Company donates millions for program

This week, TCU received the single largest donation from a corporation in its history.Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation gave a multimillion-dollar donation to support University Career Services and the Neeley School of Business’ Next Generation Leadership Program.

In a press release Wednesday, BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew K. Rose said BNSF wants to help TCU develop leadership programs that will benefit BNSF Railway and other businesses and organizations in the region.

Shawn Kornegay, assistant director of communications, said BNSF has hired TCU students as employees and interns and has had a strong working relationship with TCU in the past.

The newly named BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program recently completed its first year, said Christine Riordan, associate dean for external relations of the Neeley School of Business.

Riordan, who headed the group of faculty members who came up with the idea, said the program offers business students a two-year innovative leadership development experience. It gives accepted students opportunities to learn about leadership and about their strengths and weaknesses, as well as a variety of other issues related to leadership. With the donation, Riordan said, the program will continue to benefit students.

“The BNSF endowment ensures the sustainability of this program,” Riordan said. “The BNSF endowment now supports the program and its associated activities.”

In addition to the grant, the University Career Services Center will be renamed as the BNSF Career Services Center to recognize the support BNSF has given to TCU.

Executive Director of Career Services Patricia Bergmaier said the donation will allow Career Services to offer more support and services to both students and alumni.

“Career Services is very appreciative of this gift,” Bergmaier said. “It will greatly enhance the career guidance for our students and help provide recruitment sources for BNSF and other Fort Worth companies.”

Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said it is important for TCU to have a first-rate career center.

“The number of students who will be positively affected by an enhanced career center is very significant, not just for students who are here now, but for students in the future,” Mills said.