Walsh gave time, wealth for advancement of university arts

From campus buildings to scholarships, Mary D. Fleming Walsh has left a lasting impression on the TCU community.Mrs. Walsh died at the age of 91 in her home near TCU on Aug. 9.

Mrs. Walsh and her husband, F. Howard Walsh, who died in 1998, donated the $3.5 million Walsh Center for Performing Arts, one of TCU’s largest single gifts, and the Athletic Complex in 1998.

Board of Trustees member and close friend to the Walsh family Malcolm Louden said Mr. and Mrs. Walsh were patrons for the arts.

“They were passionate about young people and used their resources to build facilities that students can enjoy for years to come,” he said.

Mr. Louden said Mr. and Mrs. Walsh’s donations have helped fund the library at Tarrant County Community College’s Northwest campus, the counseling center at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Center and the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts Charter School. He said they also donated their time and shared their home with children.

“Mrs. Walsh invited 50 children from the Texas Boy’s Choir and the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir into her home to practice twice a week,” Louden said. “She even took them around the world for concerts in places like Italy, Germany and Japan.”

Mr. Louden said that Mrs. Walsh loved to dance and would use any excuse to have a party. She even had parties and dinners for students that were honored with a scholarship from the Walsh Scholarship Foundation.

Walsh Merit Scholarship recipient and TCU senior vocal performance major Allison Whetsel said she remembers a scholarship dinner that she attended when she was a freshman.

“She (Mrs. Walsh) was beautiful, very radiant and very sweet,” Whetsel said. “I wouldn’t have been able to stay at TCU if it wasn’t for her gracious assistance. I owe her the world.”

Two large paintings of Mr. and Mrs. Walsh are displayed in the lobby of the Walsh Center for Performing Arts, where their legacy can be remembered by TCU students and alumni.

Mrs. Walsh is survived by three sons; two daughters; 15 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.