University’s priority switches to strengthening scholarship

The Campaign for TCU, which has already reached more than 86 percent of its $250 million goal, is changing its priority from the construction of new facilities to scholarships, a school official said.

The $100 million Scholarship Initiative has recently gained priority over new facilities, said David Nolan, associate vice chancellor for university development. As of Tuesday night, the campaign had earned $216,498,370 since it began in 2005, Nolan said.

According to the campaign’s Web site, the campaign was originally broken into four categories: Strengthening the Vibrant TCU Community by improving the Living Learning Community, Endowed Scholarships for recruiting high-caliber students, Academic Programs for improving class rankings and Operational Support/Annual Fund, which supports the annual budget. The campaign originally planned to allocate $90 million, $65 million, $60 million and $35 million to each respective category, according to the site.

“We’ve met the original category goal on facilities (originally part of the Living Learning Community category), and now we want to emphasize the scholarship category because we’re not where we want to be there,” Nolan said.

According to the campaign’s Web site, the Scholarship Initiative has raised money to boost support for some of the 75 percent of TCU students who need financial aid.

Michael Scott, director of scholarships and financial aid, said he was excited to hear of the priority switch.

“It just gives us more flexibility to try to recruit the good student who other schools are also trying to recruit,” Scott said.

He also said he expects the percentage of students receiving financial aid to increase.

As of Jan. 17, the Scholarship Initiative had earned $50.4 million, Nolan said. The Scholarship Initiative has a May 31, 2012 target deadline.

Nolan said the Scholarship Initiative was added on to Endowed Scholarships after the creation of the four categories, and will most likely overlap into some of the other categories as well. While the categories are no longer as clear-cut as before, the university hopes to gain enough donations to fill all of the original categories, as well as the new Scholarship Initiative, he said.

The Campaign for TCU had a large role in the construction of new facilities on campus. The campaign helped support the Campus Commons project while buildings such as the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Education Complex and the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility were 100 percent donor-funded.

Nolan said the campaign has received more than 40 gifts of $1 million or more, which have been used to support Vision in Action, the university’s main strategic planning initiative, of which Campaign for TCU is a part.