune would come to the university, which was a complete surprise. But there was a single provision: One building would be a memorial to the donor. Waits decided on the spot that the memorial would be a library.

It was a wise decision.

The Mary Couts Burnett Library is at the core of TCU’s academic mission, evolving to meet changing campus needs. Its current expansion is a crown jewel of Vision in Action: The Academy of Tomorrow. This strategic plan, set forth by the Board of Trustees, is crafted to realize TCU’s vision — to be a world-class, values-centered university.

Our vision is becoming reality as the university completes the Intellectual Commons, which comprises the library and the first multidisciplinary academic building, Rees-Jones Hall, as well as renovation and expansion of the Annie Richardson Bass Building for Harris College and a planned complex for the Neeley School of Business.

This issue of TCU Magazine is devoted to the “new” Mary Couts Burnett Library. This significant investment has a dual purpose — preserving the past and preparing for the future. In the midst of a digital revolution, TCU has chosen to pour resources into a library expansion that embraces history and promotes a literate society. It remains a library that its benefactor, Mary Couts Burnett, would recognize as such.

The library’s cutting-edge technologies are additions to some two million books, journals and other assets. As always, our skilled librarians — led by an amazing and visionary dean, Dr. June Koelker — enthusiastically guide students and faculty to the best resources for learning, teaching and research.

The Mary Couts Burnett Library is now designed to prepare students for an increasingly complex and competitive future. It has become a place of community, connection and collaboration that better facilitates multidisciplinary learning. Most important, it is a library enhanced to best serve TCU and elevate its programs in the 21st century. This is a library befitting a great national university.


Victor J. Boschini, Jr.



P.S. While I have your attention — please note this picture of 28 scholars that I was privileged to teach and learn alongside this fall semester.  Perhaps you will recognize one of these terrific TCU Horned Frogs!

Teacher Scholar, Chancellor's class, TCU administrators

Chancellor Boschini with 28 students he taught in fall 2015.


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