Divinity school receives gift to fund building

The children of a Brite Divinity School trustee donated $3 million over the summer to build a new academic building at TCU, bringing a long-time goal of a new facility closer to reality.The new building will be constructed behind the Beasley and Moore Buildings on University Drive, and the earliest construction could begin would be fall 2006, said Cathy Neece, director of the capital campaign at Brite.

The Moore Building, where Brite is now located, was built 50 years ago and was developed to hold 10 faculty members and 100 students. The school currently has 24 faculty members and 300 students.

Plans for a new building have been in the works for three years. The estimated cost is $16 million and $3.5 million is needed to restore the Moore Building. Both facilities will be connected by a walkway.

“The donation is great news for the seminary, great for PR and for energy,” said Tiff Austin, a Brite student.

Approximately $9 million has been donated toward the $19.5 million campaign goal, and Brite is still in the process of fundraising for the rest of the money. According to a TCU Press Release, the $3 million donation to Brite marks the single largest gift received by living donors in the seminary’s 90-year history.

Siblings Michael A. Harrison of Midland and Pecos, Kathryn Harrison of Fredericksburg and W.O. “Bill” Harrison of Corpus Christi each donated $1 million in honor of their parents, the Rev. Dr. W. Oliver Harrison and Nell Betty Harrison. Michael and Bill Harrison were TCU graduates and their father was named a trustee of TCU and of Brite.

“The new building will provide space for students to learn from each other and provide space for the divinity school to have a sense of community,” Neece said.

When the new facility is completed, there will be three times the amount of classroom space currently available in the Moore Building.

The Kemp Pastoral Care Clinic, which provides Christian counseling to the community, will be an addition to the new building.

Brite is looking forward to these new developments as they continue to raise funds, Neece said.